|Weekly News Digest
January 14, 2008 — 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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Readex Launches Crossroads—A Meeting of Minds
Readex (www.readex.com), a division of NewsBank and a provider of digital document collections, announced the release of Crossroads, a communications channel and community for students, teachers, and scholars. Crossroads lets researchers—working alone or in groups—provide background and commentary on digitized books, newspapers, government documents, and other materials in online collections. By helping users create scholarly communities, Crossroads is designed to facilitate research, encourage debate, and promote the sharing of ideas and discoveries.
Crossroads aims to meet a variety of academic research, teaching, and collaboration needs. Researchers can use it to organize and annotate online research materials, tag and bookmark documents for easy reference, and permanently save ongoing projects. For individuals interested in collaborating with others—whether around the world or within an institution—Crossroads acts as a platform for posting new research findings and for sparking scholarly discussion. Privacy functions allow project creators to keep their work private or to permit viewing and/or editing on a limited or unlimited basis.
In support of a course syllabus, teachers can create compilations of specific documents and customize those selections by annotating documents to define unfamiliar words, draw connections to other works, or pose discussion questions.
WebFeat Unveils New Tools for Libraries
WebFeat (www.webfeat.org), provider of federated search technologies, has unveiled version 2.0 of its SMART Usage Tracker. It offers enterprise/multilibrary/branch reports, an XLS export feature, and new graphical reports, all managed through a new report generation console. SMART 2.0 enables libraries to instantly generate a wealth of reports to track usage for any database integrated into their WebFeat federated search solutions—including subscription databases, catalogs, free databases, proprietary databases, Z39.50, and more.
WebFeat also announced that it has partnered with Quova, Inc. (www.quova.com) to provide geolocation authentication for WebFeat’s federated search solutions. Libraries integrating the Quova technology with their WebFeat systems can now provide instant access to subscription content without prompting patrons for authentication or library card barcodes.
HSLC/Access PA and the POWER Library will be the country’s first WebFeat system to securely authenticate remote patrons using the Quova system. Test implementation of this new authentication system will begin in the next few months with rollout as the test period is completed. The Access PA and POWER Library programs facilitate resource sharing among more than 3,000 school, public, academic, and special libraries throughout Pennsylvania.
OCLC Acquires EZproxy Authentication Software
EZproxy, a software solution for serving library patrons remotely, has been acquired by OCLC (www.oclc.org) from Useful Utilities of Peoria, Ariz. (www.usefulutilities.com). Useful Utilities founder Chris Zagar will join OCLC as a full-time consultant to ensure a smooth transition and to assist OCLC in developing state-of-the-art authentication services for the cooperative.
Zagar, a librarian at the Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona, developed EZproxy to provide libraries with better solutions for authenticating remote user access to licensed databases. EZproxy software allows libraries to manage access and authentication configurations through a proxy server so that library users do not have to make any configuration changes to their personal web browsers.
More than 2,400 institutions in more than 60 countries have purchased EZproxy software. OCLC will honor EZproxy’s current service arrangement for existing and new customers whereby licensees continue to have access to new releases of EZproxy and technical support at no additional charge. OCLC will also continue to develop and support EZproxy by working with commercial vendors to create new connectors to authentication systems and online content resources to libraries. EZproxy version 4.1 is scheduled for release in March 2008.
EBSCO Publishing Adds Interface Options and New Databases
EBSCO Publishing (www.epnet.com) released two new interfaces to provide users with visual search options when searching on the EBSCOhost platform. The company has also enhanced the clustering options. The new Visual Search options provide visual learners with graphical approaches to information discovery, while the Enhanced Clustering allows all users to narrow their searches right from the results list.
EBSCO also released three new databases . Associates Programs Source and Associates Programs Source Plus have been created for 2-year academic institutions. Newspaper Source Plus is available as an upgrade to Newspaper Source and includes cover-to-cover full text of TheNew York Times dating from 1985, as well as expanded coverage of regional newspapers such as TheBoston Globe.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
ProQuest Announces Aggregated Full-Text Database for Libraries
ProQuest (www.proquest.com), part of Cambridge Information Group (www.cambridgeinformationgroup.com), has launched a new aggregated full-text database for libraries called ProQuest Central. The company says it is designed to serve as the foundational research collection for academic libraries. ProQuest Central offers more than 11,000 titles (8,000 in full text) and more than 160 subject areas covering core academic disciplines.
ProQuest Central’s coverage includes core disciplines such as business and economics, medical and health, news and world affairs, science, education, technology, humanities, social sciences, psychology, literature, law, and nursing. ProQuest Central, available now, combines content from top publishers such as Cambridge University Press, Emerald Group Publishing, MIT Sloan Management Review , Palgrave, Oxford University Press, Dow Jones, and more. Multiple content types are available, including scholarly and general reference journals, newspapers, full-text dissertations, company annual reports, industry reports, country reports, working papers, and more.
SirsiDynix Upgrades Its Platforms and Portal Solutions
SirsiDynix (www.sirsidynix.com), a provider of technology solutions for libraries, made a number of announcements of upgraded platforms and portal solutions at the 2008 Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association.
The company announced the recent release of SirsiDynix Enterprise Portal Solution 2.2.1, which provides enhanced Unicode searching of non-Roman-character-based information sources, expanded integration of electronic books, enhanced support of multiple SirsiDynix Unicorn and Symphony systems using a single instance of SirsiDynix Enterprise Portal Solution, and other enhancements. The 2.2.1 release is now available to current and new users of SirsiDynix Enterprise Portal and the SchoolRooms online K–12 exploration, discovery, and learning portal.
SirsiDynix announced the recent release of SirsiDynix Horizon 7.4.1, as well as Horizon Information Portal (HIP) 3.09 and 4.13 for North American sites. Providing the recommended upgrade path for users currently on Horizon 7.3.x and 7.4.x, Horizon 7.4.1 offers a range of enhancements: support for Microsoft Vista, updates to the ACS SIP2 client, capabilities for printing new Waiver and Transit receipts and more. HIP 3.09 and 4.13 enhancements include full capability for connecting to Horizon 7.4.1, upgrades to Firebird version 2.03 and Jetty 4.2.19, and more. The Horizon 7.4.1 and HIP 3.09 and 4.13 releases are available immediately as upgrades for current Horizon and HIP users. The company says that it remains committed to the Horizon platform. Gary Rautenstrauch, SirsiDynix CEO says, "While SirsiDynix Symphony is our flagship platform for the future, SirsiDynix will continue to upgrade the Horizon platform for the next four to six years."
SirsiDynix also announced the availability of SirsiDynix StaffWeb for K–12 Libraries, a new, easy-to-use software solution that enables school librarians and media specialists to carry out primary circulation, cataloging, reporting and administration tasks and transactions using only a standard web browser.
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