For those of you who love audiobooks, I highly recommend this title. Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.” When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.
First bookless library offers only e-books
BiblioTech opens in San Antonio with catalog of 10,000 e-books
Staffers at San Antonio’s BiblioTech say it’s the first “bookless library.” And in addition to its catalog of 10,000 e-books, this techy library also provides a digital lifeline to a low-income neighborhood that sorely needs it.
BiblioTech opened its doors Sept. 14 on the south side of San Antonio, a mostly Hispanic neighborhood where 40% of households don’t have a computer and half lack broadband Internet service.
Although the library houses no printed books — and members can even skip the visit by checking out its e-books online — BiblioTech’s staff says the library’s physical presence is still key to its success.
“We’re finding that you really have to get your head around a paradigm shift,” said Laura Cole, BiblioTech’s special projects coordinator. “Our digital library is stored in the cloud, so you don’t have to come in to get a book. But we’re a traditional library in that the building itself is an important community space.”
That 4,800-square-foot space looks more like an Apple Store or a Google breakroom than a library. It’s decked out with funky orange walls, a colorful play area for children complete with plush seats and glowing screens, plus loads of devices available for in-library use: 45 Apple iPads, 40 laptops and 48 desktop computers.
Members checking out one of the 10,000 e-books — provided through 3M’s Cloud Library service — can borrow one of 600 stripped-down e-readers or 200 “enhanced” readers for children. Audiobooks and educational software are also available.
BiblioTech’s efforts have attracted 7,000 members so far, and staffers relish sharing anecdotes about the people who walk through their doors.
Cole relayed a story about a young family’s recent visit, during which the twentysomething father revealed that the regular e-readers were of no use to him; he couldn’t read.
“One of our staff offered him a children’s reader, which is enhanced with activities that help learn to read,” Cole said. “He started shaking, and his wife couldn’t stop crying. It was a really profound experience for him. And this is why we worked to start something like BiblioTech.”
The genesis of the idea came from Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a self-described book fiend who felt libraries aren’t evolving with technology. Wolff gathered about a half-dozen county employees, including Cole, to brainstorm ideas for a library that helped an underserved neighborhood in a truly modern way. Last October, the group began researching to find other libraries that had gone completely digital — but they couldn’t find any.
“Not all libraries are going to be like us, and we understand that,” Wolff said. “But we sure do hope it’s going to drive them to do more to evolve. The world is changing, and libraries can’t stay the same. Not if they want to stay relevant.”
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Mad Murphy is consuming my mind! As I re-read my manuscript, I’m afraid to say that Madison is somewhat of a pushover. Well, no more of that! She’s going to be tough, resilient and intelligent. I can’t wait to share her with you!
Can’t vacation at the beach this summer? Try reading Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen for a quick coastal getaway. Skilled at balancing hard-boiled mysteries and humor, the author enjoys poking fun at excess in south Florida while romanticizing the beautiful beach backdrop. This amusing story is teaming with ripoff artists, crooked cops, nude sunbathers and corrupt politicians. It all starts with an incompetent Mafia-connected plastic surgeon with butterfingers, a bitchy Hollywood starlet, a remarkably inept hit man and a pompous TV journalist nationally famous for getting beaten up on camera. This is the first title in the Nick Stranahan mystery series.
Henrietta Lacks was a poor tobacco farmer who died of cancer at a young age. Scientists worldwide know her as HeLa. Her cells—taken without her knowledge—became the first “immortal” human cells grown in culture. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects. Henrietta’s cells helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Sadly, Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave; her descendants live in poverty.
Today, I handed out twenty copies of Playing for Pizza by John Grisham to a homeless shelter in my community. The folks there were extremely grateful and the books went quickly. A special thank you to the thousands of book givers worldwide, and kudos to World Book Night 2013 for promoting literacy far and wide.