Saturday, January 29, 2011

Griffey, Jason. Gadgets and Gizmos: Personal Electronics and the Library.

American Library Association TechSource. 2010. 35p. bibliog.. illus. ISBN 978-0-8389-5809-4. $43.00. Item Number 7400-8094. (ALA e-Editions) $33.00. 978-0-8389-5809-4. (Kindle e-Book) $23.00.

Perhaps you may not have realized it, but we are living in the midst of an ongoing information revolution, in which personal electronics or “gadgets” and “gizmos” are key components that have tremendous potential to transform societies and institutions such as libraries. In this book, which was published as an issue of Library Technology Reports (Vol. 46, No. 3), Griffey (Head of Library Information Technology, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; author of Mobile Technology and Libraries and with Karen A. Coombs Library Blogging; columnist for American Libraries “Perpetual Beta” and the ALA TechSource blog), a well- known library technology expert, provides a guide to several “current,” relatively inexpensive-- most are less than $300 and none are greater than $500—personal electronic products and how they fit into any library’s plans for a high- tech future. The author examines a handful of personal electronic products in terms of their features, performance, functionalities, costs, and applications for libraries. Focusing heavily on electronic book readers or e-readers, he also includes various multimedia devices for “capturing and consuming” as well as odd or unusual technologies. Some of the categories of gadgets reviewed by Griffey include e-readers, video cameras, audio recorders, scanners, and multimedia players. The author covers many of the most popular products such as Sony e-readers, the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Flip, the Sony Bloggie, the Zoom H2, the iPod Touch, the Apple iPad, and more. While he mainly scrutinizes personal electronic products of significance to libraries, librarians, and their patrons, he also references pertinent software applications and Internet websites. Professional and technical in approach, but understandable to anyone who may have a basic to intermediate knowledge of personal electronic products and their applications, this publication will be of interest to librarians and others. An important resource for librarians and their staffs, it is highly recommended for public, academic, and special library collections. Review copy. Availability: ALA Online Store, Amazon, Amazon (Kindle edition), Barnes & Noble