Received a press release from Gale/Cengage today. Baker and Taylor will now distribute the GVRL e-book collection, Lit Crit, and the Directory Library. B&T is the first wholesaler to sell GVRL. See the full press release below.
From a Gale/Cengage press release:
Farmington Hills, Mich., Oct. 12, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the launch of the digital version of Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia as an interactive, media-rich online interface.
Based on the 17-volume print encyclopedia, long regarded as a leading source of information on “everything animal,” this digital resource is part of the next generation of resources from Gale, designed as a new knowledge portal to bring “power to the user.”
This knowledge portal includes information on more than 4,000 species, covering topics such as evolution, habitat, behavior, ontology, conservation status and more. Continuously updated, the image-rich content provides a true educational experience, where users can find answers to specific questions, discover new details about animals they are familiar with, and learn more about little-known animals in new and exciting ways. Continue reading
From the Gale/Cengage RE:sources blog, May 2009
Widgets pack a wallop
Results from K-12 school, academic and public libraries confirm that usage soars when you add the ability to search all or part of your Gale Virtual Reference Library collection with a widget. Comparing the number of user sessions before and after the addition of a widget on the pages of a high school in Minnesota, a college in Texas and a public library in Ohio, Mark Springer, a data analyst from Gale, documented gains of 178%, 167% and 140% respectively. Read more results like these in the RE:sources blog next week.
Concerning my previous post on Gale/YBP, I had a chance to talk with John Barnes at Gale/Cengage regarding the pricing of GVRL titles through the YBP service. According to him, GVRL prices will remain the same using various tiers, based on FTE. Within the next month, YBP will load all of the Gale patron data into their system and this data should indicate each library’s tier level. While searching YBP for GVRL titles, the title price, based on your library’s tier, should be displayed. Thanks to Nader Qaimari from Gale/Cengage for commenting with the same.
Great news from Gale/Cengage and YBP (Baker & Taylor). GVRL, LitCrit and Gale Directory titles can now be purchased through YBP services. This is wonderful news and comes on the heels of the recenet B&T and ebrary partnership. Clearly publishers and aggregators are finally working together to make purchasing ebooks as seamless as the print book. It’s about time! What is unclear in the press release is the pricing of Gale titles. Typically these are sold on a Tier model, based on FTE. I’ll post more once I hear about the pricing.
From a Gale/Cengage email I received:
Free Access on our Women’s History Web site
From women in politics to women in the environment, start planning your Women’s History Month events now with great resources from Gale.Farmington Hills, Mich., Feb. 17, 2009 – In recognition of Women’s History Month in March, Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is offering free resources and activities on its Women’s History Month Web site.
Supporting the theme “Get to Know the Women Who’ve Changed Our World,” the Women’s History Month Web site is accessible at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/whm/ and offers free resources including activities, quizzes, biographies, a timeline, links and more to complement classroom topics.
Activities & Ideas
The site includes activities that can make Women’s History Month more meaningful. Activities are arranged by topics and include history, geography, music, science, literature and a number of other categories, showing the influence of women in those areas. New downloadable bookmarks, calendar and screensaver are also available.
One of the most used and enjoyed features of the Web site is the quiz. Each week, a new quiz based on women throughout history and their achievements will be posted.
Examples of the types of questions:
She helped bring provisions to soldiers on the front lines and set up the Bureau of Records. She is:
Best known for her series of well-loved children’s books, this writer published her first book at the age of 65. Her books, still popular today, are autobiographical tales of her own childhood as a pioneer girl.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
J. K. Rowling
(Correct answers are Florence Nightingale and Laura Ingalls Wilder)
From women of the past like Abigail Adams and Joan of Arc, to present day notables including Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, biographies of many influential women are included in the site’s biographies section (http://www.gale.com/free_resources/whm/bio/). Each entry gives detailed information including birth date and location, details on personal life and career, and resources for further information.
For the Classroom
Free lesson plans, activities to engage students and the latest Gale tools for the classroom are available at Galeschools.com.
Visit http://www.gale.com/free_resources/whm/featured_titles/ for a list of Gale titles that will help students gain a deeper appreciation for Women’s History.
The timeline available at http://www.gale.com/free_resources/whm/timeline/ features milestones in women’s history from ancient times through the present, commemorating such events as Queen Isabella creating a unified Spain, Susan B. Anthony crusading for women’s rights and the founding of fashion magazine Elle.
Click on http://www.gale.com/free_resources/whm/links/ for links to other Web pages created by and for women and girls.
For more information, please contact Linda Busse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just had a nice conversation with John Barnes, Executive VP Strategic Marketing and Business Development, at Gale/Cengage. I asked John if Gale would be introducing new business models directed towards end users with their recent acquisition of HighBeam. Below is a brief summary of our discussion. Thanks John.
HighBeam’s clients are a combination of students and small businesses.
Gale/Cengage for several years has offered Goliath: Business Knowledge on Demand, which consists of business information, targeted to small business clients.
With the acquisition of HighBeam, Gale now owns encyclopedia.com, which John says, “has untapped potential to connect users to the library.” Their mission, to place “high quality embedded information in front of end users.”
So, rather than a new business model for end users, Gale will continue to make information more discoverable to end-users through encyclopedia.com, Goliath, and their existing AccessMyLibrary product. AccessMyLibrary allows a small slice of InfoTrac to be indexed by search engines. When users “want to see more” they are prompted to enter information about their library, which in turn takes search engine traffic to libraries.
Discoverability. It’s all about end users discovering our content, trapped in that invisible web. I’m anxious to see how Gale can embed quality content into encyclopedia.com. Wishful thinking, but maybe in time this could rival Wikipedia, with links to scholarly resources and digital and special library collections.
For more on discoverability, read John’s (and other reference publishers) comments in these articles in Booklist Online:
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.
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.
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.”