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Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links

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More potentially good news for the LOU, via Slashdot:
Mathematicians Aim To Take Publishers Out of Publishing
Posted by Soulskill on Friday January 18, @08:46AM
from the you've-been-subtracted dept.

ananyo writes "Mathematicians plan to launch a series of free open-access journals that will host their peer-reviewed articles on the preprint server arXiv. The project was publicly revealed in a blog post by Tim Gowers, a Fields Medal winner and mathematician at the University of Cambridge, UK. The initiative, called the Episciences Project, hopes to show that researchers can organize the peer review and publication of their work at minimal cost, without involving commercial publishers. 'It’s a global vision of how the research community should work: we want to offer an alternative to traditional mathematics journals,' says Jean-Pierre Demailly, a mathematician at the University of Grenoble, France, who is a leader in the effort. Backed by funding from the French government, the initiative may launch as early as April, he says."

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Books and a decent education are (or would normally be) inseparable. The knowledge contained in books and developed by reading books is free. However, books themselves are not always free, and often there may be some difficulty in finding the lowest cost/free sources for the sorts of books containing knowledge that could assist the reader in gaining a decent liberal education - a reading of the humanities.
There are some very informative pointers in this regard per (Google Reader feed: Edudemic)
5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks
(Copied in the spoiler below, including embedded hyperlinks.)
Spoiler5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks
Added by Katie Lepi on 2013-01-26
Hunting down classic literature and important manuscripts may mean more than a quick Google search for many of us. You may turn to paid sources like Amazon or even (the humanity!) turn to printed books in your library. The horror! We kid. We love the library and feature effective ways to use libraries all the time.

So what happens when Google, Amazon, and your local library come up short in your quest for free educational eBooks? Never fear, there are a few critical resources you should know about. From Harvard to Bartleby to the International Children’s Digital Library … there’s plenty of ways to find a quality epub or downloadable book for your classroom or pleasure reading. Here’s some of our favorites:

The Harvard Classics

* Some of the most important works of literature are a part of the dozens of volumes available in The Harvard Classics. They were curated by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and were published in 1909. They’re available in open format here and here. An interesting note about The Harvard Classics: President Eliot had originally referred to these works as the “3-foot-shelf” and said that one could “obtain the elements of a liberal education” by spending 15 minutes a day reading from the shelf. Let’s see if he’s right!
Project Gutenberg

* Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free e-books (free epub books, free kindle books, read online, or download them). They offer books that have been actually published, and the volunteers at Project Gutenberg have digitized and proofread them. You can read them all for free, but if it is something you use regularly, they do ask that you consider donating a bit to their cause.

* The go-to source for the classics, features Gray’s Anatomy, the Harvard Classics (see above), the King James Bible, and just about every major publication you could ever require. The best part of the site is the ease with which you can surface relevant content and sort / filter. You get quality search results with easy download links without all the muckity muck (that’s a technical term) of a Google or Amazon search.
OER Commons

* Open Educational Resources (aka OER Commons) boasts more than 40,000, well, resources for teachers. When you first hit the website, you immediately feel like you’re about to do a Google search. But once you get your results, you can see that you can then ‘remix and share’ multiple resources to form some sort of Voltron-eque super-resource. Or, to put it another way, you can create the resource that you want thanks to the benefit of open access to all the resources.
ICDL – International Children’s Digital Library

* Just like a brick-and-mortar library, the ICDL feels just like what you’re accustomed to. It lets you become a member, take out books, and do even more. For example, you can read a book (on any device) and translate most of the text, enlarge the text, and navigate with ease. But remember these are children’s books so when you’re given the ability to enlarge the text … that’s something pretty rare. Definitely worth checking out ICDL if you’re a K-12 educator, student, or parent!

Seriously helpful post at Gizmo's Tech Support Alert:
Millions of Free eBooks and Audio Books Online

Nice find Iain. I glanced at it, and it looks like they put some work into that to find some of the small collections. A quick tip, Librivox is quickly/quietly becoming one of the big players in the amateur audio book world, and their copies are beginning to float around in altered form by various packagers. Of course that's the point, "All Librivox recordings are in the public domain", but it's just something to keep in mind when you think you see "43 places to find SciFi" but X percent of them are the same Librivox editions, with or without the disclaimer.

Librivox has a bit of an interesting policy philosophy in which they really do not want any feedback about certain kinds of quality topics. (They'll fix others so it takes a little getting used to their culture.) If any of y'all are "quality oriented" be ready for a few jarring shifts in execution across their catalog.

Seriously helpful post at Gizmo's Tech Support Alert:
Millions of Free eBooks and Audio Books Online
-IainB (February 17, 2013, 03:27 AM)
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You'll also want to pay a visit OpenCulture which as been maintaining curated lists of free courses, language lessons, books, audio and movies for some time now.

Their daily e-mail newsletter is actually wort subscribing to. Always three or four tings to look at - and zero adverting plus no spam.

Highly recommended! :Thmbsup:


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