Gale/Cengage recently acquired HighBeam Research Inc. If you are unfamiliar with HighBeam, they are an online reference source with access to over 3500 resources from magazine/newspaper articles to journal articles to popular reference sources. HighBeam provides it’s services to companies, small groups, and individuals rather than libraries.
This is a very interesting acquisition to me. I anticipate many publishers will begin (or pump up) services direct to the end user or smaller organizations. Makes sense since most research is done on the open web rather than via a library database trapped in the invisible web.
From the press release: “The acquisition of HighBeam is a natural extension of our user-focused strategy. Gale has had a presence on the open Web for many years now, particularly with AccessMyLibrary, which brings users from search engines into a library environment to explore their vast content riches. Now, with the added expertise of HighBeam, Gale will have a greater opportunity to learn more about user behavior and research trends, and will use that information to further develop and enhance the user experience for all our products” said Sommers.
Just in time for your holiday shopping, another source for free ebooks – Finding Free eBooks – a blog, from Christine (no last name listed).
Plenty of other free ebook sites exist. For a list of the top 20, see Hongkiat.com‘s list, also linked from the NSR blog.
TeleRead, one of my favorite ebook blogs, just posted a “Primer on DRM.” It is a really good summary of DRM – Digital Rights Management. What’s not included is information on how/why libraries use DRM. For more information on that, check out a previous NoShelfRequired post on DRM.
Daily Lit, the leading publisher of serialized books in digital format, recently announced a partnership with the University of North Carolina Press. Several UNC Press books will be digitized, including two children’s titles – Teach’s Light and Taffy of Torpedo Junction.
I really enjoy the format of Daily Lit titles. I get a daily email (RSS also available) with 1 – 3 minutes of reading from a title. It’s an easy way to read in small doses. For more information about Daily Lit, see previous NoShelfRequired posts from 9/29/08 and 11/21/08
The current NSR poll asks, “is your institution using patron driven acquisition to purchase eBooks.” PDA is a business model, offered by (currently) 3 ebook aggregators – NetLibrary, EBL, and Ingram Digital. In this model, patrons determine which eBooks are purchased based on the eBooks they use. There are many variations to PDA, but each variation does allow for librarians to pre-select groups of titles to choose from, establish budgets, and put controls in place to monitor usage and purchases.
For a more thorough look at PDA, you can read my upcoming Off The Shelf column in Booklist Online. It will be published in the January 1, 2009 issue. �
Wow, my first member! Thanks Lora. I’m glad to see that the resources in NSR are assisting library students too.
Dear Sue Polanka,
I’m a library student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I just did a research project on the future of reference books for a collection development class. In my research I came across several columns where you addressed just this topic. I just wanted to write and thank you for being such a proponent for electronic resources and encourage you to continue motivating librarians to edge their libraries into an online reference model! I’ve really enjoyed reading the columns!
Graduate Assistant, Instructional Services
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
I recently attended the School Library Journal (SLJ) Summit and had the pleasure of working with Roger Rosen, of Rosen Publishing, on a panel about the future of digital reference. Roger spoke about Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness product. I finally had a chance to look it over. WOW, this is what I call a reference experience!
- Thousands of resources for teens on topics relevant to them, and written for them – like sexuality, dating, stress, alcohol/drugs, eating disorders, and even acne
- In The News – a snippet of data from a published news story, with links to additional information in the database.
- Cast Your Vote – Polls on relevant topics, to see how other teens feel/act. After viewing the poll results, links to articles on a relevant topic are included
- HOTLINES (Get Help Now)- easy to find access to a variety of national hotlines (Suicide, AIDS, Alcohol/Drugs, Eating Disorders, etc)
- Ask Dr. Jan – a place to ask a question and get an answer from a licensed Psychologist
- Personal Story – a teen story written about a particular situation, like cyberbullying. Users may then SHARE THEIR OWN STORY by submitting it to Rosen. Don’t worry, lots of confidentiality controls are in place.
- Did You Know? – factoids on various health/wellness topics, with links to related articles
- RSS Feeds of new content from “In The News,” “Dr. Jan’s Corner,” and “Did You Know?”
- Each entry is signed, and includes the name of the MD or other medical professional who reviewed the article.
- Email, print, and cite this source options
- Links for resources, glossary, and further reading
- Date last updated for each article
Besides the amazing amount of information in the Teen Health & Wellness database, teens have the opportunity to ask questions, write/share their own feelings, and find out how other teens are dealing with situations. The RSS feeds, polls, and Q/A make this interactive. The attention to detail in citing, writing, reviewing, and updating make the information very authoritative. This should be in every household, not just school. Congrats Rosen!
Gee, reading all of this makes me want to be a teenager again…..NOT!
But, it does make me wonder why these great features aren’t in other databases. The product seems to build a community. Can our generic reference ebook collections possibly do that? I don’t see why not.�
According to a survey conducted in the UK by NetLibrary, most libraries do intend to increase the acquisition of eBooks in the coming years.
300 libraries responded
- 3/4 of academic libraries intend to increase eBook collections
- 1/2 of public libraries intend to increase eBook collections
- 85% of publics were interested in fiction eBooks
- 65% of publics were interested in building an audiobook collection
for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
**and crashed, unfortunately, due to popularity. It’s currently down! sp, 11/21 4:30 p.m. EST The site hopes to be back up, on a more robust engine, by mid December.
The European Commission has launched Europeana, a multimedia online library. Over 2 million books are included as well as maps, recordings, photographs, archival materials, and more. The digital materials were collected from the national libraries and cultural institutions of the EU’s 27 member states and are all cross searchable in one source – Europeana.�
I posted a while back about a wonderful eBook site, DailyLit. DailyLit sends me bits and pieces of eBooks to my email box each day, just enough to read for a minute or two. The first title I chose (yes, because it was free) was 100 Ways to Succeed by Tom Peters. Yesterday, #39 arrived. It said:
100 WAYS TO SUCCEED #39:
BLOG AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!
Blogging, I firmly believe, is the premier emergent marketing-brandbuilding-lovemark-creating tool of our times! It is the premier way to have intimate-engaging-informative-WOWing “conversations” with Clients and prospects! This all goes double for small enterprises and niche enterprises; and goes triple for the Professional Services; and works wonders in the Public Sector as well.
Do you see Blogging in these exalted lights? If not, why not? Please … Blog-As-If-Your-Professional-Success-Depended-On-It. (Hint: I think it does.)
Begin today! Appoint yourself Chief Blogging officer. Or, better yet, Chief Intimate Client Conversations Officer!
I can’t tell you how happy I was to realize that finally, I had accomplished one of the (so-far) 39 ways to succeed. Why am I bragging about this? Well, because now it’s your turn. No Shelf Required is here to provide a place for discussion between librarians, publishers, aggregators, book lovers, and spammers (oh wait, I delete those messages). So comment, post, rant, suggest, get your eBook message out. You’d be surprised how many people actually read this thing – worldwide! It surprises me every day.