|Weekly News Digest
July 29, 2014 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.
CLICK HERE to view all of this week's Weekly News Digest items.
ALA Survey Reveals Statistics on Technology in Libraries
The American Library Association (ALA) released the “Digital Inclusion Survey,” a study created in partnership with its Office for Research and Statistics (ORS) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland. It was funded by IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services).
The study found that almost 100% of U.S. public libraries provide workforce development training programs, online resources for finding jobs, aid in completing government forms, and training on technology skills. Almost all libraries also offer free public access to Wi-Fi and online homework help to students. Now 90% of libraries lend ebooks, up from 76% in the previous survey.
Although progress in technology offerings has been made, rural libraries are adapting at a slower pace. For example, less than two-thirds of rural libraries have access to IT staff.
Source: American Library Association
Aquafadas Releases Digital Publishing App
Aquafadas introduced Aquafadas Wave, a free app for devices using iOS version 6.0 and later. The app is designed to help publishers use the Aquafadas Digital Publishing System effectively.
Its knowledgebase contains “tips and tricks” for graphic designers on making content interactive and examples of the best ways to go digital, including advice on how to start publishing digitally from scratch or by using existing content to create mobile apps. The app also displays examples of publications created by Aquafadas’ customers.
Brill Announces New OA Journals
Brill launched a suite of four online-only, open access (OA) journals in humanities, social sciences, law, and biology. Each journal will have its own editorial board, which will begin accepting submissions in August. The journals will be divided into sections that correspond with the major subject areas in each discipline.
All articles in the journals will be peer reviewed and published on the Brill Online Books and Journals platform 1 month after acceptance.
Apple Acquires Book Analytics Company
Apple confirmed that it recently acquired BookLamp.org, which was the demo site for the Book Genome Project, a technology that digitally analyzes books’ contents in order to offer recommendations to users. Apple would not disclose details; the company’s statement admitted that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time. …” AppleInsider reports that Apple paid $10 to $15 million for BookLamp.org.
Reports speculate that the acquisition will help Apple improve discovery in its iBooks Store. According to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, the company has acquired 29 companies during the past 9 months.
Axis 360 Gains Ebook-Filtering Tool
Baker & Taylor added new functionality to its Axis 360 digital media platform. Librarians can now filter out content from shared collections in Axis 360 that they do not want to be viewable in their catalogs. Filters can be specified to restrict content by BISAC subject code, audience level, or author.
After receiving feedback from libraries in the eRead Illinois ebook program, Baker & Taylor worked with the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) consortium to develop a “site scoping tool” for Axis 360. It is designed to give libraries more control over their digital collections, including the ability for school librarians to remove access to adult-themed titles in their institutions while the mature ebooks remain available at public libraries in the same consortia.
“This addition to Axis 360 provides libraries with the flexibility to filter or ‘scope’ material and make sure it is appropriate for their users,” says George Coe, Baker & Taylor’s CEO and president. “Librarians know what is best for the communities they serve, and this new tool helps them tailor material from shared collections to serve their audience best.”
Source: Baker & Taylor
LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer Share Legal Businesses
LexisNexis will acquire the Canadian legal publishing business of Wolters Kluwer, which has about 50 employees, in order to extend its product portfolio to Canadian customers. The Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory division will take on LexisNexis’ legal business in Poland, which has about 120 employees.
“The agreement with Wolters Kluwer will allow us to better serve customers in Canada and supports our strategy to build leading positions in our core markets,” according to Mike Walsh, CEO of the global legal business of LexisNexis.
LookUp Precision Adds Functionality and Features
Lucidea announced a new release of its digital resource cost management and recovery system, LookUp Precision, which features three updates: a new iPad and iPhone app, support for Chrome, and a self-service password management feature.
The free app is a mobile way for users to perform usage tracking and client validation. Lucidea has a server component that works in tandem with the app to sync statistics collected via the app and the desktop usage database.
LookUp Precision is now compatible with Chrome version 35 and later and for computers with Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8.
My Passwords, the password management feature, lists users’ login credentials for each digital resource they track (such as LexisNexis or CCH) via a persistent URL.
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