|Weekly News Digest
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ALA Releases 'The State of America’s Libraries, 2011'
The Great Recession may have come to an end, but hard-pressed Americans continue to turn to their local libraries for help in finding a job or launching their own business. This and other library trends of the past year are detailed in The State of America’s Libraries, 2011, released during National Library Week, April 10-16, 2011, by the American Library Association (ALA).
Even as budget-cutters take aim at libraries and their services, more than two-thirds of the 1,000-plus adults contacted in a survey in January said that the library’s assistance in starting a business or finding a job was important to them, according to the poll, conducted for ALA by Harris Interactive.
Sixty-five percent of those polled said they had visited the library in the past year; women are significantly more likely than men (72 % vs. 58 %) to fall into this category, especially working women, working mothers, and women aged 18-54. Overall, 58 % of those surveyed said they had a library card, and the largest group was, again, women, especially working women and working mothers. College graduates and those with a household income of more than $100,000 were also well represented among card holders, according to the survey.
Thirty-one percent of adults rank the library at the top of their list of tax-supported services, and a study conducted in Philadelphia shows that their taxes are in fact well spent. The University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government conducted an economic impact study of the Free Library of Philadelphia that provided bottom-line evidence that the return on investment in library service more than justifies the costs. The study concludes that the library created more than $30 million worth of economic value to the city in fiscal 2010 and that it had a particularly strong impact on business development and employment.
Nevertheless, media reports of cuts and cutbacks to library budgets and services abounded in 2010 and early this year. U.S. mayors reported in November that hours, staff, or services at local libraries was the No. 2 budget area that been cut, second only to maintenance and services at parks and gardens. Another study indicated that 19 states reported cuts in funding for public libraries from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2011 and that more than half said the cuts were greater than 10 %. That study also found that state cuts often were compounded by cuts at the local level.
Some other key trends detailed in the 2011 State of America’s Libraries Report:
- The availability of wireless internet in public libraries is approaching 85 %, and about two-thirds of them extend wireless access outside the library. Computer usage at public libraries continues to increase.
- Almost all academic libraries offer ebooks, as do more than two-thirds of public libraries. For most libraries, ebooks are still only a small percentage of circulated items–but represent the fastest-growing segment.
- U.S. libraries of all types continue to make increasing use of social media and Web 2.0 applications and tools to connect with library users and to market programs and services. Facebook, Twitter, and blogging tools are the favorites.
- Taxpayers entrusted libraries with their tax dollars by approving 87 % of operating measures on ballots across the country.
The full text of The State of America’s Libraries, 2011, is available at http://ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/mediapresscenter/americaslibraries2011/index.cfm.
Gale Offers Free Access to Resources During National Library Week
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is celebrating National Library Week by offering free access to six online resources for use by any library. Free access runs through National Library Week, from April 10 to April 24, 2011.
Librarians can download the widget to their homepage by visiting http://www.gale.cengage.com/NLW. Library patrons should look for the widget on their library’s homepage, which provides single-click access to these online resources.
The library is where stories are read, retold, written, and created every day. In salute of the American Library Association’s theme—Create your own story @ your library—Gale is offering free access to resources that help library users explore and inspire stories of all kinds. Gale is offering access to these six resources:
- Gale NewsVault—a specially designed online platform that enables cross-searching of Gale’s enormous range of historical newspaper and periodical collections from a single interface
- Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive, Part I—a historical archive that embraces the scholarly study of slavery in a comprehensive, conceptual and global way
- Science in Context—an online learning and research portal that covers everything from earth science and life science, to space, technology, mathematics and science history and biography
- GREENR—an electronic resource offering authoritative reference content on the environment, energy, economic development and natural resources
- Global Issues in Context—an online learning and research portal that offers global news and perspectives on issues and events of international importance
- Powerspeak Languages—a world language learning product that uses the research-driven powerspeaK12 language learning methodology
A Quick Response (QR) code is also available for National Library Week. After downloading a QR code-scanning app, mobile phone users can scan the QR code with their barcode reader and automatically be taken to Gale’s National Library Week website.
National Library Week is also a great time to download the free AccessMyLibrary (AML) application, which is now available on all major mobile devices, including iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iTouch) and Android devices, and for all markets—public, academic and school. AML apps allow library users to access the vast array of Gale information that their library has purchased on their behalf, giving them access to authoritative and trustworthy information anywhere, anytime.
AML apps for iOS devices can be downloaded from the iTunes store, and apps for Android devices can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace. For additional information, including AML QR codes, posters, bookmarks, and other library marketing resources, visit http://www.gale.cengage.com/apps/.
Library Copyright Alliance Releases Analysis of the Google Books Settlement Rejection
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) announces the release of “A Guide for the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement,” an analysis of the latest decision in the Google Books Search case and its potential effect on libraries. The LCA comprises the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
This 20-page guide is the latest in a series prepared by LCA legal counsel Jonathan Band to help inform the library community about this landmark legal dispute. In the Guide Part IV, Band explains why the Court rejected the proposed class action settlement, which would have allowed Google to engage in a wide variety of activities using scanned books.
As stated in the Guide, “The court concluded that the settlement was unfair because a substantial number of class members [i.e., authors and publishers] voiced significant concerns with the settlement.… However, the validity of the objections seemed less important to the court than the fact that many class members raised them.”
As for the impact of the decision on libraries, Band writes that while it is too early to say what the parties will do next, “it appears that both the challenges and the opportunities presented to libraries by the settlement when it was announced in the fall of 2008 are growing narrower and more distant.”
Past Guides and other LCA materials related to the case are available on the LCA website (http://www.librarycopyrightalliance.org/submissions/domestic/google.shtml).
Source: Library Copyright Alliance
OCLC and Ingram to Offer New Option for Access to Ebooks
OCLC and Ingram Content Group Inc. will soon offer a new service option that will provide library users short-term access to ebooks not in their collection through WorldCat Resource Sharing and ILLiad. The new service option, to launch in the coming months, expands access to library content available through WorldCat Resource Sharing to include access to ebooks from Ingram’s MyiLibrary ebook collection for a period of up to 9 days. Ebook loans are fee-based, set at 15 percent of the MyiLibrary price for access to the ebook. The fee is managed through the WorldCat Resource Sharing interlibrary loan Fee Management feature, a service that supports payment of resource-sharing services through the library’s OCLC invoice.
Using WorldCat discovery services, library users can find what they need and staff can request access to available ebooks in Ingram’s MyiLibrary. OCLC is working with Ingram (holding symbol IDILL) to identify and attach holdings to the MyiLibrary ebooks available to users.
To support this ebook access program, OCLC is adding a new “Alert” category in the request manager in WorldCat Resource Sharing and ILLiad to inform borrowing library staff that the record requires immediate action. The library user will have 9 days from the date the ebook is shipped to use the link before it expires.
This short-term access option delivers ebooks to users quickly, so they can begin to use requested titles right away. Once a request is updated to “shipped” status, it is immediately available for use with no delays for shipping or the time required to pick up a requested print title. In addition, many users access ebooks to obtain specific parts of information for research. For example, often a chapter or section of an ebook is all they need to use. The MyiLibrary interface lets users search full text of titles to quickly identify the sections they need.
Elsevier Launches 'Apps for Science' Challenge
Elsevier announced the launch of the “Apps for Science” challenge, an international competition challenging software developers to create customized applications for the SciVerse platform that enhance information search and discovery for researchers.
Elsevier is challenging developers in Australia, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S. to create fully operational applications for the SciVerse platform. In combination with third party APIs and open data, applications can be created utilizing content APIs that enable integration with Elsevier’s full-text article database SciVerse ScienceDirect and abstract and citation database SciVerse Scopus.
A panel of judges will evaluate eligible entries. The first prize winner will be awarded a cash prize of $15,000; second place receives $10,000 and third place receives $5,000. The winner of the Popular Choice Award, determined by a public vote, will receive $5,000. In addition, two honorable mentions will each receive an Apple iPad.
The call for entries opens April 7 and the deadline for submissions closes July 31, 2011. Panel and public judging takes place Aug. 15 through Sept. 12, 2011 and the winners will be announced in October 2011. Entrants retain full ownership of the intellectual property of their solutions and may add them to SciVerse Applications as either free or user-paid apps.
Launched in November 2010, SciVerse Applications and the Developer Network allow the scientific community and developers to build and use applications that enhance the research experience. Through SciVerse Applications, researchers and librarians can collaborate with developers to create new applications and customize their SciVerse search and discovery workflow. The Developer Network features a community for developers and opens up opportunities for developers to gain recognition, prestige and revenue through the contribution of new applications to SciVerse.
World Book Content Searchable Through EBSCO Discovery Service
A recent agreement between EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) and World Book, Inc. will bring 12 reference tools into EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS). Metadata, including full-text searching, for World Book resources will be added to the EDS Base Index allowing the World Book content to better impact searching through the EDS single search interface.
The 12 World Book titles include the following: World Book Kids, World Book Student, World Book Advanced, World Book Discoverer, World Book Online for Kids, World Book Online Info Finder, World Book Online Reference Center, Living Green, Early People, Inventions & Discoveries, as well as the French and Spanish language reference tools, L'Encyclopedie Decoverte and Enciclopedia Estudantil Hallazagos.
World Book has long been committed to publishing award-winning encyclopedias, reference sources, and digital products for both children and adults. World Book, based in Chicago, is a Scott Fetzer company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
World Book joins a long list of publishers and other content partners who are taking part in EDS to bring more visibility to their content.
Source: EBSCO Publishing
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