Think Tank Topic; Digital Libraries and the Future of Books

We have all heard a lot on the news recently about books being made digital for all to read. Microsoft is doing a 20-million dollar project in Great Britain and Google is doing several libraries in the United States. There has been some controversy on this issue from authors who receive royalties and booksellers. It is for this reason our Think Tank brought up the topic.

A prominent member in our Think Tank “Swift” said; “I was looking into your idea of the digital library and Goggle’s attempt at putting all existing books on the Internet. I really like this idea as only a small percentage of books remain in print. I have been looking for an out of print book for decades called the Rose and the Labyrinth and have had book searches done all over the world. I have found out that there were 5 books with this title. The one I am looking for dealt with the time Carl Jung spent with minors and his reactions to them. He didn’t write it, but I no longer have the information on the book so don’t remember who the writer is. There are some really wonderful out of print books and no way to access them. I am having problems with the publishing companies who are worried about the copyright infringement issues and the interpretation of “fair use.”

They wouldn’t start with the newest books, I would think; but the books that were no longer protected. What in the heck are they being protected from? No one is going to pretend they wrote them for crying out loud. After this length of time, I’ll read any book names the Rose and the Labyrinth and pretend it was the book that was referred to me by Jung’s last student before he died. I really like the idea of a mine being a labyrinth–so did my father.

Well I certainly see Swift’s point on this issue and we know that currently we are very busy digitizing humankind’s written knowledge from books to the digital so it can be made available to the world. This is a very wise move as books can decay over years and out of print books are not available to all. By digitizing the known human written knowledge to the world we can conquer the opportunity barriers of those hard chargers who may not have the resources to achieve the upward mobility they seek. As we conquer the digital divide we will be well on our way to giving back the knowledge of the world from the entire Library of Commerce to the human race in an easy to read, search and retrieve format available to all. That will be an excellent day for the human race indeed. Imagine a digital library of the Library of Commerce able to use Super Computer speeds to retrieve all the world’s written books online at a speed of Google or MSN.com. That is to say any book written in any language, anywhere in the world, at anytime, think on that for a second.

By using knowledge and experience this way we can leverage this to prevent failure through understanding results. Those who do not learn from their mistakes, tend to keep from making them. Those who remember the lessons learned from their mistakes successes tend to reason better through analyzing of their mistakes and trying to figure a way around their problems.

Now then, let me tell you why I believe a society needs digital libraries hooked to all civilizations for faster advancement of the human species as a whole or as one. If you had a problem that needed solving for the betterment of your civilization and you had all the world’s knowledge at your finger tips; that is to say a computer hooked to a system like a World Wide Digital Library, then you would have enhanced your personal knowledge and memory by a million fold. This could help your intelligent quotient at the speed of computer and that coupled with the speed of thought is a major component needed to take mankind to the singularity of an all-knowing, never ending being in this dimension. Think on this.

How To Choose Great Paranormal Books

For people wanting to get an education in the paranormal, there are a multitude of books available that promise to help. A simple search on Amazon reveals hundreds of books in the paranormal category. Unfortunately, many of them are simply not very good. If you truly are interested in the paranormal and wanting to learn more, it is essential to read high quality paranormal books. If you are having trouble separating the good books from the bad ones, here are several tips that will help.

First of all, try reading reviews online. Spend some time browsing an online bookstore and reading the summaries and reviews of different books. Many online retailers enable you to create a wish list of books that you like. This is an excellent way to keep track of books that you would like to own. When someone mentions a book title to you, write it down and look it up later. You will soon see that some books have much more positive reader reviews than other books. Although it is far from a guarantee, in general the books with more positive reader reviews will be more helpful in your studying and learning.

In addition to reading reviews online, it can also be helpful to ask a more experienced friend for book recommendations. A friend who knows more about the paranormal than you do may be able to suggest books that will point you in the right direction. Lest you worry about offending someone, asking a friend for book recommendations is a form of flattery and most people appreciate being asked for advice.

Along the same lines, getting book recommendations from people who know more than you is almost always a solid choice. One option is to go to workshops or classes that are related to your areas of interest. When you attend a workshop, remember to take good notes. One thing that you should write down is any books that are mentioned as helpful references. If none are mentioned, ask the presenter for books that she recommends. Like asking friends for advice, this is a strategy that presenters usually appreciate as it shows that you are truly interested in learning more about their area of expertise. Reading books that have been recommended in this way is an excellent way to deepen your knowledge about a wide range of topic areas.

Lastly, if budget is an issue, don’t forget about your library. Most libraries have at least a moderate collection of boos about the paranormal. If there is a particular book that they do not have see if you can request it as a loan from another library. Borrowing books in this way is a great way to expose yourself to things that you would not normally encounter. At the same time, if you borrow a book and find that it is not what you were looking for you only have to return it to the library. There is no worrying about wasting money or trying to sell or give away a book that you find out you will not be able to use.

National Library of Singapore Thrives in the eBook Age

The National Library of Singapore first opened its doors to the general public at the iconic old building at Stamford Road in 1960. After the hugely contested demolishment in 2004, it moved to the 16-storey modern establishment at Victoria Street in the following year. According to the National Library Marketing and Group Services, more than 3.5 million people have visited the library in 2010 and 2011. This figure suggests that the library institution has continued to thrive in this age of low-cost eBooks at the mere convenience of a smartphone or tablet download.

The library today has transformed beyond the disgruntled librarian stamping the loan return date on the book. The library is no longer just a building that houses a collection of books of different genres. It now has the mission to reach out to the communities and encourage people to read. The National Library’s success story lies in the multi-faceted approach to attract the general public.

The building has carefully enhanced various features to accommodate to the changing needs of the library user. Book loan and return are now fully automated with multiple self-service kiosks located in the building compound. There are fully computerised window blinds, which automatically unroll to shield the daylight glare from the afternoon sun. Reading tables have individual lamps and there are various study lounges for quiet reading.

The National Library also organises a wide range of activities to encourage the community to visit and read more. One such example is the weekly reading sessions during which volunteers read stories aloud to the children and conduct interactive activities that enhance their learning. The National Library has identified this as an important outreach tool since reading can be a good habit cultivated from the young.

The library has also developed to be a community venue for the general public. There are cafes for the public to just hang out at and various benches and lounges for the communal use. Empty spaces are also rented out for community events and there are in-house themed exhibitions on display at the various floors of the building.

The multiple facets of the National Library have given a strong case for the good visitorship numbers. Other than merely enhancing the library user’s reading experience as the basic function of the library, it has added value by organizing free activities for the public. Activities like the reading sessions encourage the young to read and develop the love for book reading.

The exhibition venues in the National Library also go beyond the regular library’s function to explore ideas and share Singapore’s heritage and history with the public. With the many faces of the National Library, it will hopefully continue to thrive in this modern age of eBooks.