|Weekly News Digest
July 16, 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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Gale and K12, Inc. to Develop New Language Learning Products
Gale (www.gale.com), a part of Cengage Learning (www.cengage.com), and K12, Inc. (www.k12.com) announced an agreement to develop and distribute a new line of world language learning products to libraries. Power-Glide Language Courses, Inc. (known as powerspeaK12), a subsidiary of K12, Inc., will develop web-based language courses, which Gale will distribute exclusively to the library market. Languages will include Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Spanish ESL. Initial course offerings are scheduled to be available later this year.
The courses developed for Gale customers will use the research-driven powerspeaK12 language learning methodology, which includes a variety of multisensory activities to take full advantage of the brain's ability to acquire language. Designed specifically for use by the diverse audience of library patrons, the courses will include a combination of scored online activities, lessons, and games.
Course activities will be bound together with an adventure story containing rich graphics, audio, video, music, and an intuitive way to track progress. Learners will also be challenged to practice speaking and writing in a variety of interactive modules designed to simulate real conversations with native speakers.
SirsiDynix Releases Enhanced Library Tools
SirsiDynix (www.sirsidynix.com) announced the release of SirsiDynix Symphony 3.3. Symphony, the company's integrated library system (ILS) that is used by more than 2,400 libraries in 47 countries serving more than 150 million users. The SirsiDynix Symphony 3.3 release contains a number of features to increase overall staff efficiency, including the following:
- Acquisitions Vendor Interface Port (VIP)-VIP simplifies the process of ordering materials from VIP-compliant vendors and automatically creates bibliographic records for the ordered materials.
- Enhanced Usability Wizards-New task wizards simplify complex or repetitive tasks and make it easier to use the library system.
- Group Item Circulation-The new Group Item Circulation feature simplifies handling of materials for study groups, book clubs, and multipiece kits.
- Enhanced Personalization for Users-Users can specify preferred names or privacy-enhancing nicknames and keep permanent reading lists and bibliographies.
- Automated Print Options-New automated printing options for items such as workslips and labels speeds processes for adding new materials to the collection.
- SIP2 Patron Authentication-Libraries can capture remote patron usage data to build usage and funding models.
- StaffWeb Client-Symphony StaffWeb has been enhanced to include features for all library types.
- Horizon and Dynix Migrations-All SirsiDynix customers will benefit from many new features suggested via enhancement forums along with capabilities inspired by the SirsiDynix Horizon and Dynix platforms.
SirsiDynix also announced the release of SirsiDynix Web Reporter 3.3 for Oracle. Web Reporter is an easy-to-use, web-based reporting solution that takes advantage of MicroStrategy enterprise-level reporting tools. Librarians gain insight into the daily operations at their libraries by using Web Reporter's convenience, power, and flexibility to turn operational metrics into actionable data. The new version has new report templates, new reporting attributes and metrics, additional filters, and more.
The company also announced SirsiDynix Enterprise 3.0, which offers users a single "search well" to discover all the resources the library makes available. Those resources can include one or more library catalogs, digital collections, selected websites, and federated resources.
Northern Light Expands Consulting Services
Northern Light Group, LLC (www.northernlight.com) announced MI Insights, a new service that unifies a company's tracking of product markets, competitors, events, and trends in one easy-to-deploy, turnkey solution. Each MI Insight is customized to the client's specifications, populated with content, and editorially supervised by Northern Light research professionals. MI Insights can be integrated into a SinglePoint strategic research portal or a Northern Light Business News portal or can be deployed as a MI Insights portal.
Northern Light's editorial team works with each client to create a framework within the MI Insights portal to capture, organize, and present all of the key knowledge elements the client requires to support its strategic initiatives. Then, Northern Light researchers scour internet resources, news, and licensed research for the content required to populate and update the portal. The result is market intelligence that can be easily used by all the client's employees. MI Insights portals are tuned to the client's industry.
MI Insights is the latest in a range of consulting services from Northern Light, which is best known for providing custom strategic research portals for some of the world's leading companies. MI Insights incorporates Northern Light's widely deployed enterprise search and text analytics capabilities, specifically tuned for business research, and content from Northern Light Business News, a full-text index of more than 8,000 sources, including business news wires, leading business publications, industry news sites, and editorially selected industry authority blogs.
MI Insights is available immediately from Northern Light. The service is available to an unlimited number of users within a client organization. Pricing is based on the number of industries and companies surveyed, starting at $48,000 per year.
Source: Northern Light
Bowker Introduces Books In Print 2.0
Bowker (www.bowker.com), a provider of bibliographic information management solutions, announced the beta release of Books In Print 2.0 (BIP 2.0), an enhanced version of the company's flagship book discovery and collection development platform, Books in-Print. The official global market release of BIP 2.0 is scheduled for early 4Q 2009.
BIP 2.0 is a new dynamic book search and discovery platform that provides librarians, researchers, and library patrons with access to the richest set of book information available in the reference market. The platform combines comprehensive content with powerful visual discovery interfaces from AquaBrowser, Bowker's popular search platform utilized by more than 500 libraries worldwide. This enables users to discover relevant book information through a variety of cutting-edge collection development capabilities, including edition-grouped search results (FRBR), "word cloud" search visualization, and Web 2.0 tools such as rating, tagging, and other social networking features.
Bowker is demonstrating BIP 2.0 at the American Library Association's 2009 Annual Conference and exhibition, July 11-14, 2009. More information about Books In Print 2.0 and other Bowker information services and solutions for the library market can be accessed at www.bowker.com/ala2009/info.htm.
Bowker provides searching, analytical, promotional, and ordering services to publishers, booksellers, libraries, and patrons through national and international brands, including: Books In Print, Global Books In Print, Syndetic Solutions, Pubnet, PubEasy, PubTrack, AquaBrowser, and more. In the U.S., Australia, and Puerto Rico, Bowker is also the exclusive ISBN and SAN Agency and a DOI registration agency for the publishing industry. Bowker, now part of the ProQuest family of companies, is headquartered in New Providence, N.J., with operations in East Grinstead, England, and Melbourne, Australia.
Source: Bowker LLC
Tutor.com Introduces New Learning Suite
Tutor.com (www.tutor.com) has launched the new Tutor.com Learning Suite (www.tutor.com/libraries-education/products/k12-center) to thousands of libraries across the country. After almost a decade of offering one-to-one, online tutoring and homework help, Tutor.com's expanded product suite includes services for the entire community, including the many American adults who find themselves searching for jobs, writing resumes, and going back to school during this difficult economic time. Along with the Live Homework Help program, library card holders of any age can now obtain real-time writing assistance and resume help using the ProofPoint Real-Time Writing Center and access to vetted resources in the 24/7 SkillsCenter Resource Library. The new Learning Suite is being featured at the American Library Association's 2009 Annual Conference.
The Tutor.com Adult Career Center includes one-to-one help designed for adults who are conducting a job search and need help with resume strategies as well as writing a resume or polishing a cover letter. A new and unique proofreading service, ProofPoint allows adults to have their writing reviewed one to one with a tutor in real time rather than waiting a day or longer for a marked copy to be returned via email. Adults may also access the new SkillsCenter 24/7 to find resume guidelines, job search guidance, and interview tips. Through a partnership with Career Solvers, Tutor.com is also offering online resume writing workshops throughout the fall.
Beyond job search, the Adult Career Center will help students preparing for the GED or going back to school with one-to-one assistance in math, science, social studies, and English. Adults getting ready for the citizenship test may connect with a social studies or English tutor to prepare for that test or use resources from the SkillsCenter to find practice exams, explanations on how to register for the test, and more.
Powering this suite are new technologies delivered in an interactive, online classroom built using Microsoft Silverlight technology and designed for learning with an interactive whiteboard featuring a large collection of drag-and-drop tools for math and science sessions and the ability to share documents and browse web resources in real time with a tutor.
Library of Congress and DuraSpace Launch Cloud Technologies Pilot Program
The Library of Congress (www.loc.gov) National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP; www.digitalpreservation.gov) and DuraSpace (www.duraspace.org) have announced that they will launch a 1-year pilot program to test the use of cloud technologies to enable perpetual access to digital content. The pilot will focus on a new service, DuraCloud, developed and hosted by the DuraSpace organization. Among the NDIIPP partners participating in the pilot program are The New York Public Library and the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Cloud technologies use remote computers to provide local services through the internet. DuraCloud will let an institution provide data storage and access without having to maintain its own dedicated technical infrastructure.
For NDIIPP partners, it is not enough to preserve digital materials without also having strategies in place to make that content accessible. NDIIPP is concerned with many types of digital content, including geospatial, audiovisual, images, and text. The NDIIPP partners will focus on deploying access-oriented services that make it easier to share important cultural, historical, and scientific materials with the world. To ensure perpetual access, valuable digital materials must be stored in a durable manner. DuraCloud will provide both storage and access services, including content replication and monitoring services that span multiple cloud-storage providers.
The New York Public Library offers a set of scholarly research collections with an intellectual and cultural range that is both global and local. The DuraCloud pilot program at the library will replicate large collections of digital images from a Fedora repository into DuraCloud. The New York Public Library plans to convert the images from the TIFF format to JPEG 2000 and to serve these images using a powerful JPEG 2000 image engine within DuraCloud.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library provides access to historical journal literature in biodiversity in collaboration with global partners, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Their DuraCloud pilot will focus on replication of digital content to provide protection for valuable biodiversity resources. The pilot will demonstrate bidirectional replication of content among partners in the U.S. and Europe. The library will use the cloud computing capabilities offered by DuraCloud to analyze biodiversity texts to extract key information such as species-related words. The institution will also deploy a JPEG 2000 image engine via DuraCloud to process and serve digital images.
Source: Library of Congress
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