WebGL Bookcase – Google’s interactive bookshelf experiment

Although heavily overshadowed by the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, Google have also announced their take on the digital bookcase. You can try the WebGL Bookcase out now, but only if you are using a ‘modern browser’ (and for Google this tends to mean Chrome; even Firefox versions that do support WebGL aren’t always ‘modern’ enough). A bit like the Interactive Library prototype we’ve mentioned before, this presents eBooks in a digital bookcase that you can browse and select from (but no search yet).

And, as you may have guessed from the name, it uses WebGL with the Google Books API. You can open a 3D version of the book and each book comes with a QR Code for downloading to your mobile.  You can find out more on the Chrome Experiments page.


Multimedia Information and Techology: journal news 1 June 2010

Multimedia Information and Techology: journal news 1 June 2010
– UKOLN’s annual Institutional Web Management Workshop
– Fairy Tales on the interactive whiteboard with Promethean and Ladybird
– Copac now includes British Museum Libraries’ holdings
– South Africa and football: new resources from ACTSA
– DVD Ripper 6 launches
– Jane Austen manuscripts go online


–        UKOLN’s annual Institutional Web Management Workshop

–        Fairy Tales on the interactive whiteboard with Promethean and Ladybird

–        Copac now includes British Museum Libraries’ holdings

–        South Africa and football: new resources from ACTSA

–        DVD Ripper 6 launches           

–        Jane Austen manuscripts go online

1. UKOLN’s annual Institutional Web Management Workshop

UKOLN’s annual Institutional Web Management Workshop, IWMW 2010 will be held at the University of Sheffield on 120-14 July.  Bookings for the event are open on the event website at:


As can be seen from the details of the plenary talks (http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/iwmw2010/talks/ ) and workshop session (http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/iwmw2010/sessions/) many of the topics will be of interest to librarians as well as those who work in institutional Web management teams.

A blog to support the event is at:  http://iwmw.ukoln.ac.uk/blog/2010/

2. Fairy Tales on the interactive whiteboard with Promethean and Ladybird


Promethean has partnered with leading children’s book publishers, Ladybird, to extend its range of ActivLessons. A host of interactive whiteboard lessons and multimedia resources have been created to accompany the launch of Ladybird’s Read it Yourself series of classic fairy tales and enrich the reading experience in the classroom.

In the new series, traditional tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and The Wizard of Oz have been updated to include simple storylines and a high key word count. Complementing this, the Read it Yourself ActivLessons bring stories to life on an interactive whiteboard with the addition of sound, images and additional media. Read it yourself ActivLessons can be purchased and downloaded through Promethean Planet’s online store: www.PrometheanPlanet.com/Ladybird, priced at £4.99 per single user license.

3. Copac now includes British Museum Libraries’ holdings



The holdings of the British Museum libraries have been added to Copac. The library collections of the British Museum provide an invaluable research resource that supports the study of the rich history of human cultures represented by the museum’s object collection. The British Museum Library catalogue includes material held in all 10 of the Museum’s Libraries; Ancient Egypt and Sudan, Anthropology (the Library of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas), Asia Department, Coins and Medals, Conservation and Scientific Research, Greece and Rome, Middle East, the Paul Hamlyn Library (the Museum’s public library), Prehistory and Europe, and Prints and Drawings.

Details of other libraries to be added to Copac are available from the Forthcoming Libraries pages on the Copac website  http://copac.ac.uk/libraries/forthcoming/

4. South Africa and football: new resources from ACTSA


Football and freedom schools pack: Created with the NUT the pack from Action for Southern Africa is designed for teachers to use children’s interest in football to explore South Africa’s history, culture and context.

South Africa and football: ACTSA has also compiled a range of materials for those wanting to know more about South Africa, its history and relationship with football.

All the resources and the action can be accessed on the ACTSA website: http://www.actsa.org/page-1447-2010.html


5. DVD Ripper 6 launches     

All 3 Editions of DVD Ripper have been upgraded to version 6.

  • Add subtitles and soundtracks to output videos
  • Transfer the output files directly to iPod, iPhone and PSP;
  • Insert transitional effects in between merged videos
  • Resizable built-in Player;
  • Switch the zoom mode between 4:3 and 16:9;
  • Classifies the profile settings into different types;
  • Power management functions
  • Supports iPad and Android phones



6. Jane Austen manuscripts go online

Jane Austen’s fiction manuscripts are the first significant body of holograph evidence surviving for any British novelist. They represent every stage of her writing career and a variety of physical states:

working drafts, fair copies, and handwritten publications for private circulation. The manuscripts were held in a single collection until 1845, when at her sister Cassandra’s death they were dispersed among family members, with a second major dispersal, to public institutions and private collections, in the 1920s. Digitization enables their virtual reunification and will provides scholars with the first opportunity to make simultaneous ocular comparison of their different physical and conceptual states; it will facilitate intimate and systematic study of Austen’s working practices across her career, a remarkably neglected area of scholarship within the huge, world-wide Austen critical industry.

Many of the Austen manuscripts are frail; open and sustained access has long been impossible for conservation and location reasons. Digitization at this stage in their lives not only offers the opportunity for the virtual reunification of a key manuscript resource, it will also be accompanied by a record in as complete a form as possible of the conservation history and current material state of these manuscripts to assist their future conservation.

The digital edition will include in the first instance all Jane Austen’s known fiction manuscripts and any ancillary materials held with them. http://www.janeausten.ac.uk/index.html

Multimedia Information & Technology vol 36 no 2 (May 2010) is now available

Multimedia Information & Technology vol 36 no 2 (May 2010) is now available

Multimedia Information & Technology vol 36 no 2 is now available at www.cilip.org.uk/mmit

The May issue features a special focus on technology in schools covering interactive devices in primary schools using music; interactive handhelds and learner response systems in secondary schools; technology and learning difficulties; and ICT in primary education.  Other features include roving reference library services in higher education; digital signage; and Google Wave.  Kate Lomax’s ‘Best of the Blog’ concentrates on the recent Public Library Modernisation review.

Chris Leftley reviews Digital Information: Order or Anarchy;  Kevin Curran critiques Bite-Sized Marketing; Ken Cheetham gives his views on Mastering Photographic Composition; and Antony Brewerton reviews The Gold Diggers film.

The news section covers the Pingar search platform for dynamic searches; the latest version of Camtasia’s screen recording tool; I am learning’s use of online games; video-linked musical workshops for remote schools; a new digital publishing research project; World Maths Day; making YouTube secure for classroom use; how Soundbooth Plus transforms ICT resources into language labs; and a new author hotline website. The BFI’s new COI collection, Police and Thieves, and Design for Today, are showcased.

Kevin Curran’s technology round-up includes thoughts on credibility of websites; an update on Google Books; how best to ensure secure passwords; software to set up meetings easily; a free tools to create worksheets and lesson pages and to publish them online; plus Text 2.0 – the way that tablet PCs will use interactive eye-tracking technology.

The August issue will include a special focus on public libraries.

Comments or contributions are welcome. Please contact the Managing Editor, Catherine Dhanjal with article or news suggestions, or images of multimedia in use.  We are interested in your article suggestions for projects where you have used technology in a research/library/information setting. If you have any difficulties with online access, please contact me. If you do not currently subscribe, contact catherine.dhanjal@theansweruk.com for subscription information.