Monday's Library Link Of The Day introduced me to Steve Johnson's blog Hypertext from the Chicago Tribune. The most recent entry at that link is from the summer of 2009.
Today's link was about e-Books on Blackberry. He recently read the electronic version of Pride and Prejudice and is on his way through the rest of Jane Austen's works. The literacy age is no longer limited to words on the page. Since the writer often has his Blackberry with him, he can catch up on the book whenever he has what used to be considered waiting time, "And, all the while, I looked like I was doing work, or at least e-mail."
One of the linguistics classes I took was an introduction to literacy, specifically aimed at teaching literacy in cultures that are not yeat as literate as ours. On the first day, the professor asked what was the last book we had read. I could not recall, but I mentioned that I had listened to audiobooks on my trip from Virginia to North Dakota. She mentioned that alternative forms of literacy still count. I have listened to most of the Anne of Green Gables series on audiocassette while driving across the country, especially in those mountainous areas of northern West Virginia where radio reception is unreliable. Unfortunately, the proliferation of CD players in cars has made it more difficult to find audiobooks on cassette. Also, I am not sure that Phoebe Moyer pronounced Avonlea correctly. Is it three syllables or four?
Another recent entry on Johnson's blog compared online search engines. Comparing reference sources is a useful and necessary part of a librarian's job. I tested some of these with the phrase "search engine" entered as two separate words. Google.co.uk came up #16 on Google. Google.com was #2 on search.Yahoo.com and Live.com; Google.co.uk came in #186 on AllTheWeb. At Ask.com, Google.com was #48, but there was a "Narrow your search" list at the left where Google came in first and Google UK ninth. Ask.com was its own 44th result.