|Weekly News Digest
March 15, 2012 — 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 Adds New bX Services Based on Scholarly Usage Data
Ex Libris Group announced the addition of three new services to the suite of bX usage-based services. Released in 2009, the first member of the bX suite—the bX Recommender—is deployed in more than 1,000 institutions worldwide.
Using data-mining techniques to analyze scholarly usage data from multiple information systems, the bX technology identifies topics that are currently in the spotlight of academic discourse and assesses the popularity of specific publications. Data analyzed by bX also reveals subtle usage patterns and associations between articles and journals, themes, and authors. By providing analytics and trending information based on the usage patterns of many millions of users, bX services enable librarians to evaluate objectively both the electronic resources that they license and their institutions’ collection strategies.
The bX service suite includes the following new services in addition to the original bX Recommender service, all available at no charge:
- bX Hot Articles, which identifies the most popular articles in major subject areas in the current month. A number of institutions are now using a pilot version of this service. Hot Articles will be available as a mobile application in addition to the web service.
- bX Most Popular Articles, which lists the articles that users selected the most times in the previous year
- bX Journal Popularity Report, which lists the journals that users selected the most times in the previous quarter
These new services are available to the scholarly community from the Ex Libris website and are free for noncommercial use. Enhanced functionality enabling users to access the archives of the bX Most Popular Articles and bX Journal Popularity Report services will be available later this year.
Source: Ex Libris Group
3M Cloud Library Announces Integration With Polaris ILS
3M Library Systems and Polaris Library Systems announced a strategic partnership that will make browsing and checking out ebooks simpler than ever. The 3M Cloud Library eBook Lending Service will now be integrated with the Polaris Integrated Library System (ILS), allowing patrons at participating libraries to discover both physical and digital collections from wherever they are browsing—the library’s own public access catalog (PAC) or from the 3M Cloud Library applications. The new partnership will be showcased at the Public Library Association 2012 Conference, beginning on March 13 in Philadelphia.
This first-of-its-kind integration between an ILS and ebook service will bring added convenience to library patrons, who will now be able to browse and check out both physical books and ebooks from one unified interface. The system will also enable unified account profiles, where users will be able to view status updates or receive notifications for all of their materials—both physical and digital. Additionally, with the integrated system, statistics on 3M ebooks will be collected in real time and included in circulation reports—a valuable asset for librarians.
Getting started is easy, as the 3M Cloud Library app does not require an Adobe ID, and lets patrons simply select their library and enter their library card number to gain access to the system and start reading. Unlike some competitive systems, 3M Cloud Library doesn’t ask for detailed information from patrons such as name and email address and it doesn’t require an additional password. All that is needed to begin browsing and reading is a valid library card number in good standing.
The 3M Cloud Library service is currently in use at 10 beta sites across the country. In April, general release installations will be performed for 30 additional library systems. Patrons of these libraries will gain access to content from a growing list of more than 40 publishers, with content offerings totaling more than 100,000 titles.
3M supports the philosophy that libraries should own their content after purchase. 3M has designed the Cloud Library system to serve as a digital distributor of content, and supports library ebook license ownership after the sale. If a library wishes to terminate their relationship with 3M and move to a new platform provider, 3M will not restrict the library from transferring their ebook licenses to a new platform. 3M has also eliminated the need for a lengthy multi-year service agreement, with a newly released terms and conditions agreement that allows customers to renew their subscription without committing to a long-term contract.
Source: 3M Library Systems
Tutor.com Online Tutoring App Now Available Through Boopsie
Tutor.com, an online tutoring provider, and Boopsie, a mobile solution for universities and libraries worldwide, announced the availability of Tutor.com through the Boopsie platform. The partnership will make it easy for library patrons whose libraries subscribe to both services to access a live tutor anytime, anywhere through the Boopsie native mobile app.
For Tutor.com, the astounding growth in mobile usage has driven the development of a full mobile solution that includes the Tutor.com To Go iOS app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and an HTML5 classroom that is compatible with any mobile device. “For many students, especially those from lower economic backgrounds, their mobile device is the only way they have to access the internet,” said George Cigale, founder and CEO of Tutor.com. “The Tutor.com mobile app provides access to one-to-one online tutoring when and where students need help. We’re delighted to be working with Boopsie to make our app more visible to students as soon as they connect to their library’s mobile site.”
In use in more than 250 libraries and universities, Boopsie is changing the way libraries look at their mobile presence, taking a more strategic approach to delivering content beyond the library catalog to users when and where they need information. Boopsie is the American Library Association (ALA)’s mobile partner for a range of conferences and the preferred mobile solution for a number of consortia.
The Tutor.com network of more than 2,000 professional tutors and career specialists have delivered more than 7 million one-to-one tutoring and career sessions in a proprietary online classroom optimized for learning since 2001. For more information about Tutor.com’s Mobile Solutions, click here.
Source: Boopsie and Tutor.com
Occupational Health Content Integrated into EBSCOís ExPub Databases
Managing the impact of chemicals on employees in the workplace is now easier for health and safety professionals thanks to a new agreement adding Haz-Map to the ExPub database from EBSCO Publishing. Haz-Map is designed to assist professionals seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biological agents in the workplace.
Haz-Map references hundreds of resources; it links jobs and hazardous job tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. Haz-Map contains profiles on thousands of chemicals—focusing on uses, adverse effects, and other information needed for exposure assessment. Each chemical is linked to associated industrial processes and nonoccupational activities. Each chemical is also linked to any of the 225 occupational diseases in the database in which a causal relationship has been established.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2007, workers suffered more than 55,000 illnesses related to chemical exposures, and nearly 17,500 chemical-related injuries and illnesses resulted in workers spending days away from work. If recognized, occupational diseases are preventable. To recognize them, health and safety professionals need quick access to comprehensive information. ExPub is a leading provider of up-to-date chemical hazard information for Environmental Health & Safety professionals. The database is designed to help companies and agencies save time and money by providing a single platform for users to find the information they need on demand.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
CIVICTechnologies Launches CommunityConnect
CIVICTechnologies, a provider of market segmentation and geographic information system (GIS) data and solutions to libraries, announces the launch of CommunityConnect following successful pilot projects at several libraries including Las Vegas-Clark County Library District in Nevada, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas, and Skokie Public Library in Illinois, among others. CommunityConnect will be demonstrated at the PLA Conference in Philadelphia, March 14-16, 2012
CommunityConnect is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution that helps public libraries knowledgeably allocate money for resources, services, and collection development by predicting people’s needs and interests, neighborhood by neighborhood. By combining market segmentation data with a library’s patron and checkout data, CommunityConnect helps libraries find new customers, increase services, address low literacy rates, compare service areas, and perform market research, among other features.
According to Marc Futterman, president and CEO of CIVICTechnologies, CommunityConnect helps libraries do three critical things: understand their community, predict what people are interested in, and deliver relevant services. This customer-driven approach to library service is based on analyzing and combining different data sets, including census data, library data, and market segmentation data. The result is an interactive web-based software solution that helps library staff build the right mix of collections and services to meet customer needs.
EBSCO Publishing Extends Partnership With Accessible Archives Inc.
EBSCO Publishing has expanded its partnership with Accessible Archives, Inc. to include American County Histories to 1900: New England and The Civil War: Parts V and IV in EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS). The agreement allows metadata from these two resources to be added to the Base Index of EDS.
American County Histories to 1900: New England presents all the publications from New England counties revealing detailed information about history, geology, geography, government, family history, and many other subject areas related to the New England area. Additional county histories will be added throughout the year. The Civil War: Parts V and IV presents various aspects of the Civil War from an Iowa and Midwestern perspective.
Accessible Archives, Inc. is an electronic publisher of primary source full-text historical databases encompassing rich, comprehensive material found in leading historical periodicals, books, and newspapers. Accessible Archives content also provides unique historical elements reflecting broad views of American history and culture. Information includes eyewitness accounts of historical events, vivid descriptions of daily life, editorial observations, commerce as seen through advertisements, and genealogical records.
EBSCO Discovery Service users will have the ability to search the full text of Accessible Archives resources bringing an extended list of results alongside additional library resources. EDS creates a unified, customized index of an institution’s information resources, and an easy, yet powerful means of accessing all of that content from a single search box—searching made even more powerful because of the quality of metadata and depth and breadth of coverage. The EDS Base Index represents content from approximately 20,000 providers (and growing) in addition to metadata from another 70,000 book publishers.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
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