3M Launches Cloud Library E-Book Lending Service
The 3M Cloud Library E-Book Lending Service was introduced at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference. This e-book solution provides libraries with a turnkey system by including both digital content and in-library hardware, along with apps for borrowing and reading. Random House and IPG are among the first publishers to partner with 3M for distribution via the Cloud Library and 3M plans to announce additional publishing partners shortly. The in-library 3M Discovery Terminal features a touchbased interface and the 3M E-Book Reader for libraries easily syncs with the content. Content is compatible with PC, Mac, iPad, Nook, Android, and 3M e-readers. Patrons can browse the digital bookshelf from anywhere or use Discovery Terminal download stations in the library.
Innovative Announces Sierra Service Platform Development
At the 2011 Innovative Users Group Conference in April, Innovative Interfaces announced a new strategic ILS direction for the company and development of the Sierra Services Platform. Sierra development will include open access to key workflow and data through familiar open-source tools. Sierra is built on a foundation of integrated resource management and offers enhanced e-resource/e-book support. Libraries will be able to choose from Innovative-developed products, write their own custom applications, or share software among other Sierra libraries. Options for deployment include private-cloud and locally sited implementations. Sierra’s beta launch is scheduled for late 2011.
Livemocha Launches Library Subscription
Livemocha has announced the launch of the Livemocha Library Subscription, providing library cardholders unlimited local and remote access to coursework in thirty-eight languages. Users also have the opportunity to interact with ten million native speakers from around the world. The Livemocha Library Subscription includes coursework developed with Pearson Education and Collins publishers, and features extensive ESL resources. In addition to the coursework, patrons receive access to more than fifty thousand flashcard sets on a wide variety of topics. Livemocha is an online language learning community that offers native speaker feedback.
OverDrive E-Book Models
OverDrive has announced the first group of publishers that will provide simultaneous access e-books to libraries and schools in OverDrive’s network. Collections from such publishers as Thomas Nelson, Encyclopedia Britannica, Crabtree Publishing, and Lonely Planet will enable libraries to provide “always available” e-books without waiting lists or holds. Libraries can choose from titles in subjects including Christian fiction and nonfiction, reference young adult, children’s, and travel. Simultaneous access collections are available on an annual subscription basis, and can supplement a library’s existing one-copy/one-user collection. Additionally, Over-Drive has announced that it will offer 2,500 DRM-free e-books from seventeen smaller publishers. The lack of DRM protection makes the e-books easy to read on more devices. They will also remain accessible to the patron after the lending period has expired. A few publishers included in OverDrive’s DRM-free library include AMG, Books To Go Now, and Microsoft Press. These DRM-free titles will follow OverDrive’s one-book/one-user lending model.
Quipu Group Announces Online Cultural Reservation System
Quipu Group, in conjunction with Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library (CCCL), recently announced the first implementation of an emerging online and mobile application that allows libraries and cultural institutions to provide virtual access to free or discount passes. Cultural Connections, implemented by CCCL as Discover & Go, gives library users the ability to make reservations for cultural passes online by desktop or mobile, eliminating the need to physically pick up passes. Because passes expire automatically, users no longer need to physically return them, avoiding any possible overdue fines. With Cultural Connections, participating partners can work with the library to target a subsection of patrons and to maintain better control of when passes are offered. Quipu Group is continuing development on the application, including mobile access and the creation of a consortial model. A demo is available here. Quipu Group, LLC is a library-specific software development and consulting company.
Boopsie for Libraries Optimum Package Now Available
Boopsie has announced the launch of Boopsie for Libraries Optimum, a new product that aims to increase awareness and access to catalog inventory, foster an engaged reader community and create efficiencies for library staff. Optimum includes Boopsie’s newest feature, Book-Look. By scanning or entering the ISBN barcode data, cardholders can determine if a book is owned by their local library, the branch where it is located, and either place it on hold or join the waiting list. Boopsie for Libraries barcode scanning functionality is currently limited to iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry platforms because of those manufacturers inclusion of advanced camera technology. Optimum is immediately available for iPhone and Android. Support for the BlackBerry platform will be available in the near future.
In addition, Boopsie has announced one-click access to the Overdrive e-book collection. The new functionality will simplify mobile access to digital titles, and enable libraries to offer one-stop access to branch information, services, and the catalog. OverDrive collection access for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone platforms is included in Boopsie’s recently announced Optimum package and is available to all new and existing customers. A separate download of the OverDrive Media Console is required to read e-books accessed via Boopsie applications.
Techlogic Partners with Boopsie on Security-Smart App
Tech Logic and Boopsie have entered a new partnership to improve and simplify library management of mobile device use by patrons. This collaboration integrates Boopsie for Libraries mobile platform technology with Tech Logic’s MyMobileLibrary product line. The first product libraries can expect to see from this collaboration is MyMobileLibrary: App, a mobile self-checkout application that allows patrons to securely check out items from anywhere within the library using their smartphones. The application communicates with a library’s ILS and is the first that is compatible with RFID security, using MyMobileLibrary: Security Kiosk. MyMobileLibrary: Security Kiosk provides patrons with a method to deactivate the security on their checked out items. Patrons place their items on the kiosk shelf and the items’ RFID theft bits are automatically deactivated only if the items have been properly checked out. MyMobileLibrary: App is expected to be available fall 2011, and is compatible with smartphones including Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Windows Mobile.
BrowZine iPad App Unites Database Articles into Full Journals
Third Iron announced the debut of Brow-Zine technology at the 2011 ALA Annual New Product News Conference. Brow-Zine takes the articles from your journal databases and delivers them as complete journals, allowing patrons to browse and read their favorite periodicals on their iPads. Databases are designed for researchers rather than readers, so much of their content is missed by patrons who are not actively researching. BrowZine delivers their content in an accessible, browsable format. The app is free to patrons while the library subscribes to the BrowZine service. It is customized for the library’s databases and both video tutorials and complementary training are available to staff and patrons. BrowZine currently supports EBSCOhost and additional database providers are coming soon.
Patron Profiles Delivers Market Research
Library Journal and Bowker PubTrack have partnered to launch a new online quarterly devoted to market research data for libraries. Patron Profiles will field surveys of 1,500 or more individual library users of balanced demographic backgrounds from eight regions of the United States. Four times a year, core questions will focus on themes and technologies that are impacting library usage today. Bowker PubTrack’s PubTrack Consumer analytics combine with Library Journal’s knowledge of the challenges facing libraries, to extract “right here, right now” data. The inaugural October 2011 issue analyzes library patrons and e-book usage.
Magnatune Offers DRM-Free Music for Libraries
Magnatune, an independent online music service, provides digital music subscriptions to libraries. The Magnatune roster will appeal to patrons with an interest in alternative music. The musicians may not be household names, but there is a wide variety of genres, from world music and classical to alternative music, blues, hip hop, and jazz. The service offers unlimited, simultaneous downloads with no waiting. The pricing model includes fixed costs, unlimited downloads, and annual licenses, and pricing begins as low as ten cents per patron. Magnatune works directly with artists rather than with record labels, and splits sales with their musicians.
Library Ideas Reaches Agreement to Add IODA Alliance Artist Roster
Library Ideas recently publicized an agreement with IODA Alliance to bring their roster of music to the Freegal music service. This is the centerpiece of a Freegal 3.0 initiative that includes mobile apps and increased search and browse capabilities. IODA adds just shy of three million songs to the current Freegal catalog, with twelve thousand music labels representing artists from more than sixty countries. The IODA collection will augment the current Freegal catalog, which is the Sony Music catalog. Library Ideas expected to introduce all Freegal 3.0 functionality by September 1.
Freading is New E-Book Service Modle for Libraries
At the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, Library Ideas announced that their new ebook platform, Freading (free reading), would launch on September 1. Freading launched with twenty thousand e-books, available for purchase on a patron-driven, per-use basis. This new business model has no upfront cost, platform charges, or access fees, and has tools to allow libraries to control their spending over the course of a budget year. Participating libraries and patrons will have simultaneous access to titles without buying multiple copies. Participating publishers and authors will get paid for each transaction. Sixteen publishers have agreed to supply content, including Sterling Publishing, Sourcebooks, Andrews McMeel, and Regnery Publishing. Library Ideas is in discussions with additional publishers and intends to expand the content on a continual basis.
Unique Management Provides Live Answer Phone Services
Unique Management Services announced the availability of a new live answer phone service to assist with patron account and circulation questions. The customizable service routes calls from your library to Unique, where live staff members answer the phone as the library and provide such services as item renewal, holds, fines, and event registration. The new service frees staff to focus on customers who are physically present. It can also be used to extend customer service outside of operating hours. Unique offers digital recordings of calls and comprehensive Web-based reporting as part of the service.
Veicon Technology Introduces Veicon-Cloud Service
Veicon-Cloud is a newly launched subscription service that allows patrons to access public Internet stations and information kiosks. Veicon’s V-ASC and V-Timer software runs on Cloud servers to generate one-time-use access codes to control public access systems. Veicon-Cloud service is a low cost option, with no upfront hardware or software investments. Webpage-based staff management stations are available at no extra charge to enable staff to terminate or extend patron session lengths. Microsoft Office tools are also available as an optional service at a nominal cost.
Kirkus Unveils Discovery Engine for Children’s Book Apps
Kirkus Reviews has created a discovery engine devoted exclusively to the burgeoning area of children’s book app publishing and app development. Interactive children’s book apps exploded on the scene during the second half of 2010. Kirkus announced the first Top Ten Children’s Book Apps, reviewing fifty titles and bestowing a “star” on ten. The discovery engine features app demonstrations and interviews with developers and authors. Although accessible online and from any mobile device, the Kirkus iPad category and discovery engine is optimized for use on the iPad to provide for seamless discovery and purchase. Parents will have the opportunity to hone their search by answering five quick questions about their child. Kirkus will then return a selection of book apps to match their child’s interest.
Safari Books Online Releases New Free iPad App
Safari Books Online recently announced the availability of its new free iPad app, Safari To Go. Available for download at Apple’s iTunes App Store, Safari To Go is designed for use on Wi-Fi networks and gives access to content in Safari Books Online, while taking advantage of native iPad capabilities like multi-touch and page swiping. The Safari To Go app also gives subscribers the ability to watch training videos on Safari Books Online. The new app distributes video over a content delivery network which speeds video delivery and automatically adjusts bit rates based on the user’s bandwidth and device. These adjustments prevent choppy playback and long buffering times. Also improved in the Safari To Go iPad app is the ability to cache one book at a time for offline viewing, as well as page pre-fetching for a smoother reading experience. Safari Books Online is an on-demand digital library that delivers expert technology and business content.
Reader Ratings and Reviews from Goodreads Coming to NoveList Products
EBSCO Publishing has announced that NoveList will begin incorporating reader ratings and book reviews from Goodreads. The agreement between EBSCO’s NoveList division and Goodreads brings social networking elements into the NoveList product.