Category Archives: Interfaces/Platforms

eBook Standards – summary of NISO/BISG program

Last Friday at ALA I was part of a NISO/BISG panel on the changing standards landscape.  There were many speakers, each discussing various aspects of eBook standards like business models, ISBNs, epub, DRM, and the standards and features needed by librarians (which was my part).  I’ve summarized my presentation here and would welcome additional suggestions and ideas from librarians.  Sue Continue reading

Grzimek’s transformed to interactive, media-rich online product


A press release from Gale concerning Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia is below.  I suspect this transformation from multi-volume print sources to interactive subscription based “databases” will be the norm from here on.  I really hope they have animal sounds, you never know when you might need to have lions roaring in your office.

Farmington Hills, Mich., July 10, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the transformation of Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia into an interactive, media-rich online interface. This new digital version will be available this fall. Continue reading

Gale’s PowerSearch 2.0 launched with several new features


Farmington Hills, Mich., June 24, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the launch of PowerSearch 2.0, an enhanced version of the original PowerSearch platform which provides the library community comprehensive access to authoritative reference, periodical and primary source information, providing greater “power to the user.”

PowerSearch 2.0 simplifies browsing through Gale’s more than 20,000 publications, providing the ability to search across more than 150 million documents. The new interface provides users a Web-like experience and includes added features that will appeal to and empower library patrons, students and other researchers. Continue reading

eBook Platform Evaluation Criteria

While at ACRL, I met a Librarian at Wellesley College by the name of Deborah Lenares.  She was in the midst of evaluating ebook aggregator platforms and shared with me her comparative spreadsheet.  It’s quite thorough and I thought it could be a great community project to work on it together.  So, Deborah has posted this spreadsheet to google docs and it is open and available for editing by anyone.

Document is available here:  https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtHuZMbGK8S1dGpsZHdhYmZsLUhqbW50STZlcTZPT3c&hl=en_US#gid=0

The University of California – Irvine also did a comparison spreadsheet.  It is available for download here:  http://www.libraries.wright.edu/noshelfrequired/2010/01/06/checklist-for-evaluating-patron-driven-business-models/

Finally, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the United Kingdom maintains an academic database assessment tool for e-books.  Users select vendors and the comparison data is displayed based on user choice.  It is available here:  http://www.jisc-adat.com/adat/adat_ebooks.pl

Widgets Increase Use of eReference Collections

From the Gale/Cengage RE:sources blog, May 2009

Widgets pack a wallop

Results from K-12 school, academic and public libraries confirm that usage soars when you add the ability to search all or part of your Gale Virtual Reference Library collection with a widget. Comparing the number of user sessions before and after the addition of a widget on the pages of a high school in Minnesota, a college in Texas and a public library in Ohio, Mark Springer, a data analyst from Gale, documented gains of 178%, 167% and 140% respectively. Read more results like these in the RE:sources blog next week.

Results of widgets in three libraries

Is it possible to donate an eBook to the library?

Roger Sperberg wrote an interesting piece, “How to give away an ebook after you’ve read it” in the Teleread blog.  He discusses the idea of patrons purchasing an ebook to read for themselves and donating it to the library when they are finished.  Roger states, “If I buy an ebook of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, then it’s glued to me. Love it or hate it, I can’t give it to the library for others to read. So why doesn’t the library set up a program for donors: “Buy it in our name and we’ll lend it to you first.” Continue reading

ebrary Integrates with RefWorks and EndNote

ebrary Integrates with RefWorks and EndNote, Adds Printing to QuickView, Offers Search by Collection

May 18, 2009 – Palo Alto, CA, USA – ebrary®, a leading provider of digital content products and technologies, today announced that it has enhanced its industry-renowned interface with a number of new capabilities that make content discovery, usage, and management quicker and more productive.

All ebrary products now integrate with RefWorks and EndNote for easy citation management. End-users may choose to enable RefWorks, EndNote, or both. Once enabled, these options appear under the new InfoTools™ menu in ebrary’s QuickView™ Reader, which does not require any software downloads or installations, as well as in search results and personal bookshelves. Continue reading

Interview with Kari Paulson, President of EBL

We’ve posted a new interview to our interviews page.  This time, it’s with Kari Paulson, President of EBL.  In this interview, Kari discusses various business models offered by EBL and unique features of their interface.  She references some case studies that were done by CERN and Swinburne University.  Kari’s interview adds to NSR’s collection of 12 previous interviews.  Check them all out on the interviews page.