Category Archives: eBooks

What’s Your Dewey? 770s Photography – A Thousand Words or Less!

Is ‘a picture worth a thousand words’? Recent research into how we read and interpret information would suggest not. In his article As it turns out, a Picture is Not Worth a Thousand Words, Paolo Gaudiano states:

‘…just as words cannot really turn into pictures, pictures cannot replace words in terms of their ability to convey clear, (mostly) unambiguous information.’
[Full article: ]

Despite this, images as text  are on the increase and visual literacy is now as important to our educational development as digital literacy. This arguably rests with the technical advances in how we produce and reproduce images and the ease with which we are able communicate them widely.

51edvj4bf8l-_sx340_bo1204203200_Photography Visionaries by Mary Warner Marien is a chronological listing of the lives and images of 75 photographers spanning photography’s history from the 1800s to the digital age. Marien provides a fascinating insight into the art and inventiveness of some well known and not so well known photographers who have visually recorded and fashioned our collective view and memories for over 100 years. The imagery represented is captivating and indicative of the medium’s lasting impact. The list of inclusions is by no means exhaustive (and does appear to have a U.S. bias), however, there is great representative, historical detail to be found in the the photographs included.

We rely heavily on our visual interpretation of the world and visual literacy is as much about our world view as it is about what the world presents us.


In Photographs from the edge : a master photographer’s insights on capturing an extraordinary world by  Art Wolfe and Rob Sheppard, the enormity of the world’s diversity and complexity is on magnificent display. Wolfe’s expeditionary photography takes us to all corners of the globe capturing some never-to-be repeated moments in nature and culture. Many of these photographs will always remain a unique part of our visual history, and Wolfe shares the techniques, experiences and decisions that helped him capture them.

51k5mnnywtlWhile Wolfe’s work brings us a sense wonder at the largess of the world,  Macrophotography : capture magnified photographs of nature’s smallest subjects by Dennis Quinn draws us in to look more closely at the things we might miss. This unique book  teaches readers how to choose and use the tools needed to capture magnificent images of the smallest of the natural world. You’ll learn how to select and use your equipment and where to find your subjects. In each section of the book Quin shares the creative secrets behind some of his images as well as providing information on the life cycles of his subjects. This book is a fascinating mix of art and science.

Food photography : from snapshots to great shots by Nicole S. Young takes readers through the principles behind setting up, taking and editing great food photographs. The book contains some  large, vibrant photos, accompanied by expert shooting tips.  To look inside:

With the huge uptake of social media and smartphones, photographic images flood the internet and everyone has become an expert photographer, be it food, nature, fashion or portraiture.

Selfie : the changing face of self-portraits by Susie Brooks looks at the history of self-portraiture from the 40,000 year old hand stencils found in Indonesian caves, to famous painters like van Gogh & Picasso to modern photographic selfies. An interesting blend of stories, techniques and fashion insights into an activity that seems very recently trendy.

With Christmas just around the corner, getting a new camera or smartphone to record the festive celebrations may be on the agenda.

the-digital-photography-handbookNow in its 5th Revised Edition, The Digital Photography Handbook by Doug Harman is still considered one of the best guides to digital photography. The book includes expert advice on the art of digital photography as well as guidance to making the most of your current equipment and software or what to look for when replacing it. A comprehensive book well worth reading for anyone with an interest. Follow this link for a sneak peek:

The 770s also includes Computer Art, Cinematography and Videography, which is handy because the technology seems to have converged with cameras making movies, and editing software turning film into stills. Many words are written on the topic, certainly more than a thousand, so I think I’ll just close with one single picture!
Nola Cavallaro


Tech Savvy: A-Z Apps Series – B is For Books

B is for books and with the arrival of e-books and e-readers, there have been many ways to get your hands on the newest release or your childhood favourite.  From e-reader apps and social interaction for book lovers, to reading the latest title or cataloguing your own home collection, there are many apps to choose from.  There are also children’s books that have been turned into interactive apps for shared reading.  These e-books for younger readers contain surprises during the book reading and many have the option of listening to the narrated version. They are a lot of fun regardless of your age!  
For many, the act of turning the page and the tactile feel of paper is just something you can’t read without, so e-books are just not for you.  But if you don’t mind jumping into e-books, there’s a huge world of online books for you to explore! Here’s our list of e-reads, interactive books and social apps built just for that…

goodreadsThe Goodreads website and app is a great place to start if you’re looking for a new read.  It’s a community of book lovers that share their passion for reading.  You can find recommendations from Goodreads, join a discussion group or add your friends to see what they’re currently reading and what’s on their to-read list. There are also plenty of reviews for all genres of books to be had.  It’s available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play for FREE!
icon175x175iBooks comes as included software with Apple products for reading e-books and PDFs.  The iBook Store is the online side of the app, available to peruse, to search for free and paid titles which include the latest bestseller to Shakespeare’s works. Good settings include the functionality to change the size of the text, colour of the page and ability to create bookmarks to save your spot for later.

itchy-bear-appwrong-book-appThe Wheelbarrow company have produced a few interactive books for children and among them is The Wrong Book and the Itchy Bear Series. These titles, written by Nick Bland, are narrated by Frank Woodley and Angus Sampson respectively.  Both of these are available from the iTunes App Store for $9.99 each, but will provide lots of fun and enjoyment.  

bus-ipad2xThe Wheels on the Bus app by Duck Duck Moose is available for FREE on Google Play/Amazon  for Android and the iTunes App Store.  It has many sounds, songs and interactive surprises on every page for young kids to enjoy.  This company have also released numerous other interactive e-books for these platforms which you can find at the link;

So maybe novels are not your thing and you prefer a good non-fiction read. Or you’ve got a special interest that you’d like to pursue.  There are just as many reference or non-fiction books available to download as there are fiction books.  These could be How-to titles like cooking, mechanics and craft;  or perhaps you prefer learning more about the world around you like religion, biographies and science. Universities now offer their textbooks as an e-book option, replacing physical and heavy text books.

ebooks-australiaE-books Australia is a great place to start.  They have items to download on almost every subject and whilst this is not an app, it does have a mobile site which is great to download books on the go and start reading straight from your e-reader app.  Prices on this site will vary greatly so make sure you check before falling in love with the title.
Follow this link to check it out:

 Fancy yourself an author?  Would you like the opportunity to see your work published?  With the e-book medium, this is not just possible but also simple to do.  There are many apps out there that can assist with the creation and publication of e-books. 

Book Creator
is a FREE app available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play, that has everything you need to create your ‘fixed layout’ books.  These types of books contain varied visual accompaniment that enhances the text;  such as Children’s picture books, art books, photographic books, manuals etc.  In addition to the app, their website is a great place to find assistance with webinars, articles, videos and community space to discuss your ideas. The app will publish your book in ePub, which is the usual format but can also publish in video so you can export to Vimeo or YouTube.

Maybe writer’s block is in your way?  Not to worry there is an app called Lists for Writers for $4.49 from the company Thinkamingo. Need an injection to get your creative juices flowing?  This app will supply you with everything from colours to geographical names to physical characteristics of people and place.  It’s available from almost everywhere (iTunes App Store / Google Play / Nook / Amazon for Android / Windows Phone Store / Blackberry) so no-one will miss out.  Link:

 There’s now a whole new world of books available for you to download and read, create and publish and discuss with like-minded people.  Although don’t worry if you’re still a big fan of the physical paper and cardboard variety, they aren’t going anywhere soon. You might own a vacuum cleaner, but you still use the broom… The power blackout we had recently meant the good old book and candlelight was your best bet for riding out the storm without worrying about that blinking battery symbol!

Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy  
#technology #app #book #ebook

Overdrive’s Next Big Library Read

Looking for a new book? Looking to give eBooks a try?
Our digital content provider; Overdrive is giving unrestricted access for all library members to the title ‘This is Where it Ends’ from 13-27 October for their ‘Big Library Read’ program.
That means no need to place a reservation and no waiting for your turn!
Check out the link to download your copy:

Free eBooks available 24/7

The Library is closed today for the public holiday, but our digital collection is always available:

Tech Savvy: Apps A-Z

‘App’, short for application, is a program for use on a device like a phone, desktop computer or tablet computer. For this series we are looking at mobile apps, so that’s tablets and smartphones.  Some familiar names you may have heard with apps to their name are;  AusPost (Australia Post), Centrelink (Federal Government service), EzyReg (SA Government vehicle registration), Optus or Telstra (telecommunications), Overdrive (Library e-books), Alert SA (SA Government emergency information) and many, many others. Many social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have also produced apps for ease of use on mobile devices.
So where do these apps come from? Most mobile devices like smartphones and tablets will use one of three operating systems; Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile. These have their own store from which to purchase and download apps that are compatible with your device’s operating system: Apple with the App Store, Google with Google Play and Microsoft with the Windows Phone Store. You will need an account with the store to use this functionality and the hundreds of thousands of apps available.

So, an A-Z of Apps would start at the beginning with the letter A, and as we are all big fans of animals here in Gawler, A is for Animals seemed like a good beginning.  There are so many animal apps – games, reference, training, pest control, safety etc…

Recently Adelaide Zoo announced that they were going to collaborate with the Specialist Apps Company to make the zoo a little more digital friendly.  Using something called iBeacons visiting the Zoo will become more interactive.  iBeacons are small transmitters which use Bluetooth and WiFi to find nearby devices using a specific app to provide information.  Although it’s not yet available, this is following the lead of other cultural organisations like museums and libraries, that are trying to adapt their activities with new technologies.
So what are other organisations doing with technology to share their animal wisdom?
The National Geographic Ultimate Dinopedia app is $4.99 and is a complete reference for all those interested in the dinosaurs.  Aimed at children, it’s fun, colourful and informative.  Only available on the Apple App Store though.
Taronga Zoo in Sydney has a few FREE apps to let visitors get more from their visits.  The Taronga Zoo – Monkey Mayhem is an interactive scavenger hunt aimed at children and families collecting photos and facts during their visit. The Rainforest Heroes is an ipad app made in collaboration with NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre for children to get an interactive visit to the zoo.  Finally they have an Audio Tour which has 33 tracks with information on iconic Australian species such as Koalas and Kangaroos and amazing exotic and endangered species including the Asian Elephant and Western Lowland Gorilla.

is an app developed by the Australian Government with 17 other organisations, to give detailed information about Australia’s plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms all for FREE.  Species are listed with names, images and where they’re found in specific locations. There is also the possibility to submit occurrence records to this database. Available on Google Play and Apple App Store.


Australia has so many different species of birds and BirdLife Australia have created the Aussie Backyard Bird Count. Australian bird conservation efforts have been carried out by the largest, independent, not-for-profit bird conservation organisation BirdLife Australia, since 1901.  With the use of this app during 17-23 October, you can not only assist the organisation continue is important work with Australia’s native birds, you may also get to better know your local feathered neighbours!

The Field Guide to South Australian Fauna available for FREE on Google Play and Apple App Store, has been created by the South Australian Museum with collaboration from other museums around Australia. Giving users the ability to explore our unique and diverse wildlife in your backyard or while you’re out and about. Animal descriptions, images and sounds of hundreds of species to discover in the bush, the local park or your own backyard.

There are countless other animal apps, some even sound like animals, far too many to mention here! Hopefully in our list you’ve found something that has piqued your interest or maybe you have an app about animals that you’d like to share.  Let us know what you think.  Keep watching our Tech Savvy blogposts to see what other tech-tips we have to share.

Post Contributor: Melinda Kennedy