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Weekly News Digest

July 11, 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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Early Agreements for Sierra Services Platform Announced

Innovative Interfaces announced that 25 academic and public libraries have entered into agreements to be partners in or early implementers of the company’s Sierra development initiative. Included in the group are collaborating institutions such as Central Arkansas Library System, Council Bluffs Public Library (Iowa), Gardner-Webb University (N.C.), The George Washington University Law School (D.C.), Greene County Public Library (Ohio), Grinnell College (Iowa), Hillsdale College (Mich.), Hope College (Mich.), Indianhead Federated Library System (Wis.), Jefferson County Public Library (Colo.), Lafayette College (Pa.), London Public Library (Canada), Marquette University (Wis.), Mentor Public Library (Ohio), Michigan State University, Middle Country Public Library (N.Y.), Texas Southern University Law, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Neb.), University of Notre Dame Law School (Ind.), Wright State University (Ohio), and Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School (Conn.).

The Sierra Services Platform will provide complete, customizable ILS functionality with the power and scale of modern software architecture. . Built on a foundation of “open services,” Sierra will provide all the benefits of a modern library-services system including fully developed, stable library workflows. At the same time, Sierra is designed with flexibility built in to meet changing needs of libraries and their users. Sierra’s beta launch is scheduled for late 2011.

Development will first focus on the new integrated staff application that simplifies the routine functions and provides a role-based interface from which critical library functions can be managed. The initial release will also include exposure of the industry-compliant PostgreSQL database and Lucene index structures. In addition to the functionality and services that Sierra offers, developers will be able to think up new advancements on their own with Sierra’s Developer Sandbox and Developer’s Community.

Innovative is working with all its Sierra libraries to ensure that the transition to Sierra will be as smooth as possible. For libraries using other ILS systems, Innovative’s professional services team will design, deploy, and scale a solution that fits the specific needs of the library including new services and training programs tailored to the new functionality of Sierra.

Source: Innovative Interfaces

Alexander Street Press Adds EMI recordings to Classical Music Library

Alexander Street Press announced the addition of nearly 22,500 recordings from EMI and EMI sub-labels Virgin Classics and Angel Records to its streaming music collection for libraries and educational institutions, Classical Music Library.

Said editorial director Liz Dutton, “These are world-class artists and ensembles—seminal and historic recordings together with the most important contemporary releases. The breadth and scope of the new content represents a fantastic addition to Classical Music Library, and it will have an enormous impact on the collection’s value for students and music instructors at the thousands of subscribing universities worldwide and for classical music fans accessing the collection through their public library.”

Highlights of the release include recordings by Thomas Hampson, the Eroica Trio, Enrico Caruso, Natalie Dessay, Sarah Chang, Les Arts Florissants, Maria Callas, Julian Bream, the English Consort, Dinu Lipatti, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, Yehudi Menuhin, Kiri Te Kanawa, Maxim Vengerov, and many more.

The publisher also announced that they have added global rights for all of the EMI recordings in Classical Music Library for all territories except Japan. An additional 35,000 recordings, also largely from EMI, will be added to Classical Music Library later this year. In all, the e-resource has tripled the number of recordings since 2010.

EMI is known for being the world's oldest recording label, and for possessing the largest catalog of classical recordings in the world. In addition to EMI, Alexander Street has licensed recordings from more than 50 other major music labels, including Sanctuary Classics, Hyperion, CBC, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and Hänssler Classic.

Classical Music Library is part of Music Online, Alexander Street’s growing suite of recordings, scores, videos, and music reference e-resources. All of the collections in the Music Online suite of e-resources are fully integrated and cross-searchable from a single URL, making it the only comprehensive resource for the study and enjoyment of classical, world, American, and jazz music.

Source: Alexander Street Press

New Report on Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors

R.R. Bowker and Publishers Weekly released the 2010-2011 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors Annual Review. A weakened economy, declining numbers of book buyers and the acceleration of ebooks seemingly combined to make 2010 one of the most challenging ever for the U.S. book industry.

“The year 2010 saw a perfect storm of challenges to the U.S. book market, as a number of inter-related trends continued to impact the market,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publishing services for Bowker. “Now more than ever, this report’s data about the American book consumer can help publishers, retailers, and others navigate these challenging times by arming them with information.”

The 2010-11 Annual Review identifies how the economy and shifting industry dynamics combined to significantly alter the way consumers bought books in 2010. Among the most profound impacts: For the first time ever, online retailers accounted for more units purchased and spending on books than the national bookstore chains, making ecommerce the single largest book-buying channel.

The report also explores how books are competing with other forms of entertainment for the consumer dollar. While steady declines were seen in book buying in the first three quarters of 2010, purchases bounced back in the fourth quarter, with 51% of book buyers saying the economy had no impact on their book buying—the highest percentage in 2 years. Among book buyers, reading books continues to place in the top three forms of media entertainment (along with communicating online through email or IM and surfing the web). However, reading as a pastime continues to decline: the percentage of book buyers who reported reading a book at least once a week fell to 57%, down from 59% in 2009.

2010-11 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review includes more than 100 pages of data and analysis including a summary of insights followed by demographic data on America’s book buyers, what types of books they buy and where they buy them, along with insight into what motivates their purchases. The changing nature of format and the impact of ebooks are explored by defining the demographics of the ebook buyer. The report also includes a detailed look at book production statistics.

Information was gathered through PubTrack Consumer’s nationally representative annual panel of nearly 40,000 U.S. book-buying men, women, and teens. The 2010 panel was built by monthly recruiting of book buyers who completed surveys about their book purchasing behavior during the previous month.

The report is available now by visiting http://www.bookconsumer.com. Pricing starts at $999 for a single-use PDF or print copy. Members of the news media can purchase at a 30% discount. Print copies are being manufactured on demand by Ingram Content Group’s Lightning Source.

Source: R.R. Bowker

Annual Reviews Releases New Mobile Platform; Celebrates 80th Anniversary

Annual Reviews, the nonprofit publisher that synthesizes critical research literature, announced a new release of the mobile platform that enables full-text access to its 40 journals. The release coincides with the 80th anniversary of the organization’s first title, the Annual Review of Biochemistry; in celebration, the journal’s extensive 80th volume is available for free mobile access for the next 30 days.

Further details about Annual Reviews Mobile:

  • The Annual Reviews Mobile platform is powered by Atypon’s Literatum for Mobile
  • Features include browsing of journals, issues, and abstracts; searching by keyword, author, and title; and access to full text, references, images, and related links via personal or institutional subscription
  • The latest release simplifies the process by which users can pair a device to their institution’s access rights; pairing now takes place within the mobile browser (rather than through a separate app)
  • The pairing period has also been extended (from 30 days to 6 months) and is initiated and automatically renewed each time a user logs in to Annual Reviews while connected to their institution’s Wi-Fi network
  • The mobile platform now allows articles to be downloaded for offline reading, and supports sharing of abstracts and links via social networks
  • More details and pairing instructions are available at http://www.annualreviews.org/page/about/mobile
  • This November, look for a case study of Annual Reviews’ experiences in developing a mobile platform, to be published in Serials: connecting the knowledge community, the UKSG journal.

Source: Annual Reviews

OPA Releases New Study of Tablet Users

The Online Publishers Association (OPA) released a new study, “A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User,” that was commissioned to learn about consumer usage of tablets, content consumption preferences, and implications for advertising on the device. The study found that tablet users view tablets as their preferred reading device over computers and printed media for many types of content, including weather, entertainment, news, sports, and financial information. A copy of the study’s findings is available at http://www.online-publishers.org.

The OPA collaborated with Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. to conduct this study. Magid fielded a nationally representative online survey of 2,482 people, ages 8 to 64 years old, to evaluate the attitudes and behaviors of tablet owners and users between April 15 and April 20, 2011. The study found that 12% of today’s U.S. online population (ages 8 to 64) currently owns or uses a tablet device and an incremental 11% intend to purchase a tablet device in the next 12 months.

“79% of app downloaders paid for content in the last year, which provides a great opportunity for publishers to generate new revenue streams,” said Pam Horan, president of the OPA. “The study also revealed that consumers prefer content bundling and payment options to buy content through a variety of sources including direct from publishers rather than only through app retail stores.”

Key findings from the study include the following:

  • Today’s tablet users represent 12% of the U.S. internet population ages 8 - 64; that number is projected to grow to 23% by early 2012—a group that represents an estimated 54 million people
  • 87% of tablet users are accessing content and information, the dominant activity for this device
  • 93% of tablet users have downloaded apps; the average tablet user has downloaded 20 apps
  • 79% of app downloaders have paid for apps in the last 12 months; 26% of all apps downloaded are paid
  • On average, those who have downloaded apps on tablets have spent $53 on apps in the past 12 months
  • In addition to iTunes, Amazon and Google, 29% of tablet users would prefer to buy apps from their cable company or internet provider and 25% would prefer to buy their apps directly from publishers

Source: Online Publishers Association

AllBusiness.com Gets Major Redesign

AllBusiness.com, a D&B company, announced a dramatic new redesign, including new site organization, new content filters, comments and ratings functionality, and new columnists and bloggers. Intended to give AllBusiness.com a fully up-to-date look and feel as well as introduce new content and functionality, the redesign is the catalyst for all sorts of changes, some of which will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.

Some of the changes include the following:

  • Brand new logo and tagline: AllBusiness.com is now “Your Small Business Advantage!”
  • New site organization designed to highlight the topics of most interest to small business owners and managers, including sales and marketing, finance, technology, staffing and HR, and operations, plus instant access to information related to your particular industry, from agriculture to technology.
  • New Content Filters that make it easy to find information: AllBusiness.com feature articles, news, blogs, videos, and more, as well as the millions of periodicals and press releases it licenses from leading industry publications.
  • New comments and ratings functionality that makes it easy to share information, insight, and encouragement with your small business peers.
  • New high-profile columnists and bloggers, as Harry McCracken (Time magazine columnist, founder of Technologizer, and former editor in chief of PC World) joins Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch, Rieva Lesonsky, and Keith Girard. More big names will be signing on soon.

The new redesign also ties together other recently added features, including the following:

  • The AllBusiness Daily News blog that puts the day's biggest events in context for small businesses
  • A unique Twitter feed of all small business-related tweets
  • A revamped Download Center with free downloads of hundreds of customizable business templates, presentations, training guides, quick-reference checklists, and other essential legal documents and business forms for small businesses

Source: AllBusiness.com



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