|Weekly News Digest
May 26, 2011 — 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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Digital Public Library of America Steering Committee Announces 'Beta Sprint'
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Steering Committee announced a Beta Sprint that aims to surface innovations that could play a part in the building of a digital public library. The Beta Sprint seeks ideas, models, prototypes, technical tools, user interfaces, etc.—put forth as a written statement, a visual display, code, or a combination of forms—that demonstrate how the DPLA might index and provide access to a wide range of broadly distributed content. The Beta Sprint also encourages development of submissions that suggest alternative designs or that focus on particular parts of the system, rather than on the DPLA as a whole.
The DPLA Steering Committee is leading the first concrete steps toward the realization of a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all. The DPLA planning initiative grew out of an October 2010 meeting at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which brought together more than 40 representatives from foundations, research institutions, cultural organizations, government, and libraries to discuss best approaches to building a national digital library. Subsequent workshops in March and May have addressed the content, scope, and technical aspects of a DPLA.
For inspiration, Beta Sprint participants might consider the general approach taken by initiatives whose leaders are on the DPLA Steering Committee, such as the Internet Archive, Public.Resource.Org, the HathiTrust, American Memory, and others, as well as the Europeana project and the national digital libraries in the Netherlands, Norway, and South Korea.
Submission instructions and more information are available at http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/dpla, where you can also watch a short video about the Beta Sprint. Statements of interest must be received by June 15, 2011. Final submissions will be due by Sept. 1, 2011.
A review panel appointed by the Steering Committee and composed of experts in the fields of library science, information management, and computer science will review Beta Sprint submissions in early September. Creators of the most promising betas will be invited to present their ideas to interested stakeholders and community members during a public meeting in Washington, DC.
Source: Digital Public Library of America Steering Committee
Groups Support Congressionally Mandated Reports Act
Almost thirty organizations, including SLA, ALA, ARL, and AALL, recently joined OpenTheGovernment.org in endorsing the Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, a bill soon to be introduced by Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL). ?The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act requires that any report required by statute to be issued to Congress and releasable under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) be posted on a website managed by the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The reports would be available no later than 30 days after their transmission to Congress, and would be searchable by a number of categories.
The public has a right to know what unclassified and non-privileged information and advice flows between the executive and legislative branches of government because, among other things, it influences how laws are drafted or amended and how taxpayer money is spent. A recent audit by OpenTheGovernment.org and some of our partners reveals that, even among agencies that are considered among the leaders in open government, only a few make some of this information available, and the postings are far from comprehensive.
The Congressionally Mandated Reports Act would make it easier for the public to find information about how well federal agencies are (or are not) fulfilling their respective missions-- from ensuring the safety of our drugs and food supply, to protecting the environment, and monitoring the soundness of our financial institutions-- and use it to hold officials accountable for their actions.
Representative Quigley's bill is similar to a bill that was passed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during the last session of Congress (H.R.6026).
National Library of France Embarks on Huge Digitization Project
The BnF, the National Library of France, has signed a new deal with the Jouve-Safig-Diadeis partnership for the digitization of its print collections. As the principal representative of the operation, the Jouve Group will work in partnership with Safig, Diadeis, and the subcontractor BancTec, to digitize more than 70,000 works per year, of which around 70% will come from the print collections of the BnF and 30% from the collections of partner libraries. Financed by the Centre national du livre, the agreement is for a 3-year period, renewable for 1 year after.
The previous agreement was signed in 2007 with a Safig-BancTec-Diadeis partnership. It allowed the digitization and OCR (optical character recognition) of 36.6 million pages.
The new deal will offer very high standards of quality: 400 DPI resolution, digitization in color or greyscale, a minimal guaranteed OCR standard of 98.5% for documents produced after 1750, and 20% of documents digitized with high quality OCR (99.9%). In addition, at least 10% of documents will be provided in an ePUB version, compatible with mobile e-readers.
The documents will enrich Gallica, the BnF’s digital library. They will cover a range of subjects, including French history, art, French literature, philosophy, law, economics, politics, science, and technology.
Corporate Employee Training Center Now Available From EBSCO
EBSCO Publishing has expanded its corporate learning offerings to include a ready to use, web-based training center. EBSCO and Business & Legal Resources (BLR) have signed an agreement enabling corporations and government agencies to subscribe to BLR’s Employee Training Center through EBSCO.
Many organizations are responsible for training programs mandated by human resources requirements, safety codes, and state and federal regulations. However, instituting these rules or having access to subject-matter experts on topics for which they need to train is difficult. The Employee Training Center can assist organizations with their compliance and training needs by providing a web-based training platform and a source of professionally developed training courses for their workforce.
BLR’s Employee Training Center offers continuously updated, customizable courses in nine specific areas: Customer Service, Environmental Compliance, Human Resources, Lab Safety, Leadership for Employees, Leadership for Managers & Supervisors, Wellness, Workplace Safety and California Sexual Harassment which satisfies the California regulation, AB 1825. Each course is professionally developed by lawyers, industry experts, and professional trainers and supplemented with complete speaker’s notes, quizzes and an answer key.
The Employee Training Center is an indispensible tool for reducing costs and saving time within an organization. Training professionals aren’t tasked with creating the content and scheduling the trainings while employees can complete the training when it makes sense for them with less impact on overall productivity.
Corporate learning resources from EBSCO Publishing include: comprehensive summaries for the best business books from Business Book Summaries plus magazine and journal content from EBSCO’s Learning Centers. EBSCO also provides evidence-based resources for learning professionals such as Corporate Learning Watch and Competency Center. More information about EBSCO’s suite of Corporate Learning resources is available at http://www.ebscohost.com/learning-resources.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
EOS International Announces Release Schedule for OPAC Discovery
EOS International, a provider of cloud computing library automation software, announced the 2011 release schedule for its new product, OPAC Discovery. The Discovery product allows corporate, legal, medical, government, academic, digital, and special libraries to customize the capability as well as look and feel of their OPACs. In June 2011, EOS will release a mobile device version of the application along with a flexible template editor. The new mobile format allows patrons to access your library’s OPAC through iPhones, Androids, and BlackBerries.
The new Template Designer provides filtered access to the standard and mobile templates created by a library for use in OPAC Discovery. From the List screen, add, copy, delete, preview, or open for maintenance any of your library’s pre-defined or custom templates. Once open for maintenance, the template designer provides full access to the tools and necessary to create and maintain custom templates. Included are predefined layouts and themes to achieve the desired look for your library’s OPAC, drag and drop controls to make menus, links, text, and images available to your patrons, single click functionality to add HTML-based functionality, and a properties panel to allow advanced designers to fine tune the attributes and placement of any screen element with precision.
In August 2011, OPAC Discovery will provide complete title list and record display functionality including patron sign in, circulation desk functions, third-party integration, and the remaining standard search options including e-Search, Icon Search, and Cross Library searching.
By October 2011, patron functions will be added to OPAC Discovery including patron information, their social profiles, circulation desk information, routed serials, and premium patron options such as reference requested, RSS feeds, and course information.
In December 2011, EOS will put the final touches on OPAC Discovery with enhancements to the Template Designer, translation services, and a conversion utility to transform a library’s Web OPAC into OPAC Discovery.
Source: EOS International
Print Isnít Dead, Says Bowkerís Annual Book Production Report
Bowker has released its annual report on U.S. print book publishing, compiled from its Books In Print database. Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that despite the popularity of ebooks, traditional U.S. print title output in 2010 increased 5%. Output of new titles and editions increased from 302,410 in 2009 to a projected 316,480 in 2010. The 5% increase comes on the heels of a 4% increase the previous year based on the final 2008-2009 figures.
The non-traditional sector continues its explosive growth, increasing 169% from 1,033,065 in 2009 to an amazing 2,776,260 in 2010. These books, marketed almost exclusively on the web, are largely on-demand titles produced by reprint houses specializing in public domain works and by presses catering to self-publishers and ”micro-niche” publications.
Print on demand is growing at an explosive rate. In 2008, the production of non-traditional print-on-demand books surpassed traditional book publishing for the first time and since then, its growth has been staggering. Now almost 8 times the output of traditional titles, the market is dominated by a handful of publishers. In fact, the top three publishers accounted for nearly 87% of total titles produced in 2010.
Download the full statistics report here.
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