Recent Events

Archive | CIL2011

Gale adds 3 to Portico

Too bad Gale didn’t announce this on the first day of CIL rather than the last. Better late than never, however.

Cengage Gale  and Portico, (part of the not-for-profit organization ITHAKA) announced that Gale will be preserving three additional digital historical collections with Portico: Dictionary of Literary Biography, Something About the Author Online and Literature Criticism Online.  Gale had previously added ten other Gale Digital Collections to Portico—including 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, The Making of Modern Law: Primary Resources and Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Gale’s contributions representsover 80 million files (75 million pages of content), which doubled the size of the Portico archive in just one year.

Product News From Inmagic

Phil Green

I stopped by the Inmagic booth to chat with CTO Phil Green, who was fairly bubbling about the latest product developments. Earlier that day, he had presented a case study with one of their customers, the Human Resources Professionals Association – From OPAC to SOPAC (Part II): Taking the Social Library from Theory to Successful Reality. Unfortunately I didn’t get to hear it, but Green did show me around the HRPA site, which is using the new “app,” AssociatioNet, a Presto application designed specifically for the association industry.

AssociatioNet creates virtual environments that bring together content, people, and tools for information access and discovery. The new Resource Centre interface allows members to search HRPA resources, as well as tap into outside search engines, through one easy-to-navigate portal. It offers access to content collections, such as articles, white papers, policies, forms, as well as news updates and links to relevant external content. The AssociatioNet app also includes forums, blogs, content tagging and rating, integration with CMS, and end-user authentication.

Green says the company is moving to an applications focus. (It has already offered an open API with Presto.) Also brand new is another application called IdeaNet, which provides an innovative community for posting and voting on ideas. Expect to see more app announcements from them.

In addition, the company will be shipping the next version of Presto sometime in April, version 3.7. It will add “network crawling” capability (such as indexing a collection of PDFs on a company network). Also new in this version will be metadata extraction and different processing pipelines for different kinds of content. “We’re making it very extensible,” says Green. Finally, Inmagic has added EBSCOhost as one of Presto’s federated search results—furthering the integration of internal and external content. These new developments should be welcome news for Presto’s growing customer base and potential new clients among knowledge-driven organizations.

Mobile in the Enterprise

At NASA Goddard, librarians are talking the library to the users who are spread out across a rather large campus. Tonia Reynolds-Pope explained the planning process. They first identified which buildings they should target for library services. They then met with the building managers to get them on board. Finally, they selected an appropriate area within the building.

Mobile librarians Charles Early and Michael Chesnes described the type of work they do when they’re outside the library walls — and it’s not so different from what they do insider the library walls. They answer quick reference questions, do in-depth research, provide instructional services, delivery books, facilitate interlibrary loans, and issue library cards.  Chesnes said he sometimes travels to the other buildings on his bike.

At Sandia Laboratories, they’ve been considering the best technologies for reading ebooks. Danielle Pollack described the intensive process they went through in evaluating the various platforms, but noted that, since new platforms appear quickly, it’s difficult to go through any lengthy evaluation process. “If there’s been anything new since 8:30 this morning,” she quipped, “please let me know!” I was gratified that she cited an article in ONLINE (Jan/Feb 2010, by Nancy Allmang and Stacey Bruss)

Mobile Librarians at NASA

about choosing ereaders for NIST.

Ebook Trends and Practices

It was an ebook bonanza—a whole track dedicated to the practices, models, and challenges of ebooks in libraries. I couldn’t get to all the presentations but I’ll mention some of the highlights that I noted. The morning started with a panel of four ebook publishers and providers, moderated by Dick Kaser, ITI’s vp of content. Each company representative had a few minutes to provide an overview of their business model before Dick opened it up for questions. In retrospect, it would have been even more helpful to leave more time for questions—from the moderator and the audience. There are so many interesting issues to explore—including DRM, format standards, limits on downloading and printing, lending restrictions imposed by publishers, and more. (Next time let’s get the publishers too.) Here’s a quick rundown of the points made by each panelist.

Ken Breen of EBSCO discussed the ongoing integration of NetLibrary following its acquisition last year from OCLC. In July the NetLibrary brand will be retired. Actually, just after the session, the official press release came out from EBSCO announcing that a preview site was now available for the new eBooks on EBSCOhost. EBSCOhost libraries will be able to access the preview site through the Try New Features link on EBSCOhost. NetLibrary users will see a banner with the link on the NetLibrary interface. A link to a survey will be included on the preview. EBSCO will offer three user models: one book one user, 3 users, and unlimited use. The company will also introduce a patron-driven lease model option. And, it will replace the NetLibrary Title Select with the new EBSCOhost Collection Manager (ECM).

Leslie Lees of ebrary—now owned by ProQuest—says the company primarily serves the academic market but also has products for corporate, government, and public libraries. It offers unlimited subscription access, perpetual access (purchase and own), and patron driven acquisition (PDA). Short term loans (STL) will be offered starting this spring. ebrary is focusing on adding STM content to its 275,000 titles from some 500 publishers. Its DASH functionality to upload content and make it searchable is now available free to Academic Complete customers and later this year it will be available for individuals.

Bob Nardini of Coutts Information Services, the academic division of Ingram, says its publisher partners put digital files into CoreSource, a digital warehouse that can provide output for retail ebook downloads, print on demand, and MyiLibrary (with single and multiuser models, perpetual ownership, and PDA).  The company has just signed an agreement with OCLC to borrow ebooks. It is also working on allowing downloads to various ereader devices.

Mike Shontz of OverDrive says the company’s role is as library advocate and, according to him, “the state of the union is very good.” He sees overwhelming demand in the public library market—the average library usage is growing 20-30% each month. The company works with thousands of publishers and has more than 500,000 ebooks. He predicts we will see “more and more DRM-free ebooks.”

In the afternoon, Stephen Abram of Gale Cengage Learning provided some fascinating insights into ebook models and his ideas about the correct container for the type of text. The fiction model is wrong for textbooks, he says. Like the new MindTap introduced by Cengage, it needs to accommodate different learning styles, and new ways of interacting with content—a personal learning experience (PLE). (See the recent NewsBreak about MindTap.)

Some of his other comments:

Books will become fundamentally collaborative entities

We’re in a horrible mess of ebook standards

We’re moving to an “article-level” universe (smaller chunks of content)