Category Archives: Reviews

Interview with Roger Rosen: On embracing technology selectively and holistically

Navigating Rosen Publishing’s 2014 catalog of digital content may at first seem a bit overwhelming: it impresses both as a vibrant presentation of the company’s wide array of digital offerings but it also reminds us of just how “digital” K–12 publishing has become. Or at the very least, it makes those of us still tempted to think of Rosen as merely a “publisher” realize it has now transformed into a multifaceted media company.

Perhaps more than any other independent publisher of K–12 resources on the market today, Rosen has become synonymous with high-quality, always in-demand, constantly evolving interactive content. It has also become synonymous with digital learning solutions, produced to be fully aligned with state, national, STEM, and Common Core standards. Indeed, taking a closer look at Rosen’s offerings today, it’s clear that despite the versatility of its content, Rosen has become a passionate advocate of STEM learning. And they’ve been releasing products to prove it, too.

Spring 2014 issue of eContent Quarterly, now available to subscribers on ALA Techsource’s  web site for download, features a review of Rosen Publishing’s Core Concepts: Period Table, a resource in Rosen’s Core Concepts suite, which launched in 2013 and was followed with the early 2014 release of Core Concepts: Biology. While eContent Quarterly features an exclusive review of the product, taken for a test drive by two school librarians in two different institutions, the interview below with Roger Rosen, president of Rosen Publishing, is available exclusively on No Shelf Required. We caught up with Roger and asked him to shed some light on the company’s journey from a print publisher to a leading digital media company for the K-12 library market. Continue reading

ALA’s Ebook Platforms for Libraries – What it’s about and what it’s for

Last Friday, ALA released it’s latest Library Technology Report (LTR)  entitled, “Ebook Platforms for Libraries.”  Mirela Roncevic, a No Shelf Required contributor, wrote and compiled the LTR.  Mirela posted on her personal blog about the report including background information about what the report contains, what it’s for, and how it can be used by librarians.  It is a really nice summary of how and why the publication was created.  Here is an excerpt from her post:

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess what the vast and growing ebooks landscape in libraries will look like a year or two from now, but as it stands right now, librarians need to keep up or they will remain behind. That’s what this report aims to do: provide a starting point from which they can embark on their institutions’ ebook ventures. Continue reading

New ALA report on ebook platforms for libraries is out

Months in the making, ALA’ Library Technology Report (Volume 49, Issue 3) on ebook platforms for libraries is finally out.

Note from author Mirela Roncevic: “Librarians, I hope you find the comparative tables useful and the vast landscape of ebooks a bit less daunting after having read this report. Library vendors, I hope you benefit from the insight into how your products compare to others and how you can continue to improve their functionalities and business models.

Thank you to all the publishers, aggregators, and distributors who participated in the survey and supplied requested information. A heartfelt thank you to the team at ALA TechSource for supporting the project. Looking forward to future collaborations.” Continue reading

E-Content in Libraries: 2012 in Review

2012 was a busy year for e-content: new alliances were formed among both publishers and vendors, more mergers took place, controversies surrounding ebook lending in public libraries persisted, open access initiatives showed no signs of slowing down, and the pressing need to digitize scholarly publishing gave rise to several monograph e-platforms. With each passing week, those of us keeping up with e-content were reminded that emerging technological advances continued to push the boundaries of what we thought was possible only a year before.

Our industry was challenged to rethink its own expectations about digital library environments but also dare to aim higher. We asked the same questions as in the years past: Who remained ahead of the curve? Who took the most risk? Who spoke directly to the needs of users? And who brought us products that would stand the test of time years from now?

During the slow month of December, “best lists” are released all over Library land. They give us a chance to take a break from “keeping up” and simply reflect. So let’s pause from chasing press releases and reflect on some of the most impactful digital resources released in 2012. Continue reading

U of Minnesota launches catalog of open source books, will pay faculty to review

A very interesting development at the University of Minnesota was discussed in an article found at Inside Higher Ed.  Here’s a clip from the article:  Minnesota launched an online catalog of open-source books last month and will pay its professors $500 each time they post an evaluation of one of those books. (Faculty members elsewhere are welcome to post their own reviews, but they won’t be compensated.) Minnesota professors who have already adopted open-source texts will also receive $500, with all of the money coming from donor funds.