|Weekly News Digest
May 11, 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.
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Library Associations Request Courtís Oversight of Google Book Search Settlement
The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have filed joint comments with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the judge to consider in his ruling on the proposed Google Book Search Settlement (http://wo.ala.org/gbs/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/googlebrieffinal.pdf). The associations asked the judge to exercise vigorous oversight of the interpretation and implementation of the settlement to ensure the broadest possible benefit from the services the settlement enables.
Collectively, these three library associations represent more than 139,000 libraries in the U.S., employing more than 350,000 librarians and other personnel. The associations are both authors and publishers of books, and thus fall within both subclasses of plaintiffs.
The brief filed with the court states that the associations do not oppose the settlement. "The Settlement has the potential to provide unprecedented public access to a digital library containing millions of books." But it notes that this library will be under Google's control with an "absence of competition for the services." It states that "The Settlement could compromise fundamental library values such as equity of access to information, patron privacy, and intellectual freedom."
BBC Audiobooks Available Through NetLibrary
BBC Audiobooks America, publisher and distributor of unabridged audiobooks and radio dramatizations, is making its collection available in the U.S. as downloadable eAudiobooks through NetLibrary, OCLC's platform for eBooks and eAudiobooks for libraries (www.oclc.org/netlibrary). BBC Audiobooks America is a publisher of distinctive single-voiced and full-cast dramatized audiobooks in the U.S. and Canada. It is a branch of the British Broadcasting Corp., one of the world's premier news and entertainment media companies.
BBC Audiobooks America's catalog includes current New York Times best-sellers, popular titles such as Slumdog Millionaire, and classics such as Roots. BBC Audiobooks America is the exclusive audio publisher of Agatha Christie's work in North America. More information about BBC Audiobooks America can be found at www.bbcaudiobooksamerica.com/library.
eAudiobooks from NetLibrary are digital versions of audiobooks. Library patrons can easily search for, check out, and download eAudiobooks from the new NetLibrary Media Center to a computer. These eAudiobooks can also be transferred to a wide range of portable devices. Check the OCLC website for system specifications (www.oclc.org/us/en/audiobooks/techspecs/default.htm).
NetLibrary offers an expanding selection of more than 12,500 downloadable audiobooks in both unabridged and abridged formats. The latest best-sellers in fiction and nonfiction, book club favorites, timeless classics, and award-winning literature are delivered via the internet in an easily accessible format.
Gale Provides Free Access to Swine Flu Information
Gale (www.gale.com), a part of Cengage Learning (www.cengage.com), announced it is providing free access to Global Issues in Context and health and medical related ebooks from the Gale Virtual Reference Library in an effort to make reliable, expert information regarding the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, readily available. Librarians can install a widget (www.gale.cengage.com/flu) to their homepages, Facebook pages, or blogs, allowing their community to access the information at the library or from any computer with an internet connection.
Global Issues in Context now features a swine flu portal that include editorial perspectives from international publications such as the Africa News Service, the Chicago Tribune, and The Independent (London), dozens of podcasts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and thousands of news articles. Global Issues in Context also includes CDC, WHO, pandemic preparedness, and influenza portals.
Through Gale Virtual Reference Library, sources such as the Encyclopedia of Genetics, the Encyclopedia of Public Health, American Decades, and Infectious Diseases in Context provide users access to authoritative articles about swine flu, other strains of influenza, emerging diseases, pandemic preparedness, and other issues related to public health. Users can also read factual, historical accounts of previous outbreaks of swine flu in 1918 and 1976.
These resources provide content for all levels of interest, from general information to more in-depth analysis for researchers or healthcare professionals.
New EndNote Compatible With OpenOffice.org Writer
The Healthcare and Science business of Thomson Reuters (www.thomsonreuters.com) announced compatibility between EndNote-the bibliographic management software used by millions of researchers, librarians, and students-and OpenOffice.org Writer. The new EndNote X3 for Windows, which will be released in June, introduces the patent-pending Cite While You Write technology to OpenOffice.org Writer, an open source word processor popular among academics.
OpenOffice.org Writer support in EndNote X3 enables users to format in-text citations and the bibliography instantly as required by publishers. Users can search EndNote libraries within OpenOffice.org Writer and select references to cite. The OpenOffice.org Writer formats a paper automatically upon inserting an EndNote citation and can revise an entire paper using more than 3,300 different styles with no additional typing required.
The EndNote list price is $299.95 (special upgrade prices are available). Students in North America can purchase EndNote for $115.95 with a valid student ID. EndNote is available from Thomson Reuters, college and university bookstores, and authorized resellers worldwide. For more information about EndNote visit www.endnote.com.
The OpenOffice.org community is an international team of volunteer and sponsored contributors who develop, translate, support, and promote the leading open source office productivity suite, OpenOffice.org. OpenOffice.org's leading-edge software technology (UNO) is also available for developers, systems integrators, etc., to use in OpenOffice.org extensions or in their own applications.
Source: Thomson Reuters
500 Pitt Press Titles Available Again Online and In Print
The University of Pittsburgh Press, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Library System and the Chicago Digital Distribution Center (CDDC), is making nearly 500 out-of-print Press titles available again for scholars and students around the world. The titles are now part of the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions collection, fully searchable and freely accessible on the internet through the University of Pittsburgh Library System's D-Scribe Digital Publishing Program. Over the next year, they will also be made available for purchase in reasonably priced paperback editions through the CDDC.
Readers and researchers may read and search the full texts online, and those who wish to have a print copy may purchase it through retail outlets or directly from the Press. The University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions (UPPDE) may be viewed through the Press website, www.upress.pitt.edu; click on Digital Editions. Print editions of these titles, as they become available, may be purchased through the shopping cart icon on each book page of the Press website or at www.bibliovault.org.
Since its inception in December 2007, the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions site has been visited by thousands of users, many from outside the U.S. Sales of the UPPDE titles still in print and requests for print copies of out-of-print titles suggest sufficient interest among scholars and students in having these titles available again as printed books.
Source: University of Pittsburgh Press
ICOLC Urges OCLC to Formulate New Records Use Policy
The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) has issued a statement recommending that the proposed OCLC Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records be withdrawn and a new record use policy be developed (www.library.yale.edu/consortia/statement-oclcrecorduse.htm). Since the policy's release on Nov. 4, 2008, both the content of the policy and the process by which it was formulated have been challenged. As a result, OCLC has delayed implementation and has initiated a review board that will present its findings and recommendations (www.oclc.org/worldcat/catalog/policy/board/default.htm).
The member consortia endorsing the ICOLC statement specifically adds support to the Jan. 30, 2009, final report to the ARL board by the Ad Hoc Task Force to Review the Proposed OCLC Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records (www.arl.org/news/pr/oclc-policy-20feb09.shtml). The statement urges the OCLC review board "to consider the issues raised in the ARL report and by others in the community. The concerns are substantial and broad and individual ICOLC member consortia will find different concerns most compelling. Underpinning these concerns are several broad issues that we ask the Review Board to consider."
The issues identified include the following:
- The proposed policy appears to freeze OCLC's role in the library community based on historical and current relationships. We share the concern, voiced by many, that the policy hinders rather than encourages innovation.
- The scope of the proposed policy goes well beyond any concerns about inappropriate commercial exploitation of WorldCat records. It applies as well to non-commercial uses. ICOLC member consortia are member-created, member-driven innovation agents. Our initiatives are generally non-commercial and undertaken with member approval based on member needs. Any OCLC record use policy should account for the rich and diverse innovation that takes place through many consortia.
- The proposed policy is legally murky. There is no mechanism for negotiation of terms and conditions nor is it clear what constitutes acceptance by member libraries.
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