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Weekly News Digest

January 6, 2011 — 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.

ARL Announces 'Lib-Value' Website

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) recently announced that a website for “Value, Outcomes, and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries (Lib-Value),” a 3-year project (begun Dec. 1, 2009) funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS;, is now available at

A searchable bibliographic database of library value and ROI literature is now freely available. The database currently contains more than 400 entries, including books, book chapters, journal articles, theses and dissertations, reports, presentations, and free websites, covering the expanding literature on library value and evaluation, return on investment in libraries of all kinds, as well as foundational material on methodologies for determining value. This is a valuable resource for any professional interested in getting a head start on assessing library value updated on a regular basis. The database was compiled by Rachel Fleming-May, assistant professor in the UT College of Communication and Information’s (CCI) School of Information Sciences, and Crystal Sherline, a graduate student in the CCI.

The Lib-Value project is conducting research on value and ROI in academic libraries and developing a set of tested methodologies and tools to help academic librarians measure which products and services provide the most value to the university community and best support the university’s mission and goals. These tools will also aid library leaders in demonstrating the library’s value to university administrators and funders. More resources will be made available via the Lib-Value website during the next 2 years as the grant activities move forward, featuring materials from related workshops, presentations, and publications, as well as current news.

Lib-Value is a collaboration between the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries, with partners at Syracuse University and participants at Baruch College (CUNY), Brooklyn College (CUNY), SUNY University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State College, and Bryant University.

Source: The Association of Research Libraries

OverDrive Apps Now Support Direct Ebook Downloads

OverDrive, a global distributor of ebooks, audiobooks, and digital content to libraries and schools, has released apps for iPhone and Android that enable users to download library ebooks and audiobooks directly to their devices for the first time. The free apps include a “Get Books” feature that guides users to their local library's digital catalog of best-selling and new release titles, allowing them to easily browse, check out, and download with just their device. More than 13,000 public libraries, schools, colleges, and universities now offer ebook and audiobook downloads via OverDrive, including institutions in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, and nine other countries.

To download the free OverDrive Media Console app for iPhone and iPod touch, users can visit the Apple AppStore. Owners of Android tablets and phones, including Droid X by Motorola, Samsung GALAXY Tab, Cruz Tablet, and HTC EVO 4G, can find the app in the Android Market. To see if your public library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit

OverDrive’s apps for iPhone and Android give users wireless access to their library’s EPUB ebook and MP3 audiobook catalog without a PC. With the apps, users can create bookmarks and resume from the last point read. The ebook and audiobook titles from the public library automatically expire in the app, so there is never a late fee.

Source: OverDrive

National Archives Launches Online Public Access System

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration has announced that a new Online Public Access prototype is being made available to the public. The public portal provides access to digitized records, and information about the records. It also provides a centralized means of searching multiple National Archives resources at once. Currently, researchers perform separate searches in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) for catalog descriptions, histories and biographies; Access to Archival Databases (AAD) for electronic records; and The new interface illustrates a streamlined search experience for users, searching across all of these resources.

The prototype currently contains all of the data from ARC, and seven series from AAD, containing 10.9 million permanent electronic records. Additionally, the prototype provides access to one million electronic records currently in the Electronic Records Archives, which are not available elsewhere online.

The National Archives will add additional functionality in the coming year, including an image zooming feature that will enable users to zoom and pan our online holdings, and social sharing through Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.

The National Archives is asking the public for feedback to ensure a user-friendly search and display. Please send your comments and feedback to

Source: The National Archives and Records Administration

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