In the wake of a January court ruling that struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) standards for ensuring that Internet traffic is delivered without bias—a standard industry watchers refer to as ‘net neutrality’—the agency has issued a new proposal outlining a new set of rules to ensure Internet users have uncensored access to the full content of the Internet. Some experts, though, don’t think these new rules will be any more enforceable than those overturned earlier this year.
EBSCO has rolled out Research Starters, a new feature for EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) that presents student researchers with short, citable summaries on frequently searched topics. Drawn from sources such as Salem Press, Encyclopedia Britannica, and American National Biography, more than 62,000 of these 500- to 1,500-word summaries are accessible, offering students an authoritative overview of their chosen subject, as well as links to other research starter summaries, or peer reviewed research where they can delve deeper into a topic.
A group of students at Arizona State University (ASU) has proposed a revamp of the traditional bookmobile—one that aims to provide the services of a school library to schools that may not have access to that resource any longer. The design, dubbed Bibliotrucka, aims to take advantage of the proliferation of food trucks in the Phoenix area, recycling out of commission trucks into modular moving libraries that can be customized on a day-to-day basis for students of different learning levels and cultural backgrounds.
Flexibility and ease of use: these are the terms that appear most frequently in descriptions of room and event scheduling software. As such, this product spotlight feature highlights software that exemplifies these qualities, from both companies that specialize in providing solutions for libraries and those with a broader client base.
By putting distribution and storage of papers and datasets in the hands of their authors, Academic Torrents brings even more DIY ethos to the world of academic publishing, and may help to solve a few problems in the field in the bargain. While libraries and colleges disintermediate scholarly publishing by hosting their own institutional repositories and backing up to offsite services like LOCKSS and Portico, Academic Torrents goes a step further, offering researchers the opportunity to distribute the hosting of their papers and datasets to authors and readers, offering easy access to scholarly works and simultaneously backing them up on computers around the world.
Late last year, the Bexar County Library, which serves the area around San Antonio, TX, set up BiblioTech, the first all-digital library in the United States. Without any physical books at all, the branch raised a few eyebrows, but head librarian Ashley Eklof tells Library Journal that after a few months, the ebook-and technology-centric project has been so successful it already has its own spinoff at the county courthouse.
Recorded Books, one of the industry leaders in the audiobook market and a major supplier of the audiobooks, ebooks, and other electronic content to libraries has been purchased by the private investment firm Wasserstein & Co., LP. The company was sold by Haights Cross Communications, which has owned it since 1999. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
OCLC on January 22 announced WorldCat Discovery Services (WDS), a suite of cloud-based applications that combines FirstSearch and WorldCat Local. Beginning in March, the suite will offer FirstSearch subscribers access to a central index that represents nearly 2,000 e-content collections containing articles, ebooks, and other content from providers including EBSCO, Gale, and ProQuest. In total, WDS will enable the discovery of 1.3 billion electronic, digital, and physical resources in libraries around the world, using a single search.