|Weekly News Digest
May 2, 2013 — 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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Polaris and Baker & Taylor Announce Axis 360 Integration
Polaris Library Systems, a provider of technology solutions and services for public, private, and academic librarians, and Baker & Taylor, a distributor of digital and physical books and entertainment products, announced they are working together to integrate Baker & Taylor’s digital media circulation platform, Axis 360, into the Polaris integrated library system (ILS).
With this robust API-level integration, patrons of libraries using the Polaris ILS will be able to browse or place holds for digital content via Axis 360 right from the library’s catalog, just as they do with print materials, and they will be able to check out the Axis 360 materials right from the catalog as well. Patrons will receive notifications for the status of all their materials—whether physical or digital—all from their library account. What’s more, with digital transaction and circulation status data communicated directly to the Polaris system, librarians will be able to generate statistics on their Axis 360 materials in real time and they will be included in circulation reports.
This partnership builds upon Polaris’ existing partnerships, allowing Polaris users to gain instant access to even more digital content directly from their libraries. It also supports the principles outlined in the ReadersFirst initiative, a movement begun by the library industry to improve ebook access and services for public library users. [For information on ReadersFirst, see the NewsWatch column by Paula J. Hane in the April 2013 issue of Information Today.]
The two companies plan to be able to demonstrate the integration at this year’s ALA Annual Conference, June 27 through July 2, 2013 in Chicago.
Source: Polaris Library Systems and Baker & Taylor
OverDrive and III Announce Plans for Deep API Integration
OverDrive and Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III) agreed on plans for deep API integration of OverDrive services into III products, including Sierra and Encore Discovery Services Platform. Building on the success of the first round of OverDrive APIs, the coming API updates will include the ability to check out and place a hold on ebooks from a library’s online catalog.
The plans with III also include an option to take the integration beyond digital and into the physical collection. In addition to providing an enhanced user experience through a library’s online catalog, III and OverDrive will enable a seamless experience for OverDrive library partners in their collection portal, Content Reserve. Libraries will be able to see their physical and digital holdings side-by-side within Content Reserve so that collection development decisions can be based on physical holdings, circulation, and other criteria.
At the 2013 ALA Conference this summer, III and OverDrive plan to demonstrate III’s integration of OverDrive’s much anticipated Content API, which supports placing holds and checkouts on titles from a library’s digital catalog. To support this, the companies will also collaborate on a Patron Authentication API to ensure secure access to user accounts. The Content API release will follow soon after with a pilot available for partner libraries and approved vendors.
Included in the Content API will be direct access to both downloadable and browser-based (OverDrive Read) ebooks, as well as ebook samples in the OverDrive Read format. These will work the same way as the current Read and Download buttons do on OverDrive-powered Next Generation digital library collection websites, allowing users to directly read or download titles with integrated API calls. You can read more about APIs on the OverDrive developer portal.
Source: Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
Alexander Street Debuts Contemporary Documentary Collection
Alexander Street Press’s newest collection Filmakers Library Online: Volume II will feature 100 issue-based documentaries produced from 2009 to the present, adding colorful perspective to virtually any academic program. A follow-up to the first volume, Filmakers Library Online: Volume II delivers timely films that often can’t be found anywhere else. Content in the collection covers education, international relations, politics, psychology, criminal justice, the arts, history, gender studies, and more.
Films are hand-selected by an experienced team of editors for their individual merits, with a careful focus on critically acclaimed titles, award winners, and those shown at industry festivals. Titles in the collection’s first release include the following, among others:
- Africa’s Last Taboo—Award-winning correspondent Sorious Samura’s investigation into the experience of being gay in Africa (2012)
- The Big Fix—An exposé on the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2011, Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival)
- Google Baby—A journey across three continents to examine the up-and-coming baby production industry in the age of globalization (2012, Western Psychological Association)
- Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement—A modern-day portrait of the SNCC founder and renowned civil rights leader (2012, Virginia Film Festival)
Filmakers Library Online: Volume II is available to academic, public, and school libraries worldwide. No special setup or software is required—just a web browser. Prices are scaled to institutional size and budget. For a free trial or price quote, visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Alexander Street Press
collectionHQ Expands Collection Development Tools to Ebook Titles
Baker & Taylor’s collectionHQ, a collection performance improvement solution that helps libraries better manage their collections, announced that many of its popular, evidence-based tools available for print and A/V titles are now available for ebooks as well. The addition of these tools, called the ebook module, means that for the first time, librarians can easily access data that compare ebook and print holdings. The ebook capabilities are included in the cost of a collectionHQ subscription.
By expanding into ebook data, collectionHQ allows users to spot trends in their ebook collections. For instance, they can measure how ebooks perform across platforms and identify performance patterns by format. Librarians can use this additional information on patrons’ e-reading behavior to help make better-informed spending decisions on electronic and print materials.
collectionHQ, used by many of the top library systems in the U.S., the U.K., and Australasia, is based on the proven Evidence-Based Stock Management (EBSM) methodology. By analyzing detailed circulation patterns, the methodology provides action plans to help librarians develop and manage collections, saving time and money, improving circulation, and aligning the collection with local demand.
collectionHQ’s powerful toolset provides valuable insight and clear direction so that librarians can perform tasks that used to take weeks or months in a matter of minutes. From collection maintenance to collection development, collectionHQ eases workloads and frees up staff’s time to work on other important areas within the library.
FirstRain Releases Expanded Set of Analytics Actions for Salesforce.com
FirstRain, a provider of advanced customer intelligence analytics for the enterprise, announced the release of a new set of capabilities to seamlessly raise the efficiency and productivity of the enterprise sales workflow within the salesforce.com CRM platform. Using these unique analytics-based actions, sales professionals can instantly convert useful customer analytics into the activities that increase team collaboration, improve alignment with customer strategies, and drive revenue.
With this new release, users can now do the following:
- Advance sales cycles more quickly by instantly assigning critical FirstRain intelligence into an actionable salesforce.com Task for themselves or their team.
- Easily inject useful context and intelligence into any account view by enriching emerging account developments using account Notes.
- Improve collaboration by instantly sharing impactful developments with their team and colleagues via Chatter or email.
These new capabilities further extend the ways in which salespeople can use FirstRain to take productive action every day by integrating critical activities into the actual places sales people work, including the ability to quickly highlight and share critical information across strategically defined teams, or to easily deploy it within a company’s internally developed sales iPad or tablet applications via the recently launched FirstRain for Touch solution.
Thomson Reutersí Techstreet Launches Redesigned Website
Techstreet, part of the Intellectual Property (IP) & Science business of Thomson Reuters and a provider of industry codes and standards, announced the launch of its newly redesigned website, Techstreet.com. The website features a modern look and feel with enhanced usability and navigation that quickly and easily connects engineers, librarians, and technical professionals to mission critical industry codes and standards from the world`s leading Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs).
The new Techstreet.com features enhanced search, navigation, and usability that quickly deliver precise results. The new search capabilities include new filtering and sorting tools, and a redesigned search results page that speeds access to important document information. The redesigned product pages give users quick access to product descriptions, history, and highlight related products. The new website features a clean and uncluttered appearance that makes it easier for customers to find, acquire, and manage industry codes and standards documents.
Techstreet now offers a range of format options including multi-user PDFs, redline documents, print and online bundles, all designed to improve access to mission critical information. The new site features increased user controls for digitally protected items allowing users to manage their documents with ease. The new checkout process makes purchasing more intuitive, with several ordering and payment options including preferences for faster checkout.
The new website features an easy-to-use online help system that speeds customer support. Customers also have the ability to view their complete purchase history, making purchasing decisions easier. Techstreet offers Techpoint Rewards, a customer rewards program providing points for each dollar spent on online orders. Customers can claim rewards with as little as 500 points. Customers can also easily track when documents are updated, amended, withdrawn, or replaced with Techstreet Tracker, which has been updated with new tracking features and visibility.
Techstreet’s comprehensive offering includes more than 500,000 codes, standards, and technical books aggregated from more than 350 of the world’s leading authorities. Techstreet now supports iOS handheld devices, giving customers greater ease and access to standards documents. Customers can also streamline standards management with Techstreet Subscriptions, a workflow solution for managing standards across teams, projects, and locations.
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