March 26, 2015

Technology

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

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Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.

Nevada Library to Offer Manufacturing Certification

Nevada Manufacturers Association Executive Director Ray Bacon endorsing City library officials' announcement of the MT1 program. 

Photo by Cathleen Allison

With the help of a Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) Innovation Program grant awarded in February, the Carson City Library (CCL), NV, will become the first library in the country to offer an entry-level certificate for workers entering careers in advanced manufacturing. The funding covers the cost of a Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certified instructor within the library, as well as two instructors at the nearby Carson City campus of Western Nevada College (WNC). The courses will run concurrently at both institutions.

Lights and Camera In Action at Tampa Bay Libraries

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Libraries in Central Florida are getting ready for their closeup. The Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC), which represents 113 public, academic, school, and special libraries in the Sunshine State, has brought on a full-time videographer to serve each branch, and the consortium as well. Now special events, chats with authors, and even monthly newsletters from TBLC members are getting professional video treatment.

Illinois Internet Screening in Public Libraries Act Meets with Opposition

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At Illinois’s 99th General Assembly on February 29, State Representative Peter Breen (R-District 48) introduced House Bill 2689, which would create the Internet Screening in Public Libraries Act (ISPLA). The act provides that every public library in the state of Illinois must have a “technology protection measure,” such as filtering software, in place on all public computers “to prevent the display on a public computer of any visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.” The library may disable the technology on request for an adult engaged in legitimate research. ISPLA contains no definition of “legitimate research.”

Hoopla Launches New Interface, Recommendation Engine

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Library streaming media provider hoopla digital has launched LightSpeed, the 3.0 version of its user interface, which includes a faster signup process for new users, a recommendation engine, multi-tiered genre-based searching, and an algorithm designed to tailor recommendations for patrons based on the usage history.

ALA, ARL Applaud FCC Vote on Net Neutrality

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In a significant victory for supporters of Net Neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today reclassified broadband Internet as a public utility, and established a new Open Internet Order that applies to both fixed and mobile broadband. The new Open Internet Order includes three “bright line” rules, specifically banning broadband providers from blocking access to legal content, applications, and services; impairing access to content, applications, and services; and prioritizing Internet traffic in exchange for “consideration of any kind.”

Ending the Invisible Library | Linked Data

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To explain the utility of ­semantic search and linked data, Jeff Penka, director of channel and product development for information management solutions provider Zepheira, uses a simple exercise. Type “Chevy Chase” into Google’s search box, and in addition to a list of links, a panel appears on the right of the screen, displaying photos of the actor, a short bio, date of birth, height, full name, spouses and children, and a short list of movies and TV shows in which he has starred. Continue typing the letters “ma” into the search box, and the panel instantly changes, showing images, maps, current weather, and other basic information regarding the town of Chevy Chase, MD.

EBSCO Buys YBP

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EBSCO Information Services has acquired YBP Library Services from Baker & Taylor, the company announced on February 20. YBP specializes in delivering shelf-ready books in both print and electronic forms to the academic library market, with more than 12 million titles in its Global Online Bibliographic Information (GOBI), including more than one million digital titles. […]

OCLC Works Toward Linked Data Environment | ALA Midwinter 2015

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In an effort that parallels and complements the Library of Congress’s Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME), OCLC is using schema.org to help facilitate this discoverability using linked data, explained Richard Wallis, technology evangelist for OCLC and chair of the W3C Schema Bib Extend Community and his colleague Ted Fons, executive director, Data Services and WorldCat Quality Management for OCLC during the “OCLC Links and Entities: The Library Data Revolution” session at the American Library Association’s 2015 Midwinter conference in Chicago.

LITA Members Talk Tech Trends | ALA Midwinter 2015

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Five experts discussed the latest in library tech during the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Top Technology Trends panel at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter 2015 conference in Chicago. In front of a full house despite the snowstorm outside, the lively discussion of trends ranged from coding classes for girls to the growing infrastructure demands of open access publishing.