Photo Credit: Main Reading Room, Library of Congress, by angela n.

Photo Credit: Main Reading Room, Library of Congress, by angela n.

In honor of National Library week (April 13-19), CNN’s Jareen Imam, writes about why libraries are still popular even in this day of the Internet. “But despite enduring budget cutbacks and being forced to reinvent their services in the face of the ubiquitous Internet, public libraries remain staple institutions in various communities. There’s been an increase in the use of public libraries in the U.S. over the past decade. Services such as public computers doubled in usage in the past 10 years, and libraries saw a circulation increase of 2.46 billion materials in 2010, the highest ever reported, according to a report by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.” Libraries are popular because they “reflect who we are,” “provide resources and opportunities to socialize,” “provide a community sharing, learning, conversation space,” are “where people can explore their passions,” and are a “place of shelter,” and “an element of comfort.” Check out the wonderful photos of favorite libraries shared by iReporters. 

From Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies List, here are the ten most innovative companies in productivity. All of these forward-thinking companies provide services that make life easier for the business professional. Dropbox, Box, and Evernote are especially helpful for research initiatives, via innovative document/content management and sharing.

1. Dropbox – “For stepping up its omnipresence in users’ lives through smart partnerships and acquisitions.”

2. Google – “For devising the artificially intelligent personal assistant.”

3. Box – “For tailoring an industry-specific cloud service to put businesses back in control of their documents.”

4. IFTTT – “For letting users automate the madness of all of their apps.”

5. SwiftKey – “For drawing the envy of iPhone users with its predictive Android keyboard app.”

6. Fancy Hands – “For assembling the future of on-demand labor.”

7. Any.do – “For elbowing through a crowd of to-do-list apps.”

8. Evernote – “For quietly jogging the memories of enterprise users and extending its brand into the analog world.”

9. Pocket – “For changing the way we ‘read it later.”‘

10. Moleskin – “For delighting creatives with digital collaborations.”

 

Photo Credit: Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Marty Cassatt, by Mike Licht

Photo Credit: Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Mary Cassatt, by Mike Licht

Whitney Grace at Beyond Search has written about a great site called Open Culture with the tagline,”The best free & educational media on the web.” This site has over 570 free eBooks you can legally download. Whitney highlights that all the works that make up the Harvard Classics are available. When you are on the home page, you are greeted with a slew of options for free courses (including business), free movies, free language lessons, free ebooks and texts, and free great lectures.

Ben Zigterman, writing for BGR, discusses a new search engine named Disconnect that “routes your searches through a proxy before the major search engines receive your request….This way, it looks to Google or Bing like the search request is coming from Disconnect and they never know any information about you.” It first launched last fall as a desktop browser plugin and now is launching as an Android app and a webpage.

Related post – DuckDuckGo and Search Engine Privacy

Thanks to Greg Behm of Four Steps Research for the heads up.

Quartz’s Max Nisen writes about a new online offering by Harvard Business School that breaks away from traditional education and MOOCs. Nisen writes:

“Rather than offering free courses to the masses or creating a full online degree, it’s rolling out a $1,500, two-month program targeted at college students and recent graduates. Though its new platform is inspired by social networks and gaming platforms, the core of the curriculum will be the 100-year-old, case study teaching method, which HBS is known for.”

The program is called CORe (Credential of Readiness) and has three courses: Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting. It is intended to provide a basic set of tools for those with little or no business experience.

“The moment where you doubt that you can fly, you cease for ever being able to do it.” – Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie

The simplicity of the writing in childrens’ books is what makes the words so powerful. This infographic, provided by Quotery.com, is filled with simple inspirational quotes for anyone, including business professionals.

infographic-childrens-book-quotes.jpg.pagespeed.ic.FM1HApCh03

Photo Credit: Commuter Train by John Walker

Photo Credit: Commuter Train by John Walker

Mashable’s Seth Fiegerman writes about a new IPhone app called Rooster, from digital publishing startup Plympton. Rooster “curates suggestions for books to read and then pushes the book out to users in timed installments. In essence, it functions like a book club for busy people.” The service is membership based, where users have access but do not own the books they read. Books are divided into 15 minute installments (based on average commute time). “Users can then schedule installments to be sent out at particular times and days, though there is always the option to go ahead to the next installment if you find yourself with another 15 minutes to spare.” The description on Plympton’s website states, “This spring, we’ll be launching a mobile reading app called Rooster to help make reading in short installments a seamless part of daily life, as habitual as checking email or playing casual games.”

Related post – Oyster: A New Digital Subscription Platform for Books

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