Category Archives: Vendor News

Britannica’s Widgets

A really neat feature from Encyclopaedia Britannica – Content Widgets .  I’m a big fan of widgets, particularly ones with nice visuals.  They draw the users attention and can lead them to authoritative reference content.  Here’s the official info from Britannica:

Check Out Britannica’s New Widget Feature!
Britannica Widgets are here, and with them you can instantly post an entire cluster of related Encyclopædia Britannica articles on your blog or Web site. Just follow the instructions and copy and paste the several lines of code associated with each widget as html into the appropriate place on your site. Any readers who click on a link will get the entire Britannica article on the subject, even if access to the article normally requires a subscription.

Widgets are an innovative way to share information on websites and blogs!

Here are a couple of samples (click for larger image):

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The Britannica Newsletter “inside Britannica” states it is a feature of the Britannica Online Academic Edition.  According to Lillian Terry, my Britannica Rep who sent me a nice email yesterday, this feature is also available in the Public and School online editions as well.  Very cool, very cool.

Christian Science Monitor to stop print

While not an eBook, this is a big step for the Christian Science Monitor, the first major newspaper to take the leap to online only.  An October 28th NYT article reported the Christian Science Monitor will move to online only in April of 2009, but will begin to publish a weekend news magazine.  The Christian Science Monitor states it hopes to achieve 3 goals with the switch to online distribution.  Those are:

  • Producing a website with 24/7 access, easy updates, and instant access to current news
  • Focusing resources where the majority of its readers are – online
  • Eliminating the costs of print production to become financially sustainable

This appears to be the logical move for a major newspaper with declining print subscriptions.  It will be interesting to see if other large newspapers follow, and how quickly.  Curious too, how might this affect libraries?  In my academic library, we already subscribe online and receive microfilm rather than print.  We’ll have to keep an eye on the subscription costs and see how they change as a result of the switch.  Gee, maybe the money we spend on the microfilm will actually be used to buy something else!

Booklist Online Articles Feature Follett, NetLibrary, and Overdrive

offtheshelf-f1.jpg Those of you interested in learning more about Follett and Overdrive should take a look at the recent  Off The Shelf column in Booklist Online - E-book Distributors for the Public and School Library Markets.  The article provides an overview of the content, features, and business models of both of these distributors.

NetLibrary, due to it’s recent transformation, has a feature article in the Nov. 1, 2008 Booklist issue (and Booklist Online)

Academic aggregators - ebrary, EBL, and Myilibrary – were featured back in May, 2008.

All articles are linked from No Shelf Required, just check out the articles link.

Bibliographical Center for Research partners with Credo – discounts for all members

Those libraries in the Western U.S. might want to investigate this discount if you have any interest in Credo.  Discount amount not mentioned in the press release, however.

Credo Reference Partners with BCR to Bring Online Reference to Member Institutions at a Discount

Boston and Oxford, October 23, 2008 – Credo Reference, provider of customizable online reference collections, is pleased to announce that they are partnering with BCR to provide its services to member libraries. With the new agreement, member institutions have the option of purchasing their choice of Credo Unlimited, Credo 250 or Credo 100 at a discount.

BCR (Bibliographical Center for Research) is a multistate, nonprofit network of academic, research, school, public and special libraries that provides members with training, products, discounts and consultation expertise. BCR understands the unique challenges of libraries in this technology-driven era, and brings them together for greater success by expanding their knowledge, reach and power. Both individual libraries and state library systems can join the network. Current member states include Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming as well as members located in additional states.

“BCR is the nation’s oldest and most established multistate library cooperative and we are pleased to partner with them to provide Credo’s reference collections to their members,” added Mike Sweet, Credo CEO. “We know the member libraries will discover that our over three million cross-searchable entries, from 350+ titles and 61 publishers, covering every major subject, will be a key addition to their offerings.”

The Credo page on the BCR web site is: http://www.bcr.org/services/databases/credo/reference.html.

Increase eBook Product Usage, Ideas from GVRL Clients

Gale/Cengage has collected a growing list of 18 ways to increase usage of your ebook resources.  They are listed below.  Or, visit the site for the full story.

How to Increase Product Usage
Here are a few “best practices” as defined by your colleagues. Many of our customers have already discovered and implemented these ideas for increasing usage of electronic resources at their institution.

  • Create a website that has a link to your electronic resources on the Home page.
    Use our JavaScript to integrate a Gale “PowerSearch” box on your Home page.
  • Keep links to databases, eBooks, journals, and magazines no more than 1 “click” away from the Home page.
  • Register for AccessMyLibrary at http://access.gale.com/mylibrary/others/index.html.
  • Create pathfinders for individual databases and have them accessible next to computers.
  • Organize databases by subject and offer remote access.
  • Place links to interesting content directly on your Home page. Gale InfoMarks (or durable URLs) navigate users directly to interesting content or current articles—bypassing the need to find a database or conduct a search.
  • Use journal cover graphics on your Home page to take the user into a periodical database.
  • Load MaRC records with URL’s to databases, eBooks, journals, and magazines
  • Distribute product information material (user guides, search tips, etc) directly to your users.
  • Use electronic databases to support curriculum through class assignments
  • Integrate appropriate content into lesson plans.
  • Market the library to teachers and work with them to create assignments using the product content.
  • Offer library instruction and distribute product information and URL’s for parents or PTA
  • Make library instruction mandatory for incoming students.
  • Do not allow open web resources in bibliographies or works cited pages for assignments.
  • Deploy a federated search engine
  • Implement a journal locator application and linking through OpenURL

Have another suggestion? Would you like to learn more about what the Customer Resource Center can do for you?
Please call 1-800-877-4253 and ask to speak with your Client Relations Specialist today!

Penguin and Ingram Digital, Partners

Ingram Digital will host, manage, and distribute ebook and audio book content for Penguin.  About 11,000 titles are currently available, with many more to follow.  For more info, see the press release.

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Penguin ebooks can be downloaded in Microsoft Reader, Adobe, or Palm formats.  In addition to lots of fiction, bestsellers, and self-help titles, they have about 300 reference titles, many of which are the “idiots” guides.

Springer’s MyCopy….$24.95 and it’s yours!

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Springer announced it’s new pilot print on demand service – MyCopy –  for “registered” patrons.  The service allows a library’s registered patrons to order a softcover print copy of an ebook the library has ALREADY purchased.  The copy is to be used by the patron for personal use.  11,000 titles are currently available, assuming your library owns all of those!  Books are printed in black and white with a color softcover.

Publishing will never be the same folks.  I hope Springer shares the title data with libraries.  That could be a useful collection development tool.

I couldn’t help but think about this on the way home today….but wouldn’t this be the best way for students to buy cheap textbooks?  Libraries subscribe to the ebooks of major textbook publishers and they all do print-on-demand for patrons at $24.95.  Oh wait, we are talking about textbook publishers here, better make that $99.95!�

Credo’s Resource Link

I sat in on a Credo Reference webinar earlier this week, to get a better idea of the new interface and discovered something that wasn’t visible to me in the trial.  Credo has “Resource Links,” external links to a library’s other resources like the catalog, a metasearch tool, or a particular database.  Libraries can set-up the resources in the very detailed administrative module, proxy server stuff and all!

This is a really cool feature as it allows users to start research in Credo, get an understanding of the topic and various perspectives, then continue that search for books or articles in other resources.

More information on this feature and how to set it up in the Admin module are available in a Credo document.

New Credo Interface, my quick review

Credo has upgraded its interface.  I got a quick trial so I could check out some of the features (old and new).  Of course the best part of Credo is the ability to cross reference a search.  This allows researchers access to definitions, people, places, and general overviews of their topic from multiple disciplines and sources, a fantastic way to start your research.  Here are some highlights:

  • over 3 million entries in 366 titles (and growing), all cross-referenced
  • nice simple search screen – googlish, with options for advanced search and the concept map
  • interface is available in six languages
  • browse the collection by subject and title options
  • search results have faceted results for subject, pub date, entry type, media, and person
  • great multimedia features – audio files, video clips, flash, and dynamic table creation, images, and maps
  • optional display of the “gadget tool” with easy access to definitions, people, locations, crossword answers, conversions, quotations, and holidays and festivals (each category has a search box)
  • concept map is still there.  I believe I had previously called this “brainstorming on steroids.”  Nice visual and interactive way to search for concepts that are related.
  • store/mark records – easily done with checkbox.  ability to export saved results  – email, save, print, or export for multiple citation management systems
  • cite this source – APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA
  • bookmark to social networking sites
  • Content sensitive HELP with index to all HELP items
  • customize for your institution
  • download marketing materials
  • lots of usage statistics

and a few snafus:

  • faceted results are great, but no way to turn them off, and no breadcrumb trail of facets
  • no breadcrumb trail to keep you oriented, but maybe you don’t want to be oriented in a cross referencing tool???
  • odd search results with the concept map.  my siberian huskies search kept displaying the map of a related person to huskies, maybe there just wasn’t enough content on huskies….
  • I was using Firefox.  After entering my search term and hitting the enter key my search would sometimes stop.  Once I clicked search it was fine.

For more information, visit Credo Reference, and ask David to give you a test drive!

If you are uncertain what titles to purchase, ask for their recommended lists….compiled by several people in the reference reviewing field.

October Audio Interview – Cynthia Cleto, Springer

Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with Cynthia Cleto, Global eProduct Manager for eBooks, Springer.  We discussed the Springer content, business models, and results of some usage surveys they have done.  IMHO, it’s very informative and touches on some interesting eBook issues like DRM and Interlibrary Loan.  Yes, I did just mention eBooks and ILL in the same sentence!

Check it out here, or on the interviews page.