Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The iPad

(With optional keyboard)

A lot of talk around the web about the iPad at the moment, especially from librarians interested in technology. Reactions seem to range from desire to disgust, but there's always those who will complain about a new product and how it doesn't fit their lives (and extrapolate that no one else will want one).

NCSU libraries are lending them to students and I can see this becoming a trend, much easier to manage than a laptop, although I am sure they will have their own issues.

I feel pretty confident in forecasting that the iPad will have a similar impact in the eBook reader and portable computing device marketplace that the iPhone has had in the smart phone market, really setting the usability standard and being the most desirable and functional option for most people.

As a device for University students it won't replace a laptop or computer for all uses, but imagine only having to carry an iPad onto campus, with all your text books loaded, basic note taking and document layout programs, email and web browsing (and as many games as you could ever use) this is going to be very attractive for both publishers, students and teachers I think.

So, what about libraries? How can we use this new platform to deliver resources in a better way for students?

Friday, 9 April 2010

Demonstrating value

Stephen Abram has a good post about the value of academic libraries, it's a kind of mini literature review with many useful papers and websites.

It is an important area for us as the idea that "everything can be found on google so why do we need libraries?" becomes more prevalent (even among some librarians).