I’m a big fan of GVRL because I can cross search a variety of reference titles. We’ve had hundreds of titles at my institution for over 5 years. I’m really excited that they have upgraded their interface based on extensive usability studies with students. The new interface is available now, but you’ll have to change the settings in your admin account first. Otherwise, next July everyone will switch over. But why wait? Here is more from the press release:
Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, today announced a totally redesigned user interface for Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), its online ebook platform. After extensive user analysis and market feedback, the interface has been overhauled with improved navigation and organization, and a vibrant and engaging display to draw in students, researchers, professionals and general readers.
“Our newly designed Gale Virtual Reference Library enables reference content to literally jump off the shelves – it’s easy-to-use, and even easier for researchers to find exactly what they are looking for,” said Cynthia Sanner, general reference publisher, Gale. “New features and functionalities will encourage users to stay longer, search deeper, and find what they need faster.”
Based on market feedback, Gale redesigned the homepage of GVRL to display eye-catching book cover images that replicate a familiar in-library browsing experience. The interface is available in 34 languages ensuring the majority of library patrons will be able to navigate reference content in the language which they are most comfortable. ReadSpeaker technology (text-to-speech functionality) is embedded in the resource and is available in 19 languages. In addition, GVRL features on-demand machine-aided content translation into 14 languages.
The new GVRL interface offers a multi-page viewer that allows users to choose either a one or two-page view, providing for an interactive, book-like experience. The new page flipper feature allows readers to page through a section or an entire book, replicating a traditional library research experience, but one that can be done from anywhere, at any time and with an unlimited number of users.
GVRL titles can de downloaded as article-level pdf’s which can then be uploaded to most readers, making it easy for patrons to download the articles they need. Users can also download books to their MP3 player.
GVRL hosts more than 7,000 full-text titles from Gale and more than 80 other publishers. Recently named a 2012 “Best Database” by Library Journal for its ambitious scope and content, GVRL contains full-text interdisciplinary content on virtually any subject area to tackle assignments, papers, projects and presentations. GVRL offers titles for all audiences – children can enjoy full-color titles, students can learn about current topics with Gale’s Greenhaven Press titles and educators and administrators can access the best in professional development titles from ISTE and ASCD. Scholars will be able to access publications from university and academic presses and professionals can choose from a growing collection of business references. Libraries can also cross-search their GVRL eReference collection via Gale PowerSearch as well as other Gale holdings including InfoTrac and select InContext resources to build a customized resource.
Libraries can also customize their collection by subject, assignment, topic or class and increase use with free search widgets on their library or course web site. The Gale Admin features allows libraries to easily generate usage reports for their collection. For tips and information on how to boost usage, please visit the Re:sources Blog at http://blog.gale.com/resources/.