November 21, 2017

Exhibitor News Roundup | ALA Annual 2015

Every American Library Association (ALA) conference produces a bumper crop of news from the companies that serve libraryland, as each tends to time its biggest debuts to the event, and this year was no exception. Here’s a roundup of what we learned on the exhibit floor. Did we miss your news? Please add it in the comments!

EBSCO and Ex Libris announced a partnership to streamline libraries’ acquisition processes and optimize patrons’ access. All print book, ebook, and journal orders placed via EBSCO online collection-development or ordering systems will be automatically updated in Ex Libris’ Alma LMS through EBSCO’s use of the Alma Real Time Acquisition API. In addition, EBSCO is making proprietary linking technology available to Ex Libris to improve the accuracy of links from Ex Libris solutions to full text articles hosted on the EBSCOhost platform. In a statement, the two companies committed to expanding their collaboration to other areas in future.

EBSCO also expanded its partnership with the H.W. Wilson Foundation to increase the American Doctoral Dissertations database to include records for dissertations and theses from 1955 to the present, with the goal of creating a single portal for electronic theses and dissertations at www.opendissertations.com. EBSCO further announced a new Grant Widget for Plum Analytics; a new EBSCO ebooks mobile app and viewer, and the addition of Europeana to the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS).

ProQuest debuted the functionality of Intota v2 at the conference. Powered by a linked data metadata engine, it will provide acquisitions, description and delivery capabilities, and support management of both electronic and print collections, and will include a next generation version of Knowledgebase. It will be available to libraries in mid-2016.

ProQuest further debuted its new University Press Ebook Subscription. Curated by on-staff librarians, it will be available at the end of June via the ebrary platform and soon through ProQuest EBook Central. ProQuest Ebook Central, which integrates elements from both ebrary and EBL, plus new functionality, is now in beta and is expected to go live later this year. It includes streamlined acquisition, analytics, interoperability with key vendors, improved search, exportable notes and citations, and opportunities for libraries to customize to increase their own visibility to patrons. Beta users include libraries at Oxford University, University of Michigan, Fordham Law Library and University of Wollongong.

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, debuted a partnership with Skillsoft, an online learning pioneer, to deliver approximately 250 online workforce training courses on business, management, and computer application skills, including Microsoft Office training, to public library users. Courses are online, on demand, and self-paced. Users can access them anywhere, anytime, and on a variety of devices. They include interactive practice, assessment, and scoring, and users can earn course completion certificates.

Gale also announced that the company will be enabling its full-text scholarly content—roughly 2.5 million articles aggregated from thousands of scholarly publishers—to be indexed by Google Scholar. Users beginning their research in Google Scholar will be able to discover content from Gale and its partners, and either be taken to the full text of an article (if authenticated users of a subscribed library) or be directed to an abstract and information on how to access the article through their institution or local library. In addition, Gale is making its content and technology more easily integrated into the classroom through Google Apps for Education.

Linked Data

SirsiDynix and Zepheira announced a partnership to develop a plug-and-play product, called the Visible Library Beta Program, that will convert MARC records to linked data that’s findable through a web search. Interested libraries can start right away.  “Currently, only a fraction of all searches begin at the library,” said Bill Davison, CEO of SirsiDynix. “The great thing about this initiative is that users needn’t change their current behaviors, because we’ll now be able to meet them wherever they are.”

Innovative also announced a new service to simplify the publication of Linked Data records. The new Output Data for Libhub Service extracts library records from the database of any Innovative ILS or Service Platform (Sierra, Polaris ILS, Virtua, or Millennium) and formats them for transformation to Linked Data vocabularies including BIBFRAME and schema.org. The new service is available as a one-time full database output with optional monthly updates. Library records are output in MARC/XML for sending to Zepheira. Zepheira transforms the records to BIBFRAME and publishes them to the Web.

Analytics and more

Baker & Taylor announced that its Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) service has completed its pilot and is now available for all U.S. public libraries. ESP combines data analytics from collectionHQ with Baker & Taylor’s Title Source 360 to choose titles based on past circulation by author, subject, and other metadata. The service will include new functionality in the forms of Title Performance Ranking, Predictive Distribution Engine, Fund Monitoring, Performance Monitoring, and Enhanced Collection Development Support. Three service levels will be available to accommodate libraries of various sizes and budgets.

The company also debuted its new All-In-One Axis 360 Mobile App, combining the company’s Acoustik audiobook and axisReader ebook apps, along with features from the third-party Blio app, into a single, seamless patron experience. All of a library’s B&T digital content can now be discovered and opened via the single Axis 360 app. Available for download on iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore, the new app also features a single sign on, eliminating the need for Adobe IDs.

In further analytics news, Above the Treeline launched Edelweiss Analytics, a web-based, interactive collection analysis tool for libraries, at ALA. The product will initially roll out to public libraries in the U.S. The product blends the organizational tools and title data that the Edelweiss platform offers with the methodology and style used for inventory analysis tool Above the Treeline, which has been used by independent bookstores for the past dozen years. Ingram Library Services Inc. worked with Above the Treeline to bring the product to market, and will handle sales and marketing. Edelweiss Analytics tracks library circulation and monitors collections, providing recommendations on removing and/or adding titles. In addition to comparisons to holdings and circulations at other libraries, or groups of libraries, it includes retail sales and stock information. It also includes integrated digital galleys.

Library management

3M unveiled an integration between its 3M SelfCheck QuickConnect Interface and the 3M Cloud Library that recommends ebooks to patrons while they are checking out print books and other materials. Those ebooks can then be borrowed using the SelfCheck kiosk’s touchscreen interface. Separately, the SelfCheck QuickConnect interface is now also integrated with Evanced SignUp and Events. Updates and new events added to a library’s calendar using these Evanced programs will be automatically updated for display on the SelfCheck units.

LibraryThing announced TinyCat, a new OPAC for small libraries with fewer than 10,000 holdings. Planned for release in the coming weeks, TinyCat is designed for use on smartphones and tablets as well as desktop computers, and features faceted searching, support for all media types, MARC record import and export functionality, item status and patron tracking, barcode support, and more. LibraryThing designed TinyCat after noting that many small schools, church and synagogue libraries, academic departments, and community centers were using LibraryThing to catalog their collections.

Ebooks and audiobooks

OverDrive debuted OverDrive Listen instant audiobooks at ALA, which don’t require downloads, as well as narrated ebooks—different from audiobooks because they synchronize the read-aloud text with viewing the pages of an ebook, making them ideal for those learning to read (or learning a new language). The company also highlighted its recently debuted magazine and newspaper content, which, it said, is driving circulation increases via repeat visitors. And soon, the company said, streaming video and audiobooks will be extended to Roku, so consumers can use them on home TVs via Wi-Fi.

Odilo announced the addition of frontlist and backlist titles from Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster to its ebook lending library. With the addition of digital content from all of the big five publishing houses, Odilo’s platform now offers licenses for more than 200,000 titles from over 550 publishers. Headquartered in Madrid, Spain, Odilo is a leading provider of digital content management solutions for libraries in Europe and Latin America. The company launched its ebook lending library platform in the United States six months ago.

Pay-as-you-read ebook platform Total Boox announced a new partnership with the Califa Library Group, which will make TotalBoox’s collection of over 40,000 ebooks available to 32 Califa member libraries, including the San Francisco, San José, Oakland, and Santa Clara Public Libraries. In a press announcement, Paula MacKinnon, assistant director of development and innovation at Califa, said that Total Boox’s selection of technical, travel, and reference titles, which can become dated quickly and need to be available to all patrons immediately, and the fact that patrons are able to keep Total Boox content on their devices after reading, were two appealing features of the platform.

Publisher Berrett-Koehler announced BKpedia, a new digital subscription service that will incorporate the publisher’s entire list of titles, as well as content from partners such as the Center for Creative Leadership, and the American Management Association’s publishing division, AMACOM. Scheduled for launch this summer, BKpedia will be focused on themes including management and leadership, and will include ebooks as well as articles, case studies, assessments, and more, available as DRM-free PDFs.

Elsevier launched Library Learning Trends, a professional development program for librarians and information resource managers, at the conference, tapping the expertise of authors from Chandos Publishing, the Elsevier library and information science (LIS) imprint. Offerings include content from Chandos books made available via Elsevier Connect. Excerpts already posted include “Tips on marketing the 21st-century library (from an ‘unlikely librarian’)” by Debra Lucas-Alfieri; “The academic library as an educational system: Making the most of your library—and getting the word out about it through ‘proactive marketing'” by Melissa U.D. Goldsmith and Anthony J. Fonseca; “Prince or plebe? Success at all levels of the library hierarchy: Tipsand a webinaron leveraging your power from The Machiavellian Librarian by Megan Hodge; and “Seven (serious) networking tips from The Machiavellian Librarian: Advice to broaden your library’s influence (and your own)and an upcoming discussion at ALA conference” by André Nault. More articles are planned for this year. A free ebook, Marketing the Academic Library, contains chapters from five Chandos books and is available as a PDF or ePub file. More such ebooks will be offered in the future.

Maker

TechShop, developer of a national network of membership-based Maker spaces, introduced the TechShop Makerspace Academy, a comprehensive 30-hour, three and a half day course targeted at educators and librarians interested in designing, outfitting, and operating public Maker spaces. According to a company announcement, the courses are limited to 12 participants, cost $4,500 for primary participants (and $2,750 for additional participants from the same institution), and cover topics including: Determining the right size based on mission, space and budget; planning for open accessibility and safety; establishing rules and policies;  selecting and installing tools and equipment; training staff; and implementing curriculum and workshops. Initial courses will be held in July and August in Washington, DC; Pittsburgh, PA; Chicago; and San Francisco.

Many of these and other news announcements can be found in roundups on infodocket.com

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