|Weekly News Digest
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Project Compass Helps Libraries Help Unemployed Patrons Find Work
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is funding a yearlong project linking libraries nationwide to share strategies for helping unemployed patrons find work. Project Compass, launched by OCLC WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina, features four regional summits where state library officers are sharing best practices on meeting the workforce needs of their communities.
At the inaugural Project Compass summit held March 10-12 in Atlanta, representatives from 11 state libraries showcased their states' responses to workforce needs in tough times. After the showcase, the Atlanta group identified three key needs:
1. Training for library staff to meet the needs of job seekers.
2. Strategies for funding, including information about how to maximize support, gain visibility, and minimize budget cuts.
3. A website with centralized resources on workforce recovery provided by the state library. For examples of state Web sites that have been established, visit http://wiki.webjunctionworks.org/index.php/Workforce_Resources.
The project has great potential for national impact because states are coordinating their efforts and sharing information and resources, Project Compass's program manager, Betha Gutsche noted. In addition to working together in person, Project Compass is facilitating development of a "community of practice" with an online hub to help librarians share ideas and resources designed to help get their communities fully employed. To reach greater numbers, Project Compass staff will adapt the in-person summits into live, online sessions and self-directed work that will be offered for free in June.
Each state library was invited to send two representatives to one of the summits. In addition to summits in Atlanta, Portland, OR (March 21-23), and Providence, RI (May 5-7), another is scheduled for May 26-28 in Denver, CO.
A list of Online Resources for Libraries and Jobseekers is available at www.imls.gov/news/2009/062409_list.shtm.
Elsevier Develops Scopus Alerts (Lite) iPhone App
Elsevier announced it has built a new iPhone application, Scopus Alerts (Lite), which gives researchers mobile access to the Searching and Alerting features of Scopus, the abstract and citation database.
The new application, which is available on iTunes and the Apple App Store globally, gives iPhone users the ability to find and display abstracts and reference information from the Scopus database, which covers 18,000 journals produced by more than 5,000 publishers worldwide. The app is designed to help eliminate the need for scientists to seek out a desktop or laptop computer when seeking quality research data while travelling, attending conferences or commuting to and from work.
Application features include the creation of search and citation alerts as well as the ability to save favorite abstracts and add notes. Further supporting collaboration among researchers, the app also allows users to share search results and links to favorite articles, via email and Twitter.
The new Scopus Alerts (Lite) application is the first of several Elsevier has planned to further support the mobility of today's researchers. A ScienceDirect app is in development and customers can expect to receive news of its availability over the summer. The current version of the application is available free of charge to existing Scopus customers and can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/scopusmob.
Wikimedia Foundation Launches Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative
The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia, announced a new project designed to improve the quality of public policy-related articles on Wikipedia. It is the first time the Wikimedia Foundation has launched a project designed to systematically increase the quality of articles in a particular topic area.
The project will be funded via a $1.2 million grant from the U.S.-based Stanton Foundation, a long-time funding partner of the Wikimedia Foundation. The Stanton Foundation is the beneficiary foundation created in the name of the U.S. broadcasting industry leader and media innovator, Frank Stanton. Stanton's commitment to civic education and freedom of speech carries on through his philanthropic legacy, the Stanton Foundation.
Wikipedia is written by hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world, and that won't change with this project. The Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative will recruit Wikipedia volunteers to work with public policy professors and students to identify topic areas for improvement, and work to make them better. Some of that work will take the form of classroom assignments, and pilot activities will begin during the 2010 fall academic semester. The project will continue through summer 2011.
Source: Wikimedia Foundation
Oxford Textbook of Medicine Available Online for the First Time
Oxford University Press (OUP; www.oup.com) has launched the online version of the Oxford Textbook of Medicine. In print, this fifth edition of Oxford Textbook of Medicine is three volumes with just under 6,000 pages, compiled over 5 years by 750 contributors.
One of the biggest benefits of moving online will be the ability to update content regularly based on clinical evidence, so physicians can be confident they're looking at the latest information. The Oxford Textbook of Medicine online is part of a growing number of online medical products from OUP. It features the full text, figures, and illustrations found in the print version, as well as navigation, search, and browse tools, links to sources of related and further reading via PubMed, ISI, and CrossRef, images that can be downloaded to PowerPoint, and annual updates.
The Oxford Textbook of Medicine has always had a very international focus, with contributors from around the world, and in-depth coverage of the types of medical conditions often found in countries with a less-developed medical infrastructure, so the U.K.'s Wellcome Trust has chosen to sponsor online access to the Oxford Textbook of Medicine in low- and middle-income countries through the World Health Organization-led HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme. This will enable users at more than 3,500 institutions to access Oxford Textbook of Medicine for free, or at a greatly reduced cost.
Source: Oxford University Press
EBSCO Publishing Introduces New Resource for Spanish-Speaking Users
EBSCO Publishing (www.ebscohost.com) is announcing the creation of a new resource for Spanish-speaking users. Referencia Latina is a general reference resource designed to assist native Spanish-speaking users with their general research needs. Referencia Latina includes a 49,000 entry Spanish-language encyclopedia, 2,500 evidence-based, graphical health reports as well as 50,000 images, most with Spanish-language captions. Referencia Latina also contains a Spanish-English dictionary, an atlas consisting of more than 330 Spanish-language maps, more than 100 reference books, and dozens of general interest magazines.
With Referencia Latina public libraries are also able to provide their Spanish-speaking patrons with the most current articles from a dozen prominent newspapers from 10 Latin American countries such as: Peru, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, and Costa Rica.
Referencia Latina provides users with a unique Spanish-language interface making content readily accessible for non-English speakers with limited online research experience. As the non-English speaking population continues to grow in public libraries, EBSCO is dedicated to expanding its ethnic and multicultural coverage.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
H.W. Wilson Retrospective Literature Databases Link to Full Text Books on HathiTrust
H.W. Wilson's Essay & General Literature Retrospective, Short Story Index Retrospective, and Book Review Digest Retrospective databases now feature links to the full text of public-domain books and other materials available through the HathiTrust digital library.
"Wilson's precise and granular indexing provides valuable discovery of individual stories and essays from the public domain books available through the Hathi Trust repository," said Ron Miller, H.W. Wilson director of product management. "Using Wilson's analytical indexing adds a new level of search and retrieval precision not found elsewhere."
HathiTrust is an inter-institutional repository of digitized books-more than 4.6 million volumes at present, about 15 percent of which are public domain works. Founded in 2008, HathiTrust grows with the contributions of an expanding roster of partners, including the University of California Libraries, the California Digital Library, New York's Columbia University Libraries, and libraries of the Midwest-based Committee on Institutional Cooperation (including Indiana University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, and Michigan State University).
Source: H.W. Wilson
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