Blog archive

  • Wheelers eBook Platform

    This term I was very pleased to finally be able to launch the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services eBook platform, hosted by Wheelers. It’s something I’ve been looking at for […]

  • Overdesigned Apple?

    Hey Apple, give your users more control and we’ll all win An interesting article, though I can’t see Apple surrendering control over its hardware and software. Part of the […]

  • A chaos of Kindles and a new player in town

    Autumn term, and another term of schools still using eBooks primarily as a means to provide yet another tick on the checklist of a pushy parent, marking off the facilities […]

  • Where the blog have you been?

    It’s been quite a while since my last post for a number of (good) reasons. I’ve been very busy at work what with a total move of the library across […]

  • !

    Just got a surprise email returning from holiday telling me that 8 out of the 10 iPod touches on loan to a school for the pilot just became victims of […]

  • When I was a lad…

    …hand-me-down meant an Action Man with only one working ‘gripping hand’ and an ‘eagle eye’ that looked the wrong way, or a worn jumper that was a refugee from a […]

  • Digital Disruption Somehow I managed to find myself representing the library at a workshop hosted by Bold Creative at a rather impressive Shoreditch venue today. Rubbing shoulders with representatives from Wikimedia, […]

  • Over the bridge and far away

    Ah, the Dartford crossing in the grip of autumn fog after a day out at the Essex Schools Library services. It was (I hope, as I haven’t seen the feedback […]

  • Do your homework!

    Have just been asked for some good places to get free e-books to put on tablets that a school have purchased. I found the above in my inbox this evening. […]

  • Ebook lending review announced

    Industry specialists will look at the benefits of libraries lending ebooks in a move publishers say will have ‘serious implications’ for the book trade Just like policies on eBook […]

  • Spam spam spam spammety spam spaaaaaam

    Trawling through the spam comments on my blog and this really caught my attention. I have to hand it to the spammers, with the help of the auto-translation they’re producing more […]

  • Bruce Willis vs Apple

    Now I always cheered for Alan Rickman in Die Hard, but no matter what, Bruce ‘the vest’ Willis innevitably ended up chucking him off a building. Lesson to all, American […]

  • 50 Shades of ****

    Ugh. 50 Shades of Grey. And yes, I have read that drivel. Okay, I skimmed the first two books, but that was enough. And now we have the term ‘mummy […]

  • Under the Amazon Eye

    Link Big EReader is Watching You from the Grauniad, 4th July 2012. Your e-reader knows how long it took you to finish The Hunger Games and where you stopped reading […]

  • On Google

    Google isn’t there to provide answers. It’s there to provide more questions to put to someone who knows what they’re talking about.

  • News update

    A few articles that caught my eye. “Ebooks VAT should be slashed to zero in 2012 budget, say publishers The Guardian Publishers Association adds voice to 5,000-strong petition calling for VAT […]

  • eBook provision for schools

    22nd March 2012 Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services, PDC, English St. Interest from schools is rapidly increasing in eBooks, not least because of increased marketing. Microlibrarian Systems will be present […]

  • 60 years to go…

    Upon resetting the iPods prior to lending them to the next school I discovered that one wannabe hacker had made 21 attempts to guess the PIN to disable the restrictions […]

  • Making a pact with the devil

    This one’s a late evening rant. You have been warned. Because it doesn’t matter how many morons who think that librarians are too stuffy to design a library are recruited at huge […]

  • Taking things for granted

    Sometimes you take the simplest things for granted. Like being able to quickly navigate and move items between file systems. To understand the hierarchy of files and folders. To understand […]

  • eBook D.I.Y

    Well, the library has decided to trust me to run a workshop on building a working .epub eBook. The first workshop is Wednesday 28th September and is a 3.5 hour […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Crossing the line

    Crossing the line

    The anti-Coalition cutback subtext runs throughout this poster – unsurprising given that many of my colleagues were made redundant during the planning phase. It speaks volumes that I’ve been asked […]

  • Evolution evolving

    It’s been over two years now since I started this whole project and it’s been fascinating watching the development of the eBook medium. The latest phase of the evolution is the ability to […]

  • All pupils are equal…

    I’m desperate to find a school that will let it’s reluctant readers, it’s pupils who refuse to approach books, have a proper shot at reading in a novel way that […]

  • This is more like it (project update)

    One of our primary schools is the latest school to take part in my pilot and represents an interesting development in the project – in that it is no longer […]

  • Keeping up with the geeks (and a bit of sexism)

    Bashing Microsoft has long been a popular internet sport. It’s on par with blood sports in its viciousness, although perhaps not as nasty as Apple-fanboy baiting has become. Wild-eyed, rabid, […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: eBooks from the high seas

    eBooks from the high seas

    Yes, eBook piracy. Well, if the Metro says it’s true, then it must be.  But the article, although eye-catching, is rather wooly in it’s content. So what constitutes eBook […]

  • A self fullfilling prophecy

    … or “Why academics are unwittingly promoting racist propaganda.” Part of my work involves a yearly stint teaching online information skills, usually to 6th formers or KS4. Part of the […]

  • Minimum required specifications

    So, are eBooks and schools compatible? I’ve been running through scenarios of how school libraries could adopt digital texts and have whittled them down to two common choices: 1. “I’ve […]

  • A few bits and pieces

    I’ve been a bit busy this last few weeks, but I’ll be adding some more updates soon. In the meantime here are some links that may be of interest. From […]

  • CES Tablet PC Roundup From I haven’t been too fussed about tablet PCs recently since I found that the cheaper (read economical for schools) tablets such as the Elonex were garnering such […]

  • Controling interests (project update)

    My project has reached its fourth school, or rather it has returned to its second school. It is telling how much an invoice for a new iPod (even discounted) can […]

  • Consuming (1)

    Mobile and tablet app stores are awash with multimedia distractions costing from 99p upwards. Since novelty ringtones and wallpapers for our mobile phones to the latest single from the charts […]

  • US Kindle sales ‘eclipse paperback sales’

    Link to original article at Richard Adams’  blog Again no mention of how many of the touted eBook sales include free downloads of out-of-copyright classics, but it’s still interesting […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: It’s not all doom and gloom

    It’s not all doom and gloom

    Perhaps it was the lack of sunlight last winter, coupled with the general feeling of hopelessness when confronted with the actions of the Coalition, but it has been pointed out […]

  • When does it become private education?

    From the Guardian State schools left behind in iPad revolution This carries on neatly from my posts The Apple School and Smile, it’s only a two tier education system. […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Who owns your downloads?

    Who owns your downloads?

    Who owns your digital downloads? (Hint: it’s not you) Link to the original article at, by Ed Bott 3/1/2011 An interesting little article that addresses a point that I’m […]

  • Reader’s block

    In a fit of facetiousness in a recent presentation on my eBook project I decided to come clean about the pros and cons of ebooks. Yes they may make some […]

  • Codec moments

    This isn’t really eBook related but there are parallels. Many of our schools appear to have bought flipcams for use in school projects. As an ex pat from the world […]

  • the Apple School

    A senior member of school staff recently commented that in the future “we will have to bite the bullet” and assume that all pupils will be able to supply their […]

  • Tablet PCs. The next big thing for schools?

      Elonex has recently caught my eye, mainly because the 7″ touchscreen Android tablet is on sale in Toys R Us amongst other suppliers for around £89. Although I haven’t […]

  • Survival of the fittest

    It’s become apparent to me that I need to keep a close eye on individual eReader manufacturers these days. Earlier this year Interread, the manufacturer of the Cool-er eReader went […]

  • Financial Times – “E-books fail the classroom test”

    “E-books fail the classroom test” Article written by Paul Taylor, published 5/9/10, accessed 8/9/10 There are parallels and conflicts with our own pilot project. The article covers the […]

  • You shall not pass (sorry)

    Well, the iPods came back again today along with some feedback from the pupils. The one criticism of the project caught my eye as especially problematic to solve – the […]

  • Smile, it’s only a two tier education system

    If I was 7 years old today my parents would no doubt have bought me my own laptop, just as around 25 years ago we got our first home computer, […]

  • One down?

    It was innevitable, and I’m surprised they all made it this far, but plucky iPod number 5 has gone missing in action. Presumably another pupil will be thinking that Christmas […]

  • Using technology, parrot fashion

    Parrot fashion was how I (somehow) scraped a C in my French GCSE. I was never literate in the language, but the ability to string together a series of sounds […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: The voice of a generation? “I’d rather give up my kidney than my phone”

    The voice of a generation? “I’d rather give up my kidney than my phone”

    Link to Guardian blog As a rule I frown on Daily Mail readers but I understand their twinges of outrage whenever I too get drawn into that warm zone of […]

  • eBooks project summary

    "Do you work for Apple?" was the rather intuitive question that I was asked by my first group of guinea pigs. If I'd been bag searched at Mile End tube it would look as though I'd just mugged Steve Jobs.