Archive for Digital Literacy

Novel Conversations

We are now eSmart!

We are proud to announce the Shire of Dardanup Library Service has been accredited as an eSmart Library. As one of only a handful of libraries in Western Australia to achieve this status, we provide an increasingly important bridge to the digital divide in our community.

With the convenience of the internet age, it is crucial to be cyber aware and eSmart.  The web is a great place to learn, be creative and stay connected.  But with one in seven young Australians experiencing cyber bullying and other online challenges, it’s important to invest in the skills needed to be responsible digital citizens. As our lives become more and more entwined with the internet, too few of us are aware of the information we leave online, and how many virtual doors we leave open for the cyber-world to see.

The eSmart program is generously funded by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and Telstra, and is one of the most significant community cybersafety initiatives undertaken in Australia. It is a framework for building and sustaining digital skills and cybersafety for the community, library users, and library staff.  Working through informative tools and frameworks helped library staff increase their own digital literacy and awareness of cyber safetcybersecurityy, in order to help others to avoid:

  • scams
  • computer fraud
  • invasions of privacy/bullying

Public libraries are the most heavily used community centres in Australia, and more than half the population are public library members.  As an eSmart Library serving a vibrant community, we strive to remain at the forefront of evolving  technologies, equipping library users with the confidence to navigate safely, ethically and legally.

Reporting Online Incidents

If you feel you are a victim of a cyber crime or have a cybersafety issue, the following contacts may be useful.

Online offence Where to report
Cyberbullying Report to local Police 13 14 44
Online fraud Report to local Police 13 14 44
Internet banking fraud Contact your bank for advice on whether to report in person to local Police
Scams (Internet based or email) Report to SCAMwatch – Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
Tax-related scams Report to the Australian Taxation Office
Online Child Exploitation Contact Australian Federal Police via the Online child protection form
Spam Report to ACMA
Faulty goods or services purchased online Report to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

Online issues
Useful websites
Cybersafety Information www.esafety.gov.au

www.kidshelp.com.au

www.connectsafely.org

www.bullyingnoway.gov.au

www.hectorsworld.com

www.digizen.org
www.thinkuknow.org.au

 

 

Novel Conversations

eBooks: A library at your fingertips.

One of the questions we are often asked in the library is “What are ebooks?”.
The short answer: it’s an electronic book.
The long answer: it’s changing the world.

eBooks are one of the most exciting developments in libraries. They are revolutionising the way we access information and how we provide it to the community. Currently, the Shire of Dardanup Library Service has access to online eBook collections of over 30,000 titles – that’s an entire library available at the touch of a button (or swipe of a screen).

Just like a printed book, eBooks have cover art, an author, editor, illustrator, publisher and story. They can be any length, can be bookmarked at any page or section, and are available in any genre – from cookbooks to children’s picture books to graphic novels.

Why should you read eBooks?

digitization_images_headerLet’s face it, we love the feel, the weight, and the smell of ‘real’ books; many of us couldn’t imagine reading any other way. Chances are though, in today’s digital age, you’re already reading and even writing eBooks without knowing it: the report emailed to you at work, or that assignment you’ve just handed in. Pretty much any mid-to-long-length electronic document, viewable on a screen, is a sort of eBook. In fact, we are reading more and more information on screens than ever before.

Convenience is a primary factor for the use of eBooks. Probably the most appealing feature is that you can access them at any time from anywhere, 24/7. The versatility and flexibility of an eBook allows you to change font size, the colour of the background page, and sometimes even the layout of the entire book. Instead of earmarking or marking up pages of a print books, eBooks allow you to add and delete bookmarks and notes at will and can easily be referenced at the click of a mouse or touch of the screen. Finally, all text in an eBook is searchable and can be hyperlinked, allowing you to jump back and forth between chapters, contents and glossary.

How eBooks are transforming the world

Probably the most revolutionary aspect of the rise of the eBook is the the ease with which a rapidly growing number of communities can access information. In the Rwandan town of Rwinkwavu, a local library has been embracing eBooks, which has been beneficial to their economically disadvantaged community. Through their local library and the instant access of eBooks, Rwandans can now select from hundreds of titles on all kinds of subjects and genres. This access is transforming the community. Children are now not only learning to read, they are developing interests in ideas, concepts and subjects they would never otherwise have been exposed to. Adults in the community are learning to master new skills in trades and finance, many even running their own businesses. People around the world are being empowered by accessing the information eBooks provide.

eBooks at Shire of Dardanup Library

At Shire of Dardanup Libraries, we are continually enhancing the services we offer.  With our international eBook vendor Overdrive, we are excited to provide an extensive elibrary to our members. If you can’t find it in the library, have a look at the Overdrive online eBook collection  with over 30,000 titles. Our collection holds a range of subjects and series favourites such as Harry Potter and Hamish Macbeth as well as bestselling authors including:

All you need is a membership card and an internet connection to browse and download ebooks through our catalogue or, if you have a mobile device, through the Overdrive app. For information about accessing the wonderful features of our eBook and digital collection please visit our eBooks page or download our simple step-by-step user guide.  If you still have questions, bring your tablet device or laptop to the library, and we’ll help you see how easy it is to access the library online.

Novel Conversations

The Christmas gift that gave us a modern classic.

We all look for the perfect Christmas gift that is both meaningful and inspiring. In the late 1950s, a Broadway composer and his wife gave just such a gift to a struggling young writer – a gift of one year’s wages.

The writer’s name was Nelle Harper Lee, the book she wrote while living on that year’s wage was To Kill a Mockingbird. Heralded in 1960 as an instant classic, it is loved by readers of all generations and is a staple in libraries world-wide.cover

Lee wanted to write after developing an interest in English literature in high school. After graduation, she attended Huntingdon College in Alabama for one year, and focused on writing. She then transferred to the University of Alabama to study law before turning her sights back to writing. She wrote for the university newspaper before dropping out of college without achieving a degree, opting to move to New York to pursue a writing career.

To support herself in New York, Lee worked for several years as an airline ticket agent.  She struggled with working to support herself and having the time and energy to write. Luckily for Lee, she befriended Michael and Joy Brown. Michael was a popular composer and lyricist who worked on Broadway, and was financially well off.

For Christmas 1956, the Browns gave Lee a generous gift: one year’s wages. With the gift came a note saying, ‘You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.’ Who could say no to that? Lee quit her airline job, and once free to write what she wanted, produced the story that would become To Kill a Mockingbird.

Reportedly, the first draft read like several short stories stitched together, rather than a seamlessly written novel. But the Browns had also put Lee in touch with a literary agent, Maurice Crain.  With Crain and editor Tay Hohoff, Lee reworked the initial manuscript, and two and a half years of rewrites followed. Even after those rewrites, Lee was warned that the book probably wouldn’t sell more than few thousand copies.

However, Lee’s hard work paid off beyond the wildest expectation. Perhaps it was published at just the right time, as the civil rights movement was kicking off in earnest. Whatever the reason, the book’s popularity skyrocketed shortly after its publication in 1960. It was picked up by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Literary Guild, featured in Reader’s Digest, and won a variety of literary awards, including the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. By 1962, it had been made into an award-winning movie.

To Kill a Mockingbird has now sold over 30 million copies, and has been translated into 40 languages. In 2009, it was reported that Lee was still earning $9,249 in royalties every day. At the time of her death in early 2016, Lee’s estate was valued at over $45 million.  The Brown’s original Christmas gift to Harper Lee had multiplied many times over.

Novel Conversations

Digitisation and the changing library.

Libraries are not about books, rather the thoughts and knowledge that is borne from them. Maintaining this intellectual content is at the very core of digitisation.

digitization_images_2
The digitisation process has been described as “a series of collaborative activities that transforms analog materials into a digital format”.  In libraries this is most often understood as the scanning of books into electronic files, kept on servers and digitally retrieved when needed. However, digitisation efforts are currently in place to collect images, sound, and audiovisual data around the world. Projects such as Google Books push the boundaries of copyright and public domain. Generally the need for digitisation is to improve sustainable access and preserve materials by reducing their handling. The ultimate goal is for digitised materials to be searchable on the Internet, thereby sharing the collection with a wider audience. These two needs aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Rare books that are digitised for preservation may also find new life as more people are able to view the resource digitally. It is this global connectivity, the prospect of getting local information to individuals searching from anywhere in the world, that will continue to drive digitisation projects into the future. With each passing year new digitisation vendors have emerged creating a competitive marketplace which institutions are taking full advantage of. Libraries of all sizes are now contemplating, planning or engaged in some sort of digitisation initiative.

The core of library service is still essentially facilitating access to information and a key part of that chain in the analog world has been the Interlibrary Loans Scheme (ILLs).  However, studies have found that the cost of an item loaned through ILLs was approximately ten times the cost of an ordinary loan item; by any standard, a premium service! One solution is in the digitisation of library collections. E-books now serve as texts in some of the most fundamental classes taught in universities. However, largely due to issues surrounding copyright and licensing, the ability to share e-books with patrons via interlibrary loan has predominantly been ignored by publishers and libraries alike. Observers however note that an e-book interlibrary loan program would be “in spirit and in practice” the same process currently used for physical items by public and academic libraries globally. Furthermore, as there is no such thing as a lost e-book, shipping or replacement costs would be non-existent. Furthermore, it could be lent many times instantaneously (and simultaneously, if licensing allows) increasing access to users who would be able to download the e-books at their convenience on their own device.

Through digitisation the landscape of library services is changing rapidly. As it becomes more affordable, libraries will increasingly initiate their own projects, their collections becoming available as e-books. The “Discovery to Delivery” process remains at the heart of library operations and core services such as the interlibrary loan scheme can be applied to benefit both user and library while new technologies make the process more and more convenient.

What’s New

How does the library choose books and magazines for the library’s collections?

The Eaton and Dardanup libraries have popular reading collections, with best selling authors, popular series, and informative non-fiction titles.
Library

The librarians try to select books they know would interest library readers, and use best seller lists, critical reviews, and library journals to do so.  One of the selection tools we use is Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations, and their mission is to help people find and share books they love.  You can sign up with Goodreads for free, and have book discussions with your Goodreads friends, post your own book reviews, or keep lists of books you’d like to read.

The library will also select titles based on your recommendations; if you follow a favorite author or series, you may hear about the next new title before we do!  Feel free to suggest titles to us, and we’ll decide whether to add to the collection, or borrow it from another library.  You can even find the Eaton Community Library on Goodreads and recommend titles to us there.