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Weekly News Digest

July 20, 2009 — 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Altarama Announces New Screen-Sharing Teaching Tool

Altarama Information Systems ( announced RefTutor, a new concept for teaching online information-seeking skills, using screen-sharing technology for tasks that, until now, have needed the often unreliable co-browse technology. RefTutor will be integrated with all of Altarama's reference service provision products, appearing initially in VRLplus online reference in August. Soon after, it will appear in RefTracker request management and then in RefChatter online reference using instant messaging, with servicewide integration of statistics from all service delivery methods ultimately in RefTracker.

RefTutor sessions will allow librarians to share their desktops with the patron, in an easy-to-use environment that includes integrated chat, video, and VoIP features-exactly the features librarians have wanted to be able to successfully teach online information-seeking skills. It is totally web-based, and patrons can participate in a session without a download.

Arthur Brady, president of Altarama (USA), says, "Its key importance is that it provides another way that information professionals can communicate with their patrons within the Altarama suite of products that already provide a range of ways of communicating with patrons as well as comprehensive tools for managing the request answering processes of information delivery organizations like libraries, museums, archives and records management organizations."

Altarama (USA) and Altarama (Australia) are privately held companies that have been helping libraries manage their reference operations since 2001, with hundreds of clients around the world. Altarama's owners and managers are librarians and library automation experts who average more than 2 decades of experience in the field.

Source: Altarama Information Systems

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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