OCLC Launches WorldShare Platform
OCLC Online Computer Library Center recently announced the launch of the OCLC WorldShare Platform, which will enable library developers, partners, and other organizations to create, configure, and share a wide range of applications that deliver new functionality and value for libraries and their users. The OCLC WorldShare Platform facilitates collaboration and app-sharing across the library community, so that libraries can combine library-built, partner-built, and OCLC-built applications. This enables the benefits of each single solution to be shared broadly throughout the library community. OCLC will also deploy data centers around the world in support of OCLC WorldShare and other services. Over time, OCLC will bring together additional OCLC services and applications under the OCLC WorldShare name, including resource sharing, consortial borrowing, metadata management, and additional applications. OCLC’s currently deployed library management solutions will continue to be maintained and enhanced in line with libraries’ ongoing requirements under their current brand names. WorldCat will continue to serve as the name for shared data, including registries and the knowledge base, as well as discovery services such as WorldCat.org and WorldCat Local.
Credo Reference Launches Literati by Credo
Credo Reference, recently named “Best Overall Reference Database” by Library Journal has announced that their new solution, Literati by Credo, is now available to libraries worldwide. Literati by Credo is a collaborative research platform that promotes research effectiveness and information literacy by combining Credo’s well-regarded content with innovative, library-centric technology. Beyond the platform, Literati by Credo offers customized tools and services, so that libraries can brand and enhance their end-user experience. The announcement of general availability marks the end of Literati’s beta period in which a select number of institutions utilized and tested the new solution. The beta group included institutions such as Columbia University, Marshall University, South University, Lancashire Libraries, and the American University of Paris.
YALSA Announces Teen Book Finder App
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has announced the launch of its first app, the Teen Book Finder, for Apple devices. The free app will allow teens, parents, librarians, library staff, and anyone who loves young-adult literature access to the past three years’ of YALSA’s awards and lists on their smartphone. The app is currently in beta testing. App features include:
- a homepage, refreshed daily, featuring three titles from the database;
- the ability to search for books by author, title, award/list year, genre, award, and booklist;
- a Find It! button, powered by the OCLC WorldCat Search API, that will show users where to find the book in a nearby library;
- a Favorites button, to create an individualized booklist; and
- the ability to share books from the Teen Book Finder on Twitter and Facebook.
An Android version of the app is planned for later in 2012. The app is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.
SirsiDnix Releases SirsiDynix Social Library & BookMyne+
SirsiDynix recently released SirsiDynix Social Library solution, the library industry’s first fully native Facebook application. SirsiDynix Social Library enables library users to search their library’s catalog, place holds, and perform My Account functions without leaving Facebook. Patrons of SirsiDynix Social Library can securely log in to their library via Facebook, just as they do today at their physical library using the same credentials. Among other capabilities, the SirsiDynix Social library solution also enables library users to:
- search their local library catalog and place holds on materials of interest right from the library’s Facebook page;
- access My Account features including checkouts, hold management, and payment history; and
- share and “like” library materials within the social environment where users worldwide currently spend more than 700 billion minutes each month.
The SirsiDynix Social Library solution benefits libraries as well, enabling them to increase user registration and circulation by providing easy access to the library for current and prospective users. SirsiDynix also recently unveiled a new version of the BookMyne mobile app. BookMyne+ can be customized for a fee, and syncs with the SirsiDynix ILS. BookMyne+ provides push notification for events, Twitter and Facebook alerts, and reading lists. The “virtual bookshelf” design is also available for customization. Project Gutenberg content is supported on the free and customized versions of the app, which is available for both iPhone and Android devices.
Booktrack Launches New E-Reader Platform
Booktrack, the creator of a new way to read by matching synchronized music, sound effects, and ambient sound to the text of your favorite e-books, recently announced the debut of the Booktrack Bookshelf, which consolidates the Booktrack experience into a unified application. Now users can browse Booktrack’s entire catalog, try free previews, purchase titles, and view their entire libraries, within a single app. Booktrack also announced that its The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Speckled Band was downloaded more than 100,000 times from the Apple iTunes App Store in 105 countries, making it one of the most globally downloaded e-books of 2011.The Bookshelf application gives readers the opportunity to try Booktrack for free. Booktrack (currently available from the iTunes App Store, Android marketplace, and for PC operating systems) delivers a new chapter in the evolution of storytelling by creating synchronized soundtracks for e-books.
Gale Gateways is New Web Portal
Gale announced Gale Gateways, an innovative program for public libraries, at the PLA 2012 National Conference in March. Designed to represent the unique way in which a community interacts with its public library, Gale Gateways brings together thematic products and services to provide an organized way for patrons to find and use information. Gale Gateways is a suite of products and services that include a customizable SEO-enabled website, Gale products, marketing collateral, and special training and programming support for the Gateway theme. Web support includes the customizable Gateway web portal tool and search engine optimization. The Gateway portals can be linked from the library’s main website, are easy to configure, and can link directly to any library resource—whether it be a Gale resource or not. Customization is a key feature of the portal tool; from content to logos, colors, and text, librarians have full control of the Gateway look, as they are the ones that serve the community and know them best. Ccustomers can give their Gateways any name, allowing them to tap into their current library branding if they choose, along with localizing their site with relevant community information. Customized marketing materials, library staff training, and direct-to-the-public training, as well as templates and tools, will help staff create their own relevant community workshops around Gateway themes. The themes of the first Gateways to be released include business; job and career; health and wellness; homework help; and home, hobbies, and entertainment.
Baker & Taylor Introduces Axis360
Baker & Taylor recently announced the development of Axis360, a digital media platform that provides a state-of-the-art system for accessing digital content and Baker & Taylor’s Blio software app. Axis 360 surfaces content on a Magic Wall and makes it quick and easy for patrons to check out the e-books they want. Libraries will be able to order e-book titles through Title Source 3 at the same time that they order print titles, and MARC records will be available in a day or so for those titles. Benefits include ILS integration; holds notification and management; immediate activation of ordered titles; and a library-branded platform. Axis 360 integrates with MyLibraryBookstore for e-commerce service. Patrons will be able to browse the Magic Wall by subject, get recommendations for additional reading, and contribute book reviews.
OverDrive Launches Over Drive Help
OverDrive Help has hundreds of newly written help articles covering everything users need to know to enjoy e-books, audiobooks, music, and video from digital library collections. Articles contain screenshots, software download links, and links to related articles. Each article can be printed, emailed, or shared via Facebook, Twitter, and other sites using the “share this page” button available at the top of most pages. OverDrive Help will replace the FAQs that are currently linked at customer libraries’ OverDrive-powered website. When users visit OverDrive Help via your library’s OverDrive-powered website, there will be a “support” button in the left-hand navigation bar. Users will click this link to return to your site and find the Support button to contact your library directly.
OCLC Offers Website for Small Libraries
The Website for Small Libraries (WSSL) project, which began as an OCLC Innovation Lab experiment in 2011, is now available as a beta service for any library wishing to set up its own website. Participating libraries will be able to quickly set up a website that provides basic functionality for making small collection information available on the Web; setting up users; checking materials in and out; placing holds; and providing library contact, location, service, and event information.
OCLC’s research showed that half of libraries with one or two employees do not have a Web presence. This product will provide an economical way for libraries with collections of 20,000 items or less to have a functional Web presence. In order to make the site as easy to use as possible, it relies on simple editing of predefined templates to populate the Web presence. It can take just a few minutes to have a library site up and available to patrons on the Web, as well as on mobile and tablet devices. The service uses a set of wizards to import collection and user information in a wide variety of formats. It uses statistical algorithms and WorldCat to determine structure and field contents to ease the import processes. Complexity is kept to a minimum by focusing on the minimum fields necessary to make collections accessible.
WSSL is not intended to be a full-featured library management service, but an option for those small libraries that have not been able to take advantage of traditional library systems due to size, cost, or technological restrictions. Libraries interested in signing up can do so at http://beta.worldcat.org/lib. Participation in the project costs $500 per year and comes with a ninety-day trial period. Libraries are free to import and export their collection and patron data as they try the service, as well as through the product life. Four South Dakota libraries, as well as the South Dakota State Library, were part of the project’s pilot.
Innovative’s Decision Center is New Decision-Support Product
Innovative Interfaces recently announced Decision Center, a new decision-support product that can dramatically improve a library’s collection and operational efficiency. Decision Center generates recommendations that span collection development and weeding; circulation and transit; budgeting; and more. Decision Center utilizes Innovative’s Dynamic Library Intelligence, which pairs current and complete data with library-selected performance targets. Decision Center actively supports library staff by:
- recommending areas for collection growth as well as weeding strategies;
- providing guidance for effective budgeting;
- using library-determined thresholds and strategic targets to optimize operations;
- streamlining item availability to drive higher circulation; and
- using Dynamic Library Intelligence for complete and up-to-date analysis.
Unlike inventory-only products, Decision Center considers a wider swath of data that spans holds, circulation, expenditures, transit times, item locations, and patron demographics. Decision Center’s database is updated daily and examines continuous data through time. Offloading data to a third-party vendor is unnecessary because Decision Center is an integrated solution and operates seamlessly with either Millennium or Innovative’s new Sierra Services Platform. The product will be offered as a hosted service. A late 2012 initial release is planned.
Gale Launches DemographicsNow: Business & People
Gale has announced the availability of DemographicsNow: Business & People, an online business and residential reference tool that provides detailed demographic data on more than 23 million businesses and 206 million consumers. Designed with an intuitive interface, interactive mapping tools, and comprehensive data, this new resource makes it easy for all types of researchers to collect, analyze, and act upon information, all from one location.
DemographicsNow: Business & People not only offers demographic information on any US geography—including information on income, housing, race, age, education, retail spending, and more—but it also allows users to compare multiple geographies and drill down to data on a specific county, zip code, congressional district, and more. A unique mapping tool within the resource also allows users to map their results, create custom geographies, and view demographic variables in thematic coloring scales. The “Business” tab includes data on 23 million businesses (with more than 4 million classified as out-of-business since the year 2000) with the ability to search by company name, business type, number of employees, and other limiters, while the “Households” tab contains data on more than 206 million US residents (approximately 135 million households) and enables users to search by name, address, or a variety of US Census data averages. Once the necessary data is collected, users can export the information into MS Word, Adobe PDF, or MS Excel reports for further analysis and application. DemographicsNow: Business & People can be used by all types of users — from small business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales people, to jobseekers, students, community leaders, and nonprofit organizations.
Computype Introduces Peel N Shield Labels
Computype has announced the availability of the Peel N Shield labels, the all-in-one spine label and label-protector. Designed for in-house label printing, the Peel N Shield label combines a spine label and protector together in one label. Libraries can print and protect labels in one easy motion, simplifying workflow. The Peel N Shield also features an aggressive adhesive that adheres to a variety of book surfaces.