2014 Gryphon Award

battlebunny_gryphon14The Gryphon Award of $1,000 is given annually in recognition of an English language work of fiction or non-fiction for which the primary audience is children in Kindergarten through Grade 4. The title chosen best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.

2014 Winner:

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett
“Both a sendup of saccharine period picture books and a tribute to kid invention, this deliciously comic outing follows young Alex’s savage textual and illustrative transforming of a treacly bunny tale into a saga of a thwarted attempt at world rabbit domination.”
Source: http://ccb.lis.illinois.edu/gryphon.html

<Please click here for a list of previous winners>

Kansas Boy Gets New Hand, Created at a Library Makerspace

MakerSpace1_rev-500x319Nine-year-old Matthew is the owner of a brightly-colored prosthetic Robohand that was created several months ago in the MakerSpace of the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, KS. Matthew, who is adopted, was born with partial fingers on his right hand due to a birth condition called limb difference.

The genesis of Matthew’s prosthetic hand came from one of Matthew’s teachers who’d sent Jennifer a link toRobohand, a cost-effective model of a prosthetic hand co-created by South African Richard Van As, who’d lost his own fingers in a workshop accident, and theatrical artist, Ivan Owen back in November 2012. A 3-D printer version was designed in January 2013 with how-to instructions available online.

<Click here for entire article>

Source: http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2014/02/k-12/library-innovation-leads-new-hand-kansas-boy/

Library hot spot opens at Philadelphia airport

PHL Hot Spot3Philadelphia International Airport has partnered with the Free Library of Philadelphia to bring the library’s electronic resources to airport customers in a brand new Virtual Library Hot Spot.

The Virtual Library Hot Spot, situated on the busy walkway between Terminals D and E, will allow customers to log on to the airport’s free Wi-Fi to access the library’s e-books, nearly 1,200 author podcasts, and other digital content.

Much of the Free Library’s digital content, including classic titles and podcasts, is available to anyone, but a free library card is necessary to download nonclassic titles and some digital content.

Library cards are available free of charge to Pennsylvania residents, and out-of-state residents can obtain a library card for $50 per year.

Applications for library cards can be accessed online at www.freelibrary.org.

Source: http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20140206/ENT/302060030/Library-hot-spot-opens-Philadelphia-airport

Unglue.It: Books That Want to Be Free

unglueit logo


Eric Hellman has the best-named blog ever. He’s also the creator of unglue.it, “the bookstore for books that want be free.” Part tech lab, part Kickstarter for authors,unglue.it is one of the most creative responses to the ebook revolution I’ve seen.

For those who haven’t heard of it before, the idea is this: Suppose you write a book. You are well aware that most books are not bestsellers. You’d be thrilled if you could make $2,500 from it. So you, the author, offer the book to unglue.it. Your book is described on the  website and donations are requested to make it into an ebook. Interested users make “pledges.” Once the pledges hit the $2,500 mark, success! You, the author, still retain copyright, but the book is released in electronic format through the Creative Commons license. It has been unglued and can be freely downloaded by anyone, including libraries, worldwide.
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Source: http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blog/unglueit-books-want-be-free

“The Very Hungry Catepillar” to have an app!

very hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar to be Adapted in App Form

Eric Carle’s classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is celebrating its 45th  anniversary this year, will soon be adapted into an app.

This is thanks to a new partnership between interactive book maker StoryToys and The Joester Loria Group, exclusive global licensing agent for The World of Eric Carle. StoryToys has signed a three-year deal to develop a series of apps based on the characters in his books. The app maker will make a number of apps based on Carle’s classic books. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day app will be the first in the series, available on March 20th.

The apps will bring the static drawings to life. Barry O’Neill, CEO of StoryToys, explained that their ”aim is to build beautiful apps that will enable children to interact with their favorite Eric Carle characters in totally new ways.”

Source: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-to-be-adapted-in-app-form_b82595

Author David Baldacci weighs in on e-books, library budget cuts in @ your library video


Author David Baldacci weighs in on e-books, library budget cuts in @ your library video


CHICAGO — Author David Baldacci, who wrote the best-seller “Absolute Power,” said he believes publishers will provide libraries with greater access to e-books in a video produced by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Information Office (PIO) for the ALA’s website for the public, atyourlibrary.org.
Regarding the publishing Industry and e-books, he said, “There’s a shakeout period. Obviously I think greater access and granting access to libraries for books, e-books, any type of format – audio – is very important. I think the publishers are going to get there. They’re trying to figure out how they can do all of this and still make money…
<Click on title for entire article>

Understanding the Affordable Care Act

Doctor MouseFor anyone who was unable to attend here’s the link to the recording of the webinar “Understanding the Affordable Care Act.” with Dylan Roby, Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; Director, Health Economics and Evaluation Research UCLA Center for Health Policy Research held September 18th, 2013.

Update to OverDrive Media Console


OverDrive is proud to announce the release of OverDrive Media Console 3.0, which is now live for iOS and Android users. Once you update your OMC app on your smartphone or tablet you will see a number of new features including:

  • A redesigned user interface with an all-new look, streamlined navigation and a one-stop reorganized menu. App functions are just a swipe and tap away.
  • Users will be able to sync bookmarks and reading progress across multiple devices using a free, opt-in registration service called OverDrive One.
  • Variable speed playback for iOS: audiobook users’ most requested feature.
  • Guidance for first time users: The app now prompts users to add libraries and get books.
  • System Requirements: OMC v3.0 for Android requires Android OS v4.0 (or newer). OMC for Android v2.6.6 will remain available for download. OMC for iOS requires iOS 6 (or newer).


The app can be downloaded from http://omc.overdrive.com/, the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. You can also view help videos for both iOS and Android devices here which will walk you through all of the apps new features. OverDrive Media Console v2.6.6 is still the current version for all other compatible devices.

OverDrive Media Console for Android and iOS out May 28th

OverDrive Media Console v2.6.5 is coming to iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch) and Android on May 28th.

This release is all about bug-fixes to improve the end user experience.  Here is what’s coming out in v2.6.5:

  • Enhancements made to improve the speed of the in-app browser (iOS)
  • Fixed a bug that causes the app to crash when working from a proxy server (iOS)
  • Improved bad SSL certificate error messaging (iOS)
  • Fixed a bug that prevents page turns beyond page 161 on some devices (Android)
  • Various minor bug fixes and performance improvements on both iOS and Android

Due to a change in Apple’s privacy policies, we’ve had to make changes to the way we handle licensing of EPUB eBooks and MP3 audiobooks.  As a result, the OMC for iOS v2.6.5 update will de-authorize every users’ Adobe ID.  Upon opening OMC for the first time after the update, users will be prompted to re-authorize.

See help articles.


Amazon Buys Goodreads to Bolster Its Advice Portfolio

amazonGoodreads“On March 28, 2013, Goodreads’ founders Otis and Elizabeth Chandler and Amazon vice president for Kindle Content, Russ Grandinetti, announced that Amazon had acquired Goodreads. The companies expect the deal to close in 2Q 2013. For the present, Goodreads will remain a separate company with headquarters in San Francisco.

Goodreads’ 16 million members—a number that has doubled in just the past year—now have 525 million books lining their online bookshelves and have written more than 23 million reviews. With links to more than 68,000 authors and more than 30,000 book clubs, Goodreads has become the clear leader for peer recommendations and social cataloging in its 6 years of existence. In the past 90 days, members have added more than four books per second to the “want to read” section of the site. Numbers like that are bound to be attractive to any buyer with deep enough pockets. And Amazon has deep pockets with estimated assets of more than $32 billion.” ~ InfoToday.com

Read more…