ebrary’s new QuickView

According to an ebrary press release, they have launched their new QuickView.  QuickView “enables end-users to instantly view documents in many of the leading web browsers and even works on the iPhone. No software downloads or installations are needed.”  Groovy.  QuickView will not replace the existing Java Based Reader, it is offered in conjunction.

ebrary’s key features of QuickView:

    • Instant viewing and page flipping in a web browser
    • Relevancy ranking at the chapter level with links to specific sections
    • Navigate to search terms or specified pages
    • Search within documents for key words
    • View and navigate to highlights and notes created using an ebrary Reader
    • Multiple view magnifications

I’ll check this out at Charleston this week and give it a whirl on the iPhone.  Anxious to see how legible that will be!

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):

britannica1.png britannica2.png

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.

Kindle Sales Through the Roof?? Sure, with Oprah’s Endorsement

Well, this might give ebooks the jump they need.  Anyone attending Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show?  There might just be a Kindle under the seat!  If not, you can at least get a discount.  Buy it through the Teleread blog.

From my friends at Teleread.

Kindle’s $50 Oprah Discount:  Price $309 in Effect

By a TeleBlog Contributor

image Oprah not only endorsed the Kindle, as expected, but also announced a discount offer allowing for $50 off the usual price of $359. The magic promo code, good until November 1, is OPRAHWINFREY. There’ll also be a discount on the novel The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

Suggestion, if your heart is set on a K machine and you want to help us: Try ordering through TeleRead (current link). One of the last ordering screens, associated with Order Summary, will ask: “Have any gift cards, gift certificates or promotional claim codes?” Key in OPRAHWINFREY.

Reminder: We continue to hope that Amazon will use a more open approach and, for example, let current or future Kindles read ePub natively.

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.

A Wireless, Color E Reader

From the TeleRead blog – via Gizmodo

There is not a ton of information about the KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc. “Portable Viewer System” but what has been revealed is exciting. It’s A4 and can wirelessly receive images from devices like a mobile phone. The screen can display up to 4,096 colors and refresh in 12 seconds. I’m not sure whether e-paper means it’s a derivative of eink or some other screen technology.

Strangely the device is nearly completely controlled by the handset. It doesn’t seem a very practical interface, but it is a prototype.

by Jane Litte

American Libraries Opens Access

My apologies – this has nothing to do with eBooks, at least directly.  But, I wanted to help ALA spread the word.

1. Our weekly e-newsletter, American Libraries Direct, is now available to anyone who wants to sign up for it, not just ALA members. The sign-up form, as well as the FAQ, is at http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/aldirect/aldirect.cfm .

2. American Libraries has launched its own blog, AL Inside Scoop, http://www.al.ala.org/insidescoop/ . Editor-in-chief Leonard Kniffel offers an insider’s view of goings-on at ALA headquarters and what hot topics ALA staffers are talking about in the hallways. Associate Editor Greg Landgraf offers his perspective from “the lower floors” of what many see as the ALA ivory tower.

3. Login is no longer required to view the current issue of the American Libraries print magazine online (in PDF format), or to view the archives, which date back to the January 2003 issue. Go directly to http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/alonlineebrary/alonlineebrary.cfm . First-time viewers will need to install the ebrary reader to view issues. To download, go to http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ala/Download . Firefox 3 users installing the reader for the first time will need a workaround, http://www.ebrary.com/kb/users/ff3install.jsp , to make the ebrary reader work with their browser.

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.

penguin.gif

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.

A blog discussing the news and issues surrounding eBooks, for librarians and publishers.