John Dove spent an afternoon with me at WSU. We sat down for a chat about reference, the role of reference, and of the reference librarian in the digital world. Have a listen.
I recommend you save the file to your computer first, then listen. Enjoy!
June 2008 – John Dove, CEO, Credo Reference
Listen to other No Shelf Required interviews here.
.epub – an XML file extension for “reflowable” digital books and publications received a support letter from the AAP – Association of American Publishers at the Digital Book Conference on May 14th. Check the IDPF website for the support letter and more information on ebook standards.
The State Library of Ohio has a really neat eBook project for libraries of all types. Here is an excerpt from their website:
The Ohio eBook Project is a multi—type library consortium that’s membership includes academic libraries, public libraries, school libraries and special libraries. This project allows Ohio libraries to affordably obtain a digital material collection.
Launched in 2005, this statewide project allows libraries to provide digital books (including eBooks and eAudiobooks), eVideo and eMusic to library customers at a considerable savings.
The State Library of Ohio is contracted with OverDrive, Inc. to make this project a reality. OverDrive is a well-known digital materials provider to libraries throughout the country. The State Library assumed the project’s start-up cost, purchases for the collection, and pays the monthly maintenance fee.
As of May 2008, over 11,834 unique library patrons have enjoyed the Ohio eBook Project holdings. The holdings include 6292 copies of 4395 individual titles of eAudiobooks, eBooks, eVideo, and eMusic.
The latest Off The Shelf column in Booklist discusses eBook aggregators and gives details on 3 of the larger ones – EBL, ebrary, and MyiLibrary. Have a look. Your comments are welcome here on the blog.
May 6, 2008
I had a nice conversation with Frank Menchaca, Executive VP and Publisher of Gale/Cengage Learning. We discussed the importance of updating eBooks and what plans Gale has in place to do this, including Smart Reference and GVRL 2.0 – both forthcoming.
I recommend you download the file first, then listen.
May 2008 – Frank Menchaca, Executive VP/Publisher, Gale/Cengage Learning
Britannica Opens Site for Free Access to Web Publishers, Linking CHICAGO, April 29, 2008
Bloggers, webmasters, online journalists and anyone else who publishes regularly on the Internet can now get free subscriptions to Britannica Online (www.britannica.com). Anyone interested in participating in Britannica’s new WebShare initiative can apply for a free subscription at http://signup.eb.com or get more information at http://britannicanet.com.
The free subscriptions are part of Britannica’s effort to increase awareness and use of its extensive information resources, which include articles written by many top scholars, some of them Nobel laureates. “It’s good business for us and a benefit to people who publish on the Net,” said Britannica president Jorge Cauz. “The level of professionalism among Web publishers has really improved, and we want to recognize that by giving access to the people who are shaping the conversations about the issues of the day. Britannica belongs in the middle of those conversations.”
In addition to the free subscriptions, Web publishers can also bring the value of Britannica’s content to their own sites by linking to any articles they find relevant to the topics they’re writing about. Access to much of the site, including full-text entries from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, normally requires a paid subscription. There’s an exception to that rule, however: When a Web site links to a Britannica article Web surfers who click on that link get the article in its entirety.
Each month, noshelfrequired will feature an audio interview with an Ebook publisher, aggregator, or distributor. Interviews will be about 10 – 15 minutes in length. The first interview is with Rolf Janke, Vice President and Publisher, SAGE Reference.
It is best to save the file on your computer first, then listen.
April 2008 – Rolf Janke, VP/Publisher, Sage Reference
Cool idea! Thanks Gale/Cengage. I hope this isn’t an April Fool’s joke
To celebrate libraries and their resources, Gale is offering you free access to Books & Authors, our new and innovative online readers’ advisory resource for the entire month of April. Its browesable menus and advanced visual search technology allow readers to discover authors and literature to match their interests. And libraries can customize the interface to promote book club meetings, special events and other happenings at their library. What a great way to build your reading community! It’s free. Try it now and every day in April.
Singing Books & Authors’ praises To celebrate the launch of this momentous new product, we invite you and your patrons to compose a song about your favorite book or author, record a video of its performance and submit it for a chance to win $5,000 — $2,500 for you and $2,500 for your favorite library. Post the contest on your community board to encourage even more entries and have a better chance at winning a share of the prize money! Visit http://www.uptilt.com/c.html?rtr=on&s=4rs,ylw1,2e2o,4jcv,228r,eyl9,9sle for complete rules beginning April 13, 2008.
Enjoy even more access during National Library Week That’s right. During National Library Week – April 13-19 – your library will have free access to all these terrific resources:
Biography Resource Center
British Library Newspapers
Gale Directory Library
Gale Virtual Reference Library
Health & Wellness Resource Center
History Resource Center: U.S.
History resource Center: World
Literature Criticism Online
Literature Resource Center
Nursing Resource Center
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Critical Thinking
Science Resource Center
Small Business Resource Center
Sources in U.S. History Online: The American Revolution
Sources in U.S. History Online: The Civil War
Sources in U.S. History Online: Slavery in America Enjoy National Library Week!
REVIEW. First published November 1, 2003 (Booklist).
Here is a database that librarians will really appreciate. We have spent countless hours selecting, storing, and carefully weeding our reference collections. But patrons would rather search on the Internet, and get any old answer, than use our pride and joy, our reference collections. Reference Universe has taken article titles and indexes from more than 2,000 reference works “from both major and minor reference publishers.” These entries have been compiled into a user-friendly database that covers topics from a wide variety of disciplines. It is searchable by singular or plural forms, word variants, exact phrase, or exact words. It also includes searches by all of the words and any of the words. Searches can be limited by publication date and by number of hits (the default being 1,000). A Browse Mode allows users to browse for books by publisher, title of work, subject, or Library of Congress classification number or to browse the Reference Universe index of terms.
After searching, the system presents a list of reference titles in relevancy-ranked order. Besides the title, the brief display includes publisher and date and the total number of index entries or article titles containing the term. There are also links to the local catalog, a full-text e-book version if it is available, article titles and index terms, and a fuller bibliographic record. The full record in turn links to other reference books on the subject, other reference books by the author, the record in MARC format, and a review from ARBA Online, available to subscribing libraries. A notes field generally contains brief bibliographic information. As of this writing, Paratext plans to add reviews and publisher links and has installed a prototype that will automatically indicate whether a library owns a title that appears in a list of results.
Do you remember First Stop: The Master Index to Subject Encyclopedias, published by Oryx Press in 1989? Reference Universe has a similar idea but with a modern interface. Titles indexed seem to have good recency, and keeping the electronic version up-to-date will be easier than updating a printed version. General searches will produce many hits. It may take discernment to determine which subject encyclopedia is best for a particular query, but because this is a librarian’s tool, finding the best references for a patron shouldn’t be a problem.
This metaindex is an exciting product that will get a lot of use at reference desks in both public and academic libraries and also has uses as a collection development tool. Highly recommended.— Jack O’Gorman
Xreferplus – (Credo Reference)
First published November 1, 2006 (Booklist).
Xreferplus is an online reference service with more than 2 million entries from more than 207 reference titles. With a focus on ready-reference content, Xreferplus includes subject-specific dictionaries, biographical data, statistics, quotations, and audio and image files from more than 50 publishers. There are two subscription options, Xreferplus 100 and Xreferplus Unlimited. The former allows libraries to select 100 titles from the collection and drop or add titles as needed. The latter is the entire collection, which, beginning in 2007, will grow by 300 titles per year. Available as optional add-ons to either collection are specialist reference titles such as Blackwell Psychology Handbooks. Xreferplus can also be accessed through the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
What makes Xreferplus unique is the cross-referencing—or Xreferences—across titles, disciplines, and publishers. Added to that are the data-visualization search capabilities of the Xrefer Concept Map (which is like brainstorming on steroids), 180,000 pronunciation audio files, thousands of images, dynamic table functionality, a chronology builder, and an interactive world atlas for an “Xtreme” ready-reference experience.
Xrefer’s newest feature, the Chronology Builder, is currently available in one title (The Marcquarie Encyclopedia of Australian Events), but other titles will be on board in three to six months. This feature uses the major subjects of the title to highlight noteworthy events in chronological order. Users may add or remove columns and compare the chronology of various subjects, for example, correlating population growth to recessions and booms. The dynamic table functionality is currently available in three titles (Census, World Factbook, and UN Stats). Again, users may use this tool to create, customize, and sort data within each title. The library administration system allows customization with library logos and links, provides usage statistics, and offers promotional and educational materials. Xreferplus is available as a subscription database with a cost of $2,425 for the 100 package and $3,638 for the unlimited package. Specialist Reference titles are priced separately and may be added to either package. – Sue Polanka