|Weekly News Digest
March 20, 2006 — 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.
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OCLC PICA Expands Open WorldCat for Europe
OCLC PICA (http://www.oclcpica.org), the European library cooperative, is running a pilot initiative to expand the Open WorldCat program with wider coverage of European library collections. The first phase will surface existing European holdings from WorldCat in search engine result lists, including the Dutch National Catalogue and the LinkUK database of public library holdings. The second phase will add holdings from libraries in Germany. In addition, as part of the pilot, the Open WorldCat site will be translated into non-English languages and functionality will be developed for European-specific search engines.
The pilot is being undertaken in order to enable European libraries to increase the visibility of their holdings as well as their usage, and to strengthen their position as a source for online research. During the pilot a number of features will be introduced that will help localize the program for European users. These include:
- Raising the ranking of records in country-specific search engine sites for items held in domestic libraries. Thus, for example, items in British libraries will be ranked more highly in results from sites such as http://uk.search.yahoo.com, http://www.google.co.uk, and http://uk.ask.com.
- Translation of the Open WorldCat "Find in a Library" site and links to it so that the option "Find in a Library" is immediately understood as a practical and local option.
- Inclusion of more specific European geographic data (for example postal codes) for library locations that will allow users to identify the libraries nearest to them.
Source: OCLC PICA
Auto-Graphics Offers New Options for Libraries
Auto-Graphics, Inc. (http://www.auto-graphics.com), provider of library automation solutions, announced what it called "an industry first"—the ability for libraries to offer online book-buying functionality to their patrons, while sharing in the sales revenue generated through the company's AGent platform of products including VERSOTM ILS, Search, and even the ILL Resource Sharing products. This program has been developed in partnership with Baker & Taylor, Inc. (http://www.btol.com), a distributor of books, videos, music, and games. The company said the new program is designed to expand the library's role from a borrowing/lending entity to an online destination where patrons can easily and immediately purchase items.
All purchase transactions are seamlessly and securely conducted by Auto-Graphics and Baker & Taylor through the library's hosted Web site, and all correspondence, shipping, and transaction notices are completely branded with the library's name and contact details. All purchased products are shipped directly to the customer by Baker & Taylor.
The company also announced the availability of AGent Search, a Web services application that enables federated searching or metasearching across unlimited, disparate content sources. Recognized as AGent Portal by its customer base, the enhanced and rebranded AGent Search enables federated search functionality in multiple environments and is designed to provide a unique search experience based on the individual needs of library patrons and staff. Delivery options now include an online portal through a Microsoft Word client or inside any existing library application through Web services integration.
Source: Auto-Graphics, Inc.
New Social Services Directory Available Online
Contexo Media (http://www.contexomedia.com) launched the 2006 print edition of its National Directory of Children, Youth & Families Services. The Directory is now also available by online subscription for the first time. Single user licenses to access and use the resources of the Directory online start at $299 per user per year. The print edition costs $179. To purchase a copy or a user license, visit http://www.childrenyouthfamilydir.com.
Contexo Media acquired the Directory in July 2006 from LLM, Inc. of Englewood, Colo., and moved the company to Salt Lake City. Contexo Media's purchase of the Directory marked its first acquisition and launched the company into the business information and publishing industries, while also providing Contexo Media with its first foundational public health offering.
The 2006 edition of the Directory has contact listings for more than 52,000 private sector and government institutions and professionals in all 50 states that help at-risk children. These institutions and professionals work in social services, health and mental health services, juvenile justice agencies, adoption and foster care agencies, referral networks, education departments, treatment centers, and hospitals.
Source: Contexo Media
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