|Weekly News Digest
April 30, 2009 — 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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Official Museum Directory Debuts New Website
The Official Museum Directory announced that it will debut a comprehensive new companion website for its print directory (www.officialmuseumdirectory.com). The website features a searchable database of more than 11,500 museums, zoos, historic sites, aquariums, science centers, and other cultural/historical learning centers.
The online directory aims to provide museum professionals, researchers, reference librarians, and other subscribers with greater capability for finding museum information. The focal points of the new site are a subscription-based search engine and a searchable suppliers guide connecting museum professionals with each other and with industry vendors.
In print for nearly 40 years, The Official Museum Directory is published in cooperation with the American Association of Museums (www.aam-us.org) and contains detailed information on thousands of institutions including address and contact information; collections and exhibition information; hours of operation and admission prices; key personnel; research fields; activities, attendance, publications, and more.
The suppliers guide is open to the public and allows users to find vendors by keyword search, location, or category. The new site will also contain an industry newsfeed, updated hourly, as well as features spotlighting a different museum and museum professional each month.
The Official Museum Directory is published by National Register Publishing (NRP; www.nationalregisterpub.com), a division of Marquis Who's Who, LLC (www.marquiswhoswho.com), and is based in New Providence, NJ. Marquis Who's Who also publishes Who's Who in America, the American Art Directory, and The Official Catholic Directory.
Source: National Register Publishing
Gale Announces New Cross-Searchable Slavery Database
Gale (www.gale.com), a part of Cengage Learning (www.cengage.com), announced a new electronic resource to be released in late May that will offer a comprehensive archive chronicling slavery from the 16th century through the early 20th century. The company says that Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive represents the first-ever, large-scale database to make available historical books, manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, court records, and other sources in one cross-searchable location. The new resource is part of Gale's expanding program of digital archives designed to serve the needs of academic researchers and students.
The first of the four-part series, Debates over Slavery and Abolition, explores the varying viewpoints and debates that surrounded the practice, experience, and eventual abolition of slavery in the U.S., as well as in Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. It will be followed by Part 2 in 2011. Once completed, the entire four-part digital archive will comprise 5 million pages of documents. This collection-Debates over Slavery and Abolition, Slave Trade in the Atlantic World, Institution of Slavery in the U.S., Age of Emancipation-embraces the historical study of slavery in a comprehensive, conceptual, and global way.
Collections drawn from institutions such as Amistad Research Center, Oberlin College, Yale University, and Oxford University allow for unparalleled depth and breadth of content. Scholarly reference materials are drawn from MacMillan, Scribner's, and Gale encyclopedias, among others, and contextual commentary has been created specially for this collection. With documents from 5,000 books and pamphlets, 60 newspapers and periodicals, and 600,000 pages of manuscripts, teachers and researchers will have access to a comprehensive array of opposing views and perspectives in one database.
New Automated Library Vending SolutionóGoLibrary
Evanced Solutions (www.evancedsolutions.com) announced GoLibrary, an automated vending solution that provides libraries with a cost-efficient way to increase service, access, and convenience. In effect, it brings the library to the community. It is designed to provide library services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the community. The company says GoLibrary promises to do for libraries what the ATM did for banks. GoLibrary handles the complete process of storing books and other media, handling loans, accepting returns, and performing basic administration functions. Library patrons access GoLibrary using their regular library card; the process is simple, quick, and available any time.
Through a distribution and service agreement with Distribution Technologies DISTEC AB, a Sweden-based company, Evanced is the exclusive reseller of GoLibrary products in the Northeast region of the U.S., and it will also be selling them throughout the country. While GoLibrary machines can be installed inside or outside library buildings, more importantly, they can also be installed at locations where a traditional library could not operate, such as shopping areas, schools, hospitals, offices, residential areas, airports, and recreational/community centers.
There are three GoLibrary models available now to meet particular needs. They include the following:
- GoLibrary Popular Materials-Allows for a mix of popular books, CDs, and DVDs
- GoLibrary Media-Specializes in DVD and CD media to offer a wide array of titles
- GoLibrary Reservations-A totally automated reservation/holds system accessible 24/7
Source: Evanced Solutions
San Jose Establishes Global e-Campus for M.L.I.S.
The San Jose School of Library and Information Science (http://slisweb.sjsu.edu) has announced the Global e-Campus for Library and Information Science. Beginning in fall 2009, the school will complete the move to a fully online delivery for the 43-credit Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) degree, joining the Master of Archives and Records Administration degree. Governance and administration have similarly moved to increased use of web-conferencing and other information and communication technologies.
For more than 50 years the school has been an early adopter of distance learning technology, including closed-circuit television and interactive videoconferencing. Today, students benefit from high-quality synchronous and asynchronous instruction and networking opportunities, choosing from more than 250 courses a semester and interacting with peers and instructors through web conferencing, social networking platforms, a web-based learning management system, and immersive environments. These technologies provide a rich learning environment and better prepare students to apply technology in their professional lives. San Jose's students live in 45 states and 14 countries, and full- and part-time faculty live on three continents. The new virtual nature of the program and its administrative infrastructure allows the school to recruit top faculty, regardless of where they live. Clear expectations for faculty and students, small classes, and continual high investment in advanced distance learning technologies contribute to academic and professional success.
Source: San Jose School of Library and Information Science
Google Introduces Public Data Search Feature
Google announced a new search feature that makes it easy to find and compare public data from sources. In the first launch, the data are produced and published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Division. There are statistics for prices of cookies, CO2 emissions, asthma frequency, high school graduation rates, bakers' salaries, number of wildfires, and the list goes on.
For example, go to Google.com and type in [unemployment rate] or [population] followed by a U.S. state or county; you will see the most recent estimates and then get an interactive chart that lets you add and remove data for different geographical areas. Users can customize the graphs and share them with others.
The feature derives from Google's acquisition of Trendalyzer 2 years ago. Google says it is looking to expand the scope of public data that people can find through Google. It offers information for public data publishers at www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?answer=144758. Google wants to eventually display data from other governmental agencies, research institutes, and other private organizations. The company says it is interested in both aggregated statistics and the underlying raw data from which they were derived. Other types of structured information such as reference lists and classifications are also of great interest. Google says it will not use any data that compromises the privacy of individuals or infringes upon any proprietary rights.
Really Strategies Announces RSuite Engine
Really Strategies, Inc. (www.reallysi.com) announced the availability of RSuite Engine for organizations to jump-start development of content management projects on top of MarkLogic Server, a leading XML server from Mark Logic Corp. (www.marklogic.com). RSuite Engine is the foundation of RSuite CMS (www.rsuitecms.com) and provides a robust API for technical teams to accelerate the development of sophisticated content management applications. RSuite is a content management system (CMS) for publishers. Providing a robust suite of editorial, content enrichment, and management tools, publishers have the ability to manage any content (e.g., XML, PDF, Word, images, video).
RSuite Engine is a Java-based environment that runs on both Windows and Linux. The API enables developers to load, create, and search content; to assign and manage metadata at any element level; to build user interfaces for browsing and interacting with content; to version and lock/unlock content; and to interact with other content management functions. RSuite Engine is offered as either a perpetual or term license. Additional RSuite components such as the user interface and workflow modules can now be purchased separately.
MarkLogic Server includes a unique set of capabilities to store, search, analyze, and dynamically deliver content. On top of this platform, Mark Logic customers and partners build information access and delivery solutions used by organizations to accelerate the creation of content applications. "We anticipate organizations will save months of development time by licensing RSuite Engine," said Barry Bealer, president/CEO and co-founder of Really Strategies.
Source: Really Strategies, Inc.
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