April 30, 2017

Impactstory Launches Browser Extension for OA Discovery

Nonprofit altmetrics pioneer Impactstory has launched Unpaywall, a free extension for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers that helps users obtain free full text copies of open access (OA) research papers.

Streaming Story Times | Field Reports

Do you want to web stream your story times? The Youth Services Department at the Fayetteville Public Library, AR, hoped to make these events available to parents and children who couldn’t get to the library, and our patrons’ response has been fantastic!

Easy Pass | Product Spotlight

Many libraries work with local cultural institutions to provide patrons with free or reduced-cost access. These print passes can be checked out in-house by patrons just like other resources, complete with circulation limits, due dates, and fines. Some software companies are simplifying pass management with web-based tools to help patrons discover and check out museum passes and event tickets or make reservations.

Libraries Join National Initiative To Transform Public Housing into Book-Rich Environments

The Book-Rich Environment Initiative will serve children living in HUD-assisted housing—and encourage families to use local libraries. The U.S. DOE and the National Book Foundation are among the new project’s partners.

Open Music Library Combines Free and Subscription Databases

Academic database and streaming media publisher Alexander Street is beta testing the Open Music Library (OML), a new online resource that will eschew database paywalls, enabling non-subscribers to discover and use high-quality open access and public domain content from contributors such as the Library of Congress (LC) and the British Library (BL), while offering subscribers a seamless experience discovering and using free and for-fee content together.

Academic Ebook Sales Flat, Preference for E-Reference Up

Academic libraries continue to add to their ebook collections, but while ebooks are becoming the preferred format for reference materials, many students still prefer to read and study monographs and textbooks in print, according to “Ebook Usage in U.S. Academic Libraries 2016,” a survey conducted by Library Journal and sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning.

 A NC Library Brings Wi-Fi Hotspots to Students in Need

Partnering with Sprint, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is allowing students who don’t have Wi-Fi at home to check out portable hotspots.

Kobo Launches E-reader Integrated with OverDrive

Kobo on September 30 will launch the Aura ONE, a dedicated e-reader that promises seamless searching and one-click downloading of library ebooks via OverDrive. Using a review unit provided by Kobo and a personal New York Public Library (NYPL) account, LJ explored the process.

Security, Virtual Reality, and Smaller Maker Spaces Among Top Tech Trends | ALA Annual 2016

The discussion at this year’s Library Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Technology Trends panel at the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference in Orlando, FL spanned topics ranging from online privacy to “superfast application development” on the near horizon. LITA revamped the session format this year to be more interactive: rather than offering individual trend presentations each panelist quickly summarized one trend they’ve been following, and then participated in discussions sparked by questions from moderator Maurice Coleman, technical trainer, Harford County Public Library, MD, and host of the long-running “T is for Training” podcast, with debates emerging on how long libraries should support old devices, and which tech trends may be overhyped within the library field.

Knight Foundation Names Second Library News Challenge Winners | ALA Annual 2016

In a June 25 session at the ALA Annual conference in Orlando, John Bracken, VP of media innovation for the Knight Foundation, said that the foundation has been focused on three key questions when working with libraries: What can be done to foster cross-discipline collaboration, possibly learning from projects in other civic sectors such as Code for America, 18F, or the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews collaboration; how can community be put “even more robustly” at the center of the foundation’s work; and how can the foundation help libraries tell their stories to wider audiences? “To succeed, particularly in a time of reduced public investment, it is vital to tell our stories in ways that people can understand the breadth of our work, and on platforms” where the public is present and listening, Bracken said.