Book as iPad app: Multimedia, multi-touch e-books and their future in libraries

For Immediate Release
Thu, 02/27/2014


Dan Freeman

eLearning Manager

ALA Publishing

ALA Publishing

CHICAGOALA Editions announces a new iteration of its popular eCourse Book as iPad App: Multimedia, Multi-Touch E-Books and their Future in Libraries. Nicole Hennig will serve as the instructor for this four-week facilitated eCourse starting on April 7, 2014.

Your patrons trust your recommendations on what to read next, and as the use of iPads proliferates, they will look to you for recommendations on exemplary books as apps. The best of this new breed of apps use the multimedia, multi-touch capabilities of the iPad to extend the concept of the book, creating a new immersive experience for readers. In this eCourse, Nicole Hennig, head of the user experience (UX) group for the MIT Libraries, will:

  • provide guidance for integrating iPads into your library’s programs and services by facilitating demos of important titles from the most innovative publishers;
  • offer benchmarks for evaluating book apps and writing reviews of them;
  • lead you in conversation about book apps as you share your reviews with the class.

Each week’s lesson includes a video introduction, readings and ongoing message board discussions.  To participate, you will need access to an iPad. It’s recommended that students plan to budget $30–$50 on apps, though additional purchases are not required to take the eCourse. To get the most out of this eCourse you should already be comfortable with using an iPad and purchasing apps.

eCourse outline

1. Introduction to book apps

  • What is a book app: definitions and fuzzy boundaries
  • What are the features that enhance the reading experience?
  • Genres overview
  • Publishers to watch

2. Survey of adult nonfiction and fiction titles, including reference books

  • Navigation, browsing, image manipulation, geo and location awareness, covers
  • Social sharing and annotation
  • Enhanced possibilities for learning
  • What makes for an excellent user experience?

3. Children's books and graphic novels, for all ages

  • Image manipulation, multi-touch, zooming, interactivity, audio, sound design
  • Enhanced possibilities for learning
  • Breaking the boundaries between books and interactive tools
  • What makes for an excellent user experience?

4. Innovation and the future of the book

  • Merging and shifting boundaries
  • Publisher fears and digital rights management  (DRM)
  • Bundling of formats (epub, PDF, mobi)
  • Native mobile apps vs. web apps. Book apps vs. Kindle/NOOK/iBooks, etc.
  • Publishing tools: iBooks Author and more
  • Ideas and idea-generation activities for new services around iPads
  • Resources for keeping up to date: books, articles, blogs, publishers, book apps, and more

About the Instructor

Nicole Hennig worked for the MIT Libraries for 14 years as head of user experience (2010 – 2012) and Web manager & usability specialist (1999 – 2010). Her expertise includes user experience studies, mobile web, mobile apps and the user experience of e-reading. She presents frequently on these topics at national and regional conferences. Winner of several awards, including the MIT Libraries Infinite Mile Award for Innovation and Creativity, the MIT Excellence Award for Innovation Solutions, and the ASIS&T Chapter Member of the Year, she is the co-creator of the popular website Apps for Academics. She also teaches the online course Apps4Librarians and is co-founder of FeedWelder, an easy-to-use web tool for curating and displaying RSS feed content on websites.

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on April 7, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

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