|Weekly News Digest
April 17, 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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ALA Releases ‘The State of America’s Libraries’ Report
The American Library Association (ALA; www.ala.org) announced the release of "The State of America’s Libraries" report for 2008. ALA releases the report each year as part of National Library Week, observed this year from April 13–19. According to the report, libraries of all kinds continue to be "engines of learning, literacy, and economic development in communities nationwide." Americans are acting on their conviction that school library media centers are a key element in delivering the kind of education the next generation needs in order to succeed in a global society, and public libraries are redoubling their efforts to serve linguistically isolated communities.
Americans check out more than 2 billion items each year from their public libraries, according to the report. The average user takes out more than seven books a year, but patrons also go to their libraries to borrow DVDs, learn new computer skills, conduct job searches, and participate in the activities of local community organizations. The average bill to the taxpayer for this remarkable range of public services: $31 a year or about the cost of one hardcover book.
Other findings in the "The State of America’s Libraries" report include the following:
• Ebooks continued to emerge as a regular feature of libraries of all types.
• Library supporters won an important victory in 2007 when the Environmental Protection Agency was ordered to reopen many of the libraries it had closed in the past year.
• College and research libraries continue to find innovative new ways to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the academy.
• Libraries and librarians of all stripes continue to stand up for the First Amendment rights of all Americans, responding in public discourse and in court to unconstitutional snooping and aspiring book-banners. The right to read—freely and in private—remains a core value of the profession.
The full text of the report is available at www.ala.org/2008State.
New Hebrew Collections Posted in Time for Passover
The Society for the Preservation of Hebrew Books, a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of old Hebrew texts, announced the addition of two ancient collections of books to the society’s website, www.hebrewbooks.org. These two collections join The Friedberg-Ryzman collection of more than 15,000 existing Hebrew books and other works of Judaica, freely available and fully searchable online. The site uses OCR by Ligature, Ltd. (www.ligatureltd.com) and search by dtSearch Corp. (www.dtsearch.com).
The first added collection consists of more than 1,000 rare Passover Haggadahs from all over the world, some dating back to the Middle Ages. The Chabad-Lubavitch Library, located in Brooklyn, N.Y., lent the Haggadahs to the society. The society scanned the collection and applied Ligature OCR, preserving the content of the Haggadahs as PDF images overlaying "hidden" OCR’ed text.
The second collection dates back to the 12th century BCE. It includes 400 original works relating to the 12th-century scholar and physician Maimonides, also known in Hebrew as Rambam. For the first time ever, these works are searchable in the original text.
Visitors to the site can instantly search the collection in the original Hebrew using dtSearch. A Hebrew virtual keyboard control on the site makes it easy for visitors with any language keyboard to instantly type in Hebrew search terms. After a search, dtSearch will jump right to the relevant page of the collection, displaying the original page image along with search terms highlighted right on the PDF image for convenient browsing.
The dtSearch Engine provides instant searching of terabytes of data. The software can index more than a terabyte of text in a single index¬—as well as create and instantly search an unlimited number of indexes. The dtSearch Engine can search popular "Office" file types, databases, static and dynamic web-based data sources, etc. The product also supports distributed or federated searching with integrated relevancy ranking.
Source: Society for the Preservation of Hebrew Books
Joint Venture Plans to Expand Project Euclid
Cornell University Library (www.library.cornell.edu) and Duke University Press (http://dukeupress.edu) announced that they have established a joint venture to expand and enhance the services of Project Euclid (http://projecteuclid.org), the online information community for mathematics and statistics resources from independent publishers.
Effective July 2008, Duke will provide publishing expertise in marketing, sales, and order fulfillment to Project Euclid’s participating publishers and institutional subscribers. Duke will work to broaden and deepen Project Euclid’s subscriber base, resulting in greater global exposure for 54 journals and a growing number of monographs and conference proceedings. Cornell will continue to provide and support the vital IT infrastructure for Project Euclid and assume responsibility for archiving and preservation activities. This is designed to ensure robust and reliable access to the content deposited with Project Euclid for future scholars, researchers, and students.
Now home to 93,000 journal articles (75% of which are open access), along with 60 monographs and conference proceedings, Project Euclid and its partner publishers hope to benefit from Duke’s commitment to Project Euclid’s mission and from the Press’s publishing proficiency, reputation for quality consciousness, and university-based value system. Duke’s recent initiative to expand its journals publishing program into science, technology, and medicine further ensures that together the Cornell Library and Duke University Press will achieve Project Euclid’s goal to become a primary destination site for mathematicians and statisticians.
Sources: Cornell University Library and Duke University Press
CAB eBooks Goes Live
CAB International’s (CABI) book collection can now be purchased digitally with the launch of CAB eBooks (www.cabi.org/cabebooks). By developing its own web-based portal, CABI can now provide customers with digital copies of its publications dating from 2000 to 2008. More than 140 titles in the applied life sciences are now available in the front-file collection (2005–2008), growing to 200 titles by the end of 2008. An additional 230 titles are also available in the archive collection (2000–2004).
The front-file collection can be purchased as a yearly subscription with unlimited user access. The subscription includes constant updates with the latest CABI titles. The archive collection is available as a one-off purchase, providing research institutions with an opportunity to invest in valuable backlist titles. CAB eBooks are also available for download at MyiLibrary, Dawson Books, and ebrary.
In addition, CAB eBooks is fully integrated with CAB Abstracts, the online bibliographic database. Each chapter is indexed and abstracted individually to ensure that specific slices of information can be easily retrieved. The ebooks are available as a complete package or in six separate subject collections: agriculture; animal and veterinary sciences; environmental sciences; human health, food, and nutrition; leisure and tourism; and plant sciences.
CABI is a not-for-profit organization that provides information and applies scientific expertise to solve agricultural and environmental problems worldwide. Its mission and direction are influenced by its 44 member countries that help guide the activities undertaken as a business.
Source: CAB International
MPS Upgrades BookStore Platform for Publishers
As Web 2.0 technologies revolutionize the way publishers market books to their readers, MPS Technologies (www.mpstechnologies.com) announced that it has upgraded its BookStore platform for publishers. BookStore is the digital platform that stores, displays, and sells ebook content. BookStore allows publishers to make their content available online, and it provides them with a number of different business models to choose from. New features on the platform now include the MPS Technologies Widget, a viral marketing tool that enables readers and authors to place book content on social networking sites globally.
BookStore is now fully integrated with social bookmarking sites. Clients are able to update their readers on new titles via RSS feeds and email alerts. The BookStore platform also incorporates an ISBN search, can now sell downloadable audio books, and also helps drive print sales by giving the end user a print purchase option alongside the ebook purchase option.
The upgraded BookStore will also enhance the publishers’ experiences of managing the platform. Publishers are now able to search and manage live titles, QA downloadable files, and access information about live titles at one time.
Source: MPS Technologies
CAS Offering Web Access to SciFinder
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society, announced that it now offers web access to its SciFinder research tool. The web version is designed for situations where web access is preferred and is a convenient option to the powerful client version that is used in corporate, academic, and government organizations around the world.
This new platform is especially designed for the web and does not simply duplicate the look and feel of the current SciFinder product. The newest SciFinder experience will be offered to an expanding set of commercial, government, and academic users as the product launch proceeds throughout the year.
Scientists use SciFinder to explore research topics, browse scientific journals, and stay up-to-date on the latest scientific developments. More information about the newest version of SciFinder can be found at www.cas.org/products/scifindr/sfweb. View a demo at www.cas.org/products/scifindr/sfweb/sfwebflash.html.
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