Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness – this is what I call a Reference Experience

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!

Some highlights:

  • 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
  • Images

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.�

eBook sales will increase in UK libraries

According to a survey conducted in the UK by NetLibrary, most libraries do intend to increase the acquisition of eBooks in the coming years.

The highlights:

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 uk@oclc.org

Europe’s Online Library – Europeana – Launched

**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.

From Knowledgespeak.com

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.�

Blog as if your life depended on it!

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.

E-Reference Ratings from LJ

LJ just released E-Reference Ratings, “an evaluation of nearly 180 subscription based electronic resources in 14 subject categories.”  Of course, many of these are eBook platforms like Britannica, Credo, GVRL, Oxford, and Sage.   There was no category for eBooks, instead you’ll find them listed under the various subject categories.

Products were reviewed by a team of 8 reference experts and included 7 criteria:  scope, writing, design, linking, bells & whistles, ease of use, value.  Resources were given a star rating, 1 to 4 stars to indicate * poor, ** satisfactory, ***good, ****excellent  A brief paragraph also accompanied each resource.

According to LJ, “Because we know that online resources continually grow and evolve—a list of this nature can date quickly—E-Reference Ratings, which made a print debut in the November 15th Reference Announcements issue, will find its permanent home and reach its full potential on our web site. We intend not only to keep up with these ever-changing products (adjusting the ratings as necessary) but also to expand the number of databases in each category and venture into new ones. We hope to hear from all parties—librarians, publishers, and vendors—about how we can keep this tool thriving and make it even more useful.”

Congrats LJ!  This was no small feat.�

Widgets guide usage of eReference/eBooks

I love widgets.  Last week at the Charleston Conference I was on a panel discussing “bridging the google gap.”  I was to discuss ways libraries were bridging that gap through reference services.  Widgets was one of my answers.

Widgets can be embedded on multiple library web pages, course management systems, facebook, teacher/faculty websites, anywhere really!  Caution, my web designer friends always remind me to have one ONE search box on a page, otherwise it gets confusing.

There are many eBook/eReference vendors who provide widgets.  I’ve got links to some of them below.  If you know of others, send them my way and I’ll post.

Credo Reference – Search the entire Credo collection with their widget.  Some libraries have put the search widget on a reference page, as a starting point.  Now that Credo links to other sources through their “resource links” feature, users can start with traditional reference sources and move to journals or other databases of your choosing.   For a look at this feature, check out the  Watne Memorial Library .  You might also be interested in an informal review of the new Credo interface.

Gale/Cengage – GVRL in particular.    I am fond of this widget because you can establish subject collections of sets of titles.  Once you have the collection established, it can be placed in the widget and only those titles searched.  This is a fab idea for subject guides/pathfinders, or for class assignment links.

Encyclopaedia Britannica – see my recent post on these

Reference Universe – RU searches the indexes, TOC, and list of articles of both print and electronic reference titles.  Using your online catalog, they will connect the user to a reference source.  The widget opens up your entire reference collection.  St. Mary’s College of California has a great example of this widget.  Be sure to click on “reference.”

Palgrave, Nature Launch eBook platform

eBook collections and platforms are popping up faster than daisies these days.  New this month is the Palgrave Macmillan platform – Palgrave Connect.  This is a collaborative effort from Palgrave and Nature and will include eBooks in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and business areas.  About 4,000 eBooks are available with the launch.�

Serials Solutions now includes eBooks

From a marketing email I received from Serials Solutions:

Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks now includes 800,000 eBooks

With more budget resources being dedicated to the purchase of eBook databases and titles, a new challenge is to help patrons easily find these valuable resources and increase their usage.  <what about the catalog?> sp

Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks, the authoritative e-resource knowledgebase, now integrates over 800,000 eBook holdings into Serials Solutions 360 e-resource access services to benefit your patrons.

* Help patrons find eBooks in your OPAC using 360 MARC Updates OPAC updating service
* Enable patrons to browse an A-to-Z title list of e-resources include eBooks using 360 Core
* Provide access to eBooks from citations or a citation search form using 360 Link OpenURL link resolver
* Help patrons discover eBooks through 360 Search federated search service

Other vendors are also offering this service, like the Ebsco A to Z list.

We have the Ebsco product at WSU and are electing to not display the ebooks at this time.  Our patrons use our A to Z list to locate electronic journals (which are also in our catalog), so I really don’t like to clutter the product with other formats, particularly since ebooks are a growing collection.  At some point the ebooks will outnumber the journals.

Does anyone know if Serials Solutions categorizes these formats so that they can easily be searched by journal, ebook, or database?  Ebsco A to Z does not currently do that.  If they did, I might consider adding the ebooks since I could default to a journals search on the patron screen, but have the ebooks and databases search available.

This arrived via email a couple hours after the post – thanks Serials Solutions, you guys are on the ball!

Sue -

One of my colleagues sent me a link to your blog post discussing the Serials Solutions eBook functionality, and I wanted to quickly follow-up to explain how our A-Z list works with regard to eBook content.

Currently, all of the library’s content is displayed together in a combined A-Z list for browsing purposes. For searching, however, there are content type selectors that are available, so that your patrons can specify which type of content they are searching for (Journal, eBook, Other, or ALL). It’s also possible to place “mini-search” boxes anywhere on your library website for the A-Z list that are tailored to one or more of the content types – this requires a little bit of programming work, but is relatively straightforward (there is an example on our Support Center forums that I can direct you to if you’d like to see how that works).

Sincerely,
Cliff Gilley
Product Manager – 360 Link/360 Core/E-Journal Portal
Serials Solutions

Charleston Conference Loaded with eBooks

I just returned from The Charleston Conference and was amazed by the sessions and general discussions relating to eBooks.  I tried to get to most of them, but that was impossible due to the amount of sessions.  If you attended or presented one of these sessions, I invite you to post your comments to No Shelf Required.  I know we can all benefit from hearing more about ebooks.

Some highlights for me were Lindsey Schell’s discussion of patron driven purchasing at UT-Austin – a “platform agnostic” library, and the “banana” story told by Jason Price.  I was also humbled by the number of people that attended my session – the debate between patron driven purchasing and traditional collection development.  Thanks to all of you for attending, and for participating.  We used the audience response systems to survey the attendees, so I’ll post those results on NSR.

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