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Weekly News Digest

June 18, 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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New Collaboration Announced—Global Open Knowledgebase (GOKb)

Kuali OLE, one of the largest academic library software collaborations in the U.S., and JISC, the U.K.’s expert on digital technologies for education and research, announced a collaboration that will make data about e-resources—such as publication and licensing information—more easily available. Together, Kuali OLE and JISC will develop an international open data repository that will give academic libraries a broader view of subscribed resources.

The effort, known as the Global Open Knowledgebase (GOKb) project, is funded in part by a $499,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. North Carolina State University will serve as lead institution for the project. GOKb will be an open, community-based, international data repository that will provide libraries with publication information about electronic resources. This information will support libraries in providing efficient and effective services to their users and ensure that critical electronic collections are available to their students and researchers.

The GOKb cloud service will provide data for “subscribed resources” from a higher education perspective. It will include data such as publication information, related organizations, and model licences, and will be accessible across all U.S. and U.K. academic libraries.

Many of the concerns libraries have in the management of electronic resources are the same across the world. There are a number of projects, such as the Kuali OLE (Open library Environment) in the U.S. and the Knowledge Base+ service in the U.K., which are exploring community-based solutions.

Kuali OLE is a community of nine research libraries working together to build the first open-source system designed by and for academic and research libraries for managing and delivering intellectual information.

Among JISC’s objectives are to provide cost-effective shared national services and resources and to help institutions improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business systems.

Source: JISC 

Bibliotheca to Support Open Source Ebook Model

Bibliotheca, a supplier of technologies designed to enhance library efficiency and the user experience, is partnering with the library community to facilitate adoption of open source platforms for the delivery of electronic content. The company will build upon the concepts originally designed and developed by the Douglas County Libraries, Colo. (DCL) to enable libraries, first in North America and then around the globe, to meet the many challenges that the emerging world of ebooks presents. 

Monique Sendze, associate director of information technology at DCL, will be joining Bibliotheca to lead a new Bibliotheca eBook division. “My heart belongs to libraries and I have devoted many of my waking hours over the past two years to making DCL’s ebook solution a reality. I am excited by the opportunity to take what I’ve learned at DCL to make ebooks more affordable and user friendly for libraries and their patrons throughout the world.” 

Objectives of Bibliotheca’s ebook model include lower acquisition costs through a library cooperative buying platform, seamless integration with all major ILS to create a user-friendly environment for patrons, and expansion of digital content made available by publishers to libraries. Bibliotheca looks to help the library community achieve these objectives through installation, customization, technical support, and hosting services. 

“We at DCL came to the conclusion that the existing eBook models did not present a viable long term ebook solution, functionally or financially,” states director Jamie LaRue. “The DCL model is predicated on ownership, discounts, and integration. Bibliotheca’s eagerness to test and take our model to the global market is significant—a game-changer. It has the potential to restore purchasing power to libraries, predictability and fairness to the publishing environment, and greater access to content for our public.” 

Shai Robkin, president of Bibliotheca in the Americas states: “We have been paying close attention to the frustrations libraries have expressed with the existing ebook delivery models while, at the same time, watching the exciting work being done at DCL. While our focus to date has been on providing libraries with the best tools possible for managing their physical collections, we are uniquely positioned to provide them with robust e-content delivery solutions. In this context, we are also excited by the potential to integrate ebook delivery into our existing self-service kiosks.” 

Source: Bibliotheca

ebrary Releases Extended Access

ebrary, a ProQuest business, announced the release of Extended Access for titles purchased under a single-user license. Extended Access reduces up-front costs to the library, eliminates speculative purchases of multiple copies, and prevents turn-aways when titles are in use.

There are a number of ways that libraries can purchase ebooks from ebrary: They can buy individual titles and packs outright, automate purchases through their e-approval plans, and buy titles that are triggered based on usage through patron-driven acquisition.  

With Extended Access, libraries can now purchase titles more cost-effectively under a single-user license and ensure access. If a title is in use, and another researcher needs it, the library can upgrade to a multiuser access model when available, purchase another copy, or take a short-term loan. The process can be automated and seamless to end users, or libraries can receive email notifications and trigger the additional purchases themselves.

Extended Access also provides an advantageous way for libraries to complement their Academic Complete subscription with perpetual archive titles. Academic Complete, ebrary’s flagship subscription product named as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, has always offered simultaneous, multiuser access and now includes more than 75,000 scholarly ebooks. The thousands of libraries throughout the world who use Academic Complete as their base collection can now more affordably purchase additional titles with access on-demand.

Source: ebrary

Gale Brings Online Education Program to Public Libraries

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, announced a new program, ed2go for public libraries that brings turnkey online training and education solutions to the public library market. ed2go, also part of Cengage Learning, provides online training courses for the adult education, career, and corporate training markets through partnerships with colleges, universities, community-based organizations and now through public libraries.

The ed2go for public libraries program, developed as a result of Cengage Learning’s unique position within the library, classroom, and adult learning markets, will offer patrons access to hundreds of instructor-led online courses covering everything from health and wellness to digital photography, computer programming, GED test preparation, and much more. ed2go courses are developed by expert instructors, many currently working at universities around the country, and use Cengage Learning’s proven pedagogy to ensure classes are engaging and informative. Each individual course is offered online for 6 weeks and features 12 lessons with online discussions, homework, quizzes, and a final exam. Though these are not college equivalent courses, certificate programs are available for careers in the medical field, project management, and computer networking.

ed2go for public libraries features a subscription model designed specifically for libraries—librarians purchase access to a catalog of ed2go courses that are then offered free to patrons, who can select specific courses to enroll in. Libraries in turn get robust product administration and usage reporting capabilities enabling the easy tracking of successful patron outcomes.

The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System recently piloted the ed2go program as part of its eCampus initiative to address lifelong learning in its community and deliver workforce development resources, programs, and services. The results have been highly successful.

  • There have been 226 ed2go course registrations since September 2011, and in January 2012 usage soared 300% from the month prior.
  • Average of 18 course registrations per month from September–December 2011, with that number jumping to 38 from January–April 2012.
  • Customers keep coming back—46 people have registered for 2 or more courses.

Source: Gale

OCLC Adds Linked Data to WorldCat.org

OCLC is taking the first step toward adding linked data to WorldCat by appending Schema.org descriptive mark-up to WorldCat.org pages. With the addition of Schema.org mark-up to all book, journal, and other bibliographic resources in WorldCat.org, the entire publicly available version of WorldCat is now available for use by intelligent web crawlers, such as Google and Bing, that can make use of this metadata in search indexes and other applications.

Commercial developers that rely on web-based services have been exploring ways to exploit the potential of linked data. The Schema.org initiative—launched in 2011 by Google, Bing, and Yahoo! and later joined by Yandex—provides a core vocabulary for mark-up that helps search engines and other web crawlers more directly make use of the underlying data that powers many online services.

OCLC is working with the Schema.org community to develop and add a set of vocabulary extensions to WorldCat data. Schema.org and library-specific extensions will provide a valuable two-way bridge between the library community and the consumer web. Schema.org is working with a number of other industries to provide similar sets of extensions for other specific use cases.

The opportunities that linked data provides to the global library community are in line with OCLC’s core strategy of collaboratively building Webscale with libraries. Adding linked data to WorldCat records makes those records more useful—especially to search engines, developers, and services on the wider web, beyond the library community. This will make it easier for search engines to connect non-library organizations to library data.

Further demonstrating its role in providing linked library data, OCLC has recently announced that the full set of DDC 23—more than 23,000 assignable numbers and captions in English—is now available as linked data.

OCLC is committed to the stability and improved functionality of linked bibliographic data. It is likely that such mark-up may evolve over the coming months as the community develops a common understanding. This release should be considered experimental and subject to change. This linked data release of WorldCat.org is made available by OCLC under the Open Data Commons Attribution License.

Source: OCLC 

Credo Reference Launches Literati Public

Building on the success of Literati by Credo, Credo Reference announced plans to serve public libraries with Literati Public, a new expression of its suite of Digital and Information Literacy solutions. Literati Public, developed in close partnership with public librarians, is a highly customizable solution that promotes the mission of public libraries by combining Credo’s content with newly developed platform technology.

Literati Public offers libraries a broad collection of ebooks tailored to the needs of public libraries and newly developed tools and services to help them promote their brand, events, and outreach programs and to extend their valuable services to the community.

Literati Public will help libraries to meet their goals in key areas, including:

  • Funding
  • Community outreach
  • Local school collaboration
  • Digital literacy education
  • Library marketing and promotion
  • Usage of library resources

Literati Public will be previewed at the upcoming ALA Annual conference in Anaheim, Calif. The solution will be generally available in October 2012.

Source: Credo Reference



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