August 29, 2014

Gale Founder Frederick Ruffner Dies at 88

Frederick Gale Ruffner

Frederick Gale Ruffner, Jr., who founded Gale Research Company with his wife Mary Evans Ruffner, died on August 12 following a long illness. He launched enduring reference works including the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Contemporary Authors, and the Encyclopedia of Associations

Internet Archive Offers Access to Blacked Out Government Websites

Internet Archive Offers Access to Blacked Out Government Websites

Although the U.S. federal shutdown means many important government websites—such as those for the Library of Congress and NASA—have gone completely dark this week, the nonprofit Internet Archive is making those sites available to the public through archived captures, the organization has announced on its blog.

EBSCO Offers Free ERIC Database Access During Government Shutdown

EBSCO Information Services has announced that it is making the government database ERIC, the Education Resource Information Center, freely available during the government shutdown. Since the government site for ERIC is unavailable during the shutdown, EBSCO will temporarily open its version of ERIC for free access online.

Fleeing the Reference Desk | ALA 2013

Fleeing the Reference Desk | ALA 2013

Librarians gathered for what was billed “a refdesk-shattering event.”

Reference Backtalk: Digitizing Diesel (and Other Great Minds)

Jennifer Kemp of Springer discusses the Springer Book Archives.

Reference Backtalk: A Painful Topic Presents Tough Choices

Pat Carlin of ABC-CLIO discusses their Modern Genocide database.

Credo Integrates Text-to-Speech Accessibility Features Into Literati

Credo Integrates Text-to-Speech Accessibility Features Into Literati

Credo Reference is integrating text-to-speech technology from ReadSpeaker into its Literati full-text reference line of offerings. The text-to-speech functionality is already available for Literati Public and will soon be added to Literati Academic, Literati School, and Literati Student Athlete. The latter two products were launched earlier this year. The move comes as several library organizations are embarking on more focused efforts to address the need for accessibility with digital content.

Best Reference of 2012 (Including Best Free Reference)

Best Reference of 2012 (Including Best Free Reference)

There are dozens of the year’s best reference titles, but for sheer labors of love, winners this year are Louisiana Place Names, the entries of which were collected over a lifetime by Clare D’Artois Leeper, who died shortly before this was published by LSU Press, and Flies: The Natural History and Diversity of Diptera from University of Guelph entomologist Stephen A. Marshall, who displays the world’s fly families in 2,200 stunning color photographs from Firefly Books. Find those and many more, including Best Free Reference sources of 2012.

Reference News from the Show | ALA Midwinter 2013

Reference News from the Show | ALA Midwinter 2013

As usual, ALA was a whirlwind of panels, book buzzes, parties, and my favorite—meeting librarians in the inevitable lines for food and bathrooms (will the conference centers ever figure this out?). The best fun was at the AAP Library Family Feud, where librarians took on authors about such burning questions as what 100 librarians said [...]

Grey House To Publish Salem Press Material

Grey House to Publish Salem Press Material

Salem Press, which was purchased in 2009 by EBSCO, is moving and shaking once again. Under a new exclusive license between EBSCO Publishing and Grey House, Salem’s literary, history, health, and science works will now be published by Grey House. The company is mainly known for its directories and other ready-reference content, and recently bought [...]