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ebrary Partners with McGraw-Hill Primis Custom Publishing
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Posted On September 10, 2001
ebrary has announced that McGraw-Hill Primis Custom Publishing, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies' McGraw-Hill Education division, is adopting ebrary's ebrarian solution for Primis Online, its service that allows faculty members to create customized e-book adaptations from existing textbooks. Students will then be able to access these course materials from a co-branded Web site hosted by ebrary, or download their custom e-books directly from the Primis Online site (http://www.mhhe.com/primis/online).

Primis Online offers over 450 McGraw-Hill titles that can be customized in print or digital e-book formats. The service also includes content from a number of business case providers, such as Harvard. Until now, the Primis service only provided secure Adobe PDF downloads locked to individual PCs. The online viewing and downloading will offer students much more flexibility.

Primis will use ebrarian to securely deliver its course packs to students. ebrary InfoTools will be customized by Primis Online to allow students to select any word or phrase in their course packs and link to additional course-related information. Primis Online will also leverage the ebrarian solution to give students and professors access to the ebrary collection of copyright-protected content from leading publishers.

Christopher Warnock, ebrary's CEO, said that ebrary would deliver a richer online experience for the end-user with the provision of InfoTools, a 500-KB downloadable plug-in. InfoTools provides for faster online viewing and aids in reading comprehension and information cross-referencing. Warnock said the Primis service with ebrarian was scheduled to go live in the first quarter of next year.

"Our partnership with ebrary will enable students to access their course materials online from any computer at any time and avoid lengthy download times. Professors can enhance their Primis Online e-books with word-level content interaction and can also supplement course materials with the ebrary collection of authoritative books and other documents—most of which have never before been available on the Web," said Ginny Moffat, vice president and head of McGraw-Hill Primis Custom Publishing. "Needless to say, ebrary also provides great value to students, who have access to the information and tools they need to increase knowledge and comprehension. The ebrarian solution offers us many advantages."

"Studies show that providing compelling, interactive content increases retention and is critical to the success of e-learning programs," said Warnock. "We're extremely proud that Primis Online, the standard for educational custom publishing, has chosen our ebrarian solution as the platform for their e-book courseware. Not only will this agreement benefit Primis Online customers by providing superior learning resources, it will enable the company to further gain a competitive edge by making interactive content a reality."

ebrary develops software and services for the secure online access and delivery of copyrighted content. ebrary has created the ebrarian solution for customers and partners and is working with publishers and other content providers to create online libraries of content. ebrary is also building its ebrary.com destination site, but, according to Warnock, is currently focusing on working with channel partners. It recently announced its first public beta version of ebrarian with the Learning Network, a Pearson company. The co-branded site is available at http://learningnetwork.ebrary.com. Visitors pay only to print or copy the information they need. Searching and browsing are free, and there are no membership or subscription fees. ebrary is privately held and is funded by Random House Ventures, LLC; Pearson, PLC; and The McGraw-Hill Co. For more information, visit http://www.ebrary.com.

McGraw-Hill Education (http://www.mheducation.com) is an acknowledged leader in educational materials and professional information, and publishes in all media, including print, CD-ROM, and the Web. Those of you who have not heard of Primis Custom Publishing might be surprised to learn that the service has been around for quite some time, predating the Web. According to information on its site, the following are some interesting McGraw-Hill Education firsts:

  • 1982—First interactive software program integrated with a textbook, McGraw-Hill Mathematics
  • 1989—First digital custom textbook, Primis
  • 1998—First online browser-based multimedia textbook, Norton Introduction to Computers
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a global information services provider that meets the needs of the financial services, education, and business information markets through brands such as Standard & Poor's, BusinessWeek, and McGraw-Hill Education. The corporation has more than 300 offices in 33 countries. Sales in 2000 were $4.3 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

[Editor's Note: For more information on ebrary, see Paula J. Hane's NewsBreak Feature in the October 2001 issue of Information Today.]


Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.


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