Last week, ebrary announced the availability of Software as a Service (SaaS) for government documents. According to the press release, “With ebrary’s SaaS, agencies, institutes, and centers can transform any PDF documents into searchable, highly interactive databases that can be integrated into master sites, providing a seamless way for end-users to find the important information they need online.” Continue reading
I wrote a piece on Credo’s Topic Pages a couple of weeks ago, but here is the official press release announcing the launch of the Topic Page Beta.
Credo Launches Topic Page Beta
The Librarian’s Answer to Wikipedia
Boston and Oxford, (April 8, 2010) – The data is undeniable, a significant majority of today’s researchers turn to Wikipedia at some point in the research process, very often at the beginning, or “presearch” phase of research. Now, Credo Reference is pleased to announce an easy-to-use alternative for researchers – Credo Topic Pages – that help answer the question, “Where do I start?”
While not the full Encyclopaedia Britannica, the app contains “a version of one of the world’s most trusted encyclopedias with accompanying images and maps, fast article search and look-up functions, minimal memory space, and much more – directly on the iPhone!”
Some of the features available for the app include:
- 25,024 unique articles covering all aspects of human life;
- 800 accompanying colorful images and maps;
- “History” feature shows the last 100 looked-up articles;
- Auto-complete function;
- “Wildcard” search feature allows the user to find names, even if their exact spelling is unknown;
- ‘On This Day’ feature allows you to learn what happened on any calendar day in history;
- Access links within articles for immediate information… and much more!
The app may be downloaded from iTunes for $24.95.
Mike Sweet, CEO of Credo Reference, gave me a tour of the new Credo Topic Pages yesterday. What a great tool they are for background/overview information on 10,000 different topics! The stimulus for creating the Topic Pages was context. A University of Washington study on how students research in the digital age found that students struggle to find context for the masses of information available to them in the digital age. Enter Credo’s Topic Pages. The pages are designed to offer context and vocabulary, subject orientation, and pathways to further exploration of the topic. The pages include simple definitions, encyclopedia entries, tag clouds showing the vocabulary of the topic, images, and a title list of the most common references from subject encyclopedia articles (all part of the Credo Reference content). Sharing the topic page content via social tools, links to the library’s chat/IM service, and article citations via EasyBib are included as well, and that’s just the basic topic page. (side note, have you heard of EasyBib? 16 million students are using it….probably some of yours) Continue reading
I’m way behind on posting links to articles I’ve bookmarked in delicious. There’s been so much activity in the industry these last few weeks that I can’t keep up. So, here is a long list of things I’ve found from the past month.
Focusing on WorldCat, OCLC Sells NetLibrary to EBSCO, Thins FirstSearch – 3/17/2010 – Library Journal
Ingram is now offering librarians the option to download an Ingram Wire application to their desktop. The application will deliver book news and collection development information. Users may download it at www.ingramwire.com. According to the press release, “messages are prompted by business need and not advertising.” The application will link to ipage, Ingram’s e-business tool for libraries (to place orders). For more information, visit www.ingramcontent.com.
ebrary launched a natural disaster and extreme weather information center last week. The information center was created using ebrary’s DASH (data sharing, fast) API and includes a collection of publicly available PDF files and Word docs. Every word on every document can be searched and content is also organized by broad categories like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. ebrary’s InfoTools is also available with the information center. For more information, see the press release.
Received a press release from OverDrive announcing many enhancements to the OverDrive interface and digital content offerings. The announcements were made today, just shy of the start of the Public Library Association Conference in Portland, Oregon. Those attending the PLA Conference should stop by the OverDrive booth(2347) for demos of all these new features. My favorite is “Open eBooks” – DRM free eBooks in EPUB and PDF formats which can be downloaded and read on nearly all EPUB enabled devices. Here are just a few things mentioned in the press release: Continue reading
Have you heard about blio reader, the free ebook reader from Baker & Taylor? I got a demo of it last week at the American Library Association conference in Boston. It’s pretty cool, offering full color and audio for any open system – MAC, PC, iPhone, netbook, etc. Blio was developed by a gamer – very cool and wise decision in my opinion. Even children’s books looked and sounded good on this reader. Some cool features I saw included:
- full color
- text 2 speech (TTS) – which sounded pretty good
- track audio down to the word, start reading again at the exact word
- embedded multimedia
- page turning
- highlight word and get a definition
- reflowable text
- change font
- some titles were narrated, depends on publisher
- publishers can edit/control the voice for text 2 speech reading – change gender, tone, speed, etc.
blio will be available for the retail market in February with access to over 1 million free ebooks and a large selection of trade/childrens titles for purchase, through the online bookstore. B & T plans to expand to the library market in the summer of 2010. The website offers a comparison chart of various ereaders. Check it out.
From a Gale/Cengage press release:
Farmington Hills, Mich., Oct. 12, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the launch of the digital version of Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia as an interactive, media-rich online interface.
Based on the 17-volume print encyclopedia, long regarded as a leading source of information on “everything animal,” this digital resource is part of the next generation of resources from Gale, designed as a new knowledge portal to bring “power to the user.”
This knowledge portal includes information on more than 4,000 species, covering topics such as evolution, habitat, behavior, ontology, conservation status and more. Continuously updated, the image-rich content provides a true educational experience, where users can find answers to specific questions, discover new details about animals they are familiar with, and learn more about little-known animals in new and exciting ways. Continue reading