Several database vendors were showing or announcing new products at this year’s American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting in Chicago, held January 30–February 3.
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 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.
Jennifer Kemp of Springer discusses the Springer Book Archives.
Pat Carlin of ABC-CLIO discusses their Modern Genocide database.
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.
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.
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 […]