Thursday, September 17, 2009

Journal: Digital Libraries

Digital Libraries - Shifting the Landscape Written by: Glen Bull and Martha Sites

In this article, the idea of the "incunabula of digital books" is now in full force. With evolution of digitized books, the Kindle and the Sony reader the authors discuss the shift effects on education from print to digital books. The article also mentioned that the Curry School of Education Library at the University of Virgina is undergoing the removal of all physical texts and transitioning completely to digital books. The transition that the Curry School of Education Library made, is the first known instance of such a transition to digital books. With many books from around the world already available on Google Book Search we have already started the "irreversible transition". Portable electronic books also have multiple benefits. With the capabilities of synchronize with other devices, such as Kindle to iPhone, the convenience is significant. The article, mentions that the current e-books, and the ones that will eventually follow, benefit those who are visually impaired. With the capability to change font size or with the Kindle built in Text-to-Speech option the text can be recited aloud. Although the current devices are not perfect they are on their way for making a dramatic change to the make-up of our libraries - and they can save a considerable amount of space.

Being an owner of a Kindle2 I was greatly intrigued by this article. When I got my Kindle, I remember thinking " wouldn't it be cool if there was a program, or a pilot program, out there that would make it possible to have a kindle for each student and having all our books in a digitalized format?" Like the article said the Kindle and it's similar devices are not perfect, they are only in their primary years and I can foresee the possibilities on what they can eventually evolve to. I feel that the transition from printed to digitalized books is inevitable at this point, however they will coexist for quite some time. It's hard to believe that printed books will eventually become a thing of the past. As a kindle owner, there are currently a few kinks that if fixed would make it ideal for K-12 students. Right now, there aren't several children's books available, and the text-to-speech option is to say the least awkward. Overall though, I think it brings a whole other realm to reading for some people, for those who are into the technology I think it's a great invention, I LOVE MY KINDLE! I'm intrigued to finding out some more information on the e-books of the future and seeing how I could possibly incorporate them into my future curriculum...


  1. Wow! This was very interesting to read, because I didn't even know what a kindle was. This seems like it will be great for students who with special needs. I also love how it makes so many books available to our future students. I do feel a bit sad though that students in the future will loose the experience of reading from a real book.

  2. Very interesting article! I too was unaware of this transition. I knew sooner or later something like this would happen and soon enough everything will be accessible through a computer or via the internet. When I was younger, my favorite book was a book about a bear and it had the option of pushing a button to hear it be read aloud. I agree that these can be very beneficial for students with special needs. I am very curious to see how this whole transition will take place and when exactly it will.

  3. i can't believe how far we have come. to even think that you could get the book in audio is great. but to have all kinds of books in audio form is great. but at the same time i think that we should not encourage students just to listen to the books but to read along. but this is a great tool just like the article says. and bet in a few years we will all have accesses to something just like this.