Monday, April 16, 2007

iLiad rented out by library

The public library in my home town Almere offers her members a new service: iLiad. The handheld e-reader, which can hold the texts of 50 books, can be rented against a surity. The library advertises the eReader as a light weight screen of 400 grams, which prevents carrying heavy book loads. It is promoted as more than just a gadget as the gadget has a leafing mechanism and the screen can be manipulated with a stylus. Parts of the text can be underscored and enlarged. It is also possible to make annotations. The library itself does not have e-books, but they can be downloaded from internet sites such as the Dutch In the future newspapers and magazines can be downloaded on the eReader.

The library has one copy for rent in order to test the market. However, if there is more interest than the library will order more copies. The library has a special instruction. People who want to rent the iLiad will pay 50 euro for surety.
It was funny to see that the library tries to promote the iLiad in the framework of books and specifically of text books. In the local newspaper article no mention is made of the graphic capabilities or the audio capabilities. (Come to think of it that it is a perfect electronic storytelling machine for the visually impaired). On the other hand, it is a library with books as main resource.

It is not a surprise that this library will test the iLiad. The library is rather progressive. In the past it was the first library to adopt the Moving Image Cyclopaedia of the Digital Film Center Europe in Nijmegen. Besides the library has fast links with the school libraries and documentation centres in Almere, offering pupils a wide range of resources such as books, but also digital resources such as movies, music and newspapers as well as magazines.

The announcement did remind me about my broken copy of the iLiad. I put it away in my display cupboard where I keep my copy of the first series of Sony’s e-Book and the Rocket Book from the second e-book wave. In principle I had the iLiad retired, pre-supposing that it could not be mended. But I found out that iRex Technologies has now a technical support service. So I gave them a phone call and told them about my broken iLiad. The technical desk operator told me that it could be fixed, if it was only the screen. A new screen would cost 250 euro. But of course, nothing of the print circuit should be damaged. I had to fill out a form and send it to the technical service department and I would hear about this. So this week I will start up the procedure and see whether we can give my iLiad a second lease of life.

Blog Posting Number: 725

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