|Weekly News Digest
July 3, 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 ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.
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Ex Libris Introduces Voyager 7.0 and EL Commons
Ex Libris Group (www.exlibrisgroup.com) announced the general release of version 7.0 of the Company’s Voyager integrated library system (ILS). More than 70 customer-requested enhancements, implemented as the result of feedback from usability studies, focus groups, and an online user survey, focus on the staff and end-user experience.
Version 7.0 builds on two ongoing Voyager objectives—ease of use and increased functionality for library staff. Highlights include the following:
- Newly designed WebVoyage OPAC with a modern, easy-to-use layout. An intuitive search model, offering a range of basic and advanced search options, responds to ever-increasing user expectations for attaining valuable library results quickly and efficiently.
- A wide range of accessibility and usability enhancements, designed to comply with the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and national regulatory requirements, have been integrated into this product version. Ex Libris developers worked closely with the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) and the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), as part of the Illinois Board of Higher Education Web Accessibility Consortium, to ensure that the newly redesigned WebVoyage system would meet the needs of users with disabilities, without sacrificing any functionality.
- Voyager 7.0 contains more than 40 administrative enhancements, including improved functionality for maintaining catalog records and a wider range of options for updating and editing serials and acquisitions data. Library staff will have greater flexibility in customizing search and navigation functions to suit the specific needs of their institutions.
Ex Libris Group has also launched its open platform program, reaffirming its commitment to openness as a core company value. To support this new strategic direction, Ex Libris has created EL Commons, a collaborative web-based platform hosting the Developer Zone, where community members can access documentation for the open interfaces, upload software components that they have written and want to share, and download components from other community members, adapting such components to their needs. EL Commons will undergo testing by a representative group of customers over the coming weeks, followed by a general release later this summer.
Source: Ex Libris Group
EBSCO and ATLA Create Digital Archives for Purchase
EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) announced that it has partnered with the American Theological Library Association (ATLA; www.atla.com) to create digital archive collections of historical monographs and serials for purchase by libraries and other institutions. This is a first for EBSCO, which has always provided databases on a subscription basis.
ATLA Historical Monographs Collection: 19th Century, ATLA Historical Monographs Collection: Early 20th Century, and ATLA Historical Serials Collection will consist of digital versions of rare and historical primary sources. The monograph collections will contain more than 29,000 monographs covering religion and theology. The majority of the monographs date from 1850 through 1923 with the earliest monograph from 1322. The monograph collections are estimated to include 7.5 million pages of content. The historical serials collection will contain more than 1,200 serials from the early 19th century to the early 20th century and are estimated to include 5.4 million pages of content. With each collection, researchers can view all of the typography, graphics, and drawings as they were originally presented.
EBSCO will enable libraries to purchase ownership of each collection rather than provide leased access, which is required with subscription-based databases. Digital archive products are typically sold as "static" collections for a one-time purchase price with an annual maintenance fee. EBSCO will provide access via its EBSCOhost interface.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
EBSCO Publishing Introduces EBSCOhost 2.0
EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) introduced the next generation of its EBSCOhost user interface, EBSCOhost 2.0—offering a clean new look and feel. The beta version of EBSCOhost 2.0 is available as a "New Feature" so that users will be able to experiment with the new design before the switch over later in the month. Users should notice a technologically sophisticated, yet familiar, search experience. The product’s design team worked with a range of users and test groups to refine their ideas.
The Basic Search screen simplifies the initial search experience while providing the functionality that users associate with the EBSCOhost platform. The new EBSCOhost 2.0 Result List becomes the launching pad—the mechanism through which results are tailored and refined—delivering a wide variety of brand new tools designed to organize, refine, and expand search results.
A magnifying glass icon beside a title provides an instant preview of the article’s citation, directly from the Result List. Users are able to hover over a result and expand it without ever leaving the Result List. Thumbnail images in the Result List contain the graphical content of an article, and clicking on the thumbnail brings up an instant view of the full-sized image content.
EBSCOhost 2.0 offers a Search Options link so users are able to choose among several search modes and available limiters for refining search results. A new search option called SmartText Searching allows users to move beyond keyword searching and paste large amounts of text into a search box. With this additional type of search, the system analyzes each word in the query for how unique it is; a weight is applied to each word and a search is initiated using those weights as relevancy controls.
The new design also incorporates functions that users are accustomed to using on the web. EBSCOhost 2.0 includes a Preferences link, giving the user control over the look and feel of the Result List, and lets users save those preferences in a My EBSCOhost folder for use in future sessions. In addition, the contents of a My EBSCOhost folder may be sorted among multiple folders. A future enhancement will make it possible for EBSCOhost users to share folders.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
LibLime and the eXtensible Catalog Project Announce Partnership
LibLime (http://liblime.com), provider of open source solutions for libraries, and the eXtensible Catalog (XC) project, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded project currently underway at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries, have announced a new partnership agreement to ensure future compatibility between the XC project and Koha, the first open source integrated library system (ILS).
The XC/LibLime partnership will ensure that the open source software being developed as part of the XC project and the Koha open source integrated library system will be fully compatible with each other, enabling current and future users of Koha to take advantage of the added capabilities for managing and distributing metadata that XC will offer. These benefits include facilitating the ability to combine legacy metadata with emerging schemas and delivering library content to web content management and learning management systems.
The XC system currently in development will provide libraries with open source tools and software that will allow libraries to expand their current roles. Library content, both traditional and digital, can easily be integrated in other systems, including content and learning management systems. The XC system is designed to empower libraries to create customized discovery systems and solutions for their users needs.
XC is being created through a collaborative design and development process with a team of developers at the University of Rochester and at partner institutions. XC will be compatible with a range of ILSs and centralized authentication services, will support multiple metadata formats, and will deliver a customizable next-generation user interface. The XC project has a funded development period from January 2008 until July 2009. For more information, see the project blog at http://extensiblecatalog.info.
Since it was first put into production in early 2000, LibLime’s Koha has enabled new realities of open access, affordability, and free innovation for a diverse community of hundreds of academic, consortia, public, special collection, religious, and school libraries around the globe. The name Koha means "gift" in the Maori language of New Zealand.
SirsiDynix Announces New Faceted Search Product for the Enterprise
SirsiDynix (www.sirsidynix.com) announced SirsiDynix Enterprise, a new faceted search product that is designed to provide the foundation for a range of user experience solutions. SirsiDynix Enterprise will be available to users of SirsiDynix OPACs, including SirsiDynix Symphony e-Library, Horizon Information Portal, iBistro, iLink, Ecole, and Web2, in 3Q 2008.
SirsiDynix Enterprise will feature fuzzy search technology, efficient search index updating, intuitive user interfaces, faceted finding aids, multilanguage support, consortia support, deep integration with SirsiDynix integrated library systems, and next-generation OPAC functionality. SirsiDynix Enterprise also provides the groundwork that will support community/social networking capabilities such as user reviews, rankings, and tagging and more in future releases.
The fuzzy search logic is designed to ensure relevant search results even in cases of simple misspelling or variations in suffixes and prefixes. The faceted finding aids allow narrowing of search results by categories, such as author, subject, publication date, and language, so users can easily find specific records within a result set. Facets can be stacked on top of each other, narrowing by subject and then again by publication date, for example. Faceted finding aids take the guesswork out of refining search results and eliminate "dead-ends."
WT Cox Subscriptions Acquires Journal Finder From UNCG
WT Cox Subscriptions (www.wtcox.com) has entered into an agreement to purchase Journal Finder from The University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG; http://journalfinder.uncg.edu/uncg). Journal Finder, the first OpenURL Link Resolver to go into production in the U.S., gives library patrons easy access to the electronic resources to which a library subscribes. Journal Finder was created and designed and has been maintained by the Electronic Resources and Information Technology staff of UNCG.
Journal Finder has continually been enhanced from the early days with additional usage reports, expanded linking, ERM, the inclusion of more than 11,000 free and Open Access titles, along with many additional features. Journal Finder is now being used by more than 40 libraries.
Leading the Journal Finder team for WT Cox Subscriptions will be Michael Markwith. Markwith is currently responsible for academic sales for WT Cox Subscriptions. Before working with WT Cox, Markwith was president of TDNet, vice-president of academic sales at Swets Blackwell, and CEO of Swets & Zeitlinger (U.S. and Canada). Journal Finder will be folded into WT Cox’s existing service portfolio, allowing WT Cox Subscriptions to strengthen its capability to provide access and e-management resources to its wide customer base.
Source: WT Cox Subscriptions
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