New twist on ‘digital’ (library) books!

book_atm.03.jpgSomehow I missed this in the media – An ATM for Books from CNN Money. We’ve had various ways of getting books printed and into our hot little hands ready for the next comfortable read. But I bet it will be a while before we see Australian libraries have one of these ‘little beauties’.

The Espresso – a $50,000 vending machine with a conceivably infinite library – is nearly consumer-ready and will debut in ten to 25 libraries and bookstores in 2007. The New York Public Library is scheduled to receive its machine in February. The machine can print, align, mill, glue and bind two books simultaneously in less than seven minutes, including full-color laminated covers.

For me, this is the perfect blend between the new and the old.

However, that’s not all there is to the developments in the ‘digitisation’ of books.

THE BRITISH LIBRARYThe British Library has also been hard at it in the Turning the Pages 2.0 project! Turning the Pages 2.0™ allows you to ‘virtually’ turn the pages of the library’s most precious books. You can magnify details, read or listen to expert commentary on each page, and store or share your own notes.

Clive Izard, Head of Creative Services at the British Library explains how itcliveizard.jpg works in a small video clip. The value of digitisation that makes books accessible for reading AND research cannot be ignored – particularly when the technology is shared beyond the application of rare books.

How this compares with Google’s digitisation project, I don’t know. Perhaps someone can provide more information on that.

Work like this reminds me why I like the British Library ……… and I’m pleased that I have my own borrower card! Shame it expires in July and that I can’t be there to renew it!

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