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Weekly News Digest

March 19, 2007 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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OCLC Acquires TechAtlas Tech Planning Software

OCLC (www.oclc.org) has acquired TechAtlas technology planning software with a $1.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (www.gatesfoundation.org). WebJunction (www.webjunction.org), OCLC's online community where library staff members share ideas and use online resources to help them in their work, will further develop this Web-based technology management and planning tool with particular attention to helping public libraries create E-rate-compliant technology plans. OCLC will now take over ownership of the TechAtlas product, and WebJunction will begin an intensive round of design and development work to extend TechAtlas features, such as expanding the ability to allow consortia to review and approve technology plans for their member libraries.

TechAtlas is a Web-based technology management and planning tool that provides an environment for small to medium libraries to inventory their technology assets and use that information as a starting point for building a comprehensive technology plan. For those librarians pursuing E-rate funding, the technology plan approval process can be automated through TechAtlas. State library coordinators have the ability to review and approve individual library technology plans without the need to send email or paper copies back-and-forth. TechAtlas can also be used by librarians who are not interested in obtaining E-rate reimbursements, but simply want to take control of their use of technology and build a plan that can serve as a road map for future investments and upgrades.

WebJunction will also be offering TechAtlas to librarians participating in the grant-making efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's U.S. Libraries initiative. Special TechAtlas features will help these eligible librarians deliver information to the foundation about their technology infrastructure, will assist in grant evaluation, and will provide valuable data to state library agencies on the public access computing "landscape" in their communities.

TechAtlas was originally developed by NPower, a national network of nonprofit organizations, to support a diverse community of nonprofit organizations. WebJunction staff members have spent the last several years working with NPower to enhance TechAtlas specifically for use by public libraries. OCLC will continue to support NPower's community of TechAtlas users while further developing the product as part of WebJunction's services for librarians. OCLC will continue to offer TechAtlas to WebJunction members at no cost.

Source: OCLC



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