A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

New Product News – Nov/Dec 2012

by Lynn Hawkins on December 18, 2012

Gale Answers Question, “Who Am I?”

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, recently announced the launch of Gale Genealogy Connect, a new online tool for genealogical research. Focusing on the “how to” of genealogical research, along with unique source materials, Gale Genealogy Connect serves as a compliment to popular fact-, date-, and people-based genealogy resources already on the market. Sourced from the publications of Genealogical. com, parent company for Genealogical Publishing Company and Clearfield Company, Gale Genealogy Connect features more than 550 reference works at release (formerly only available in print or on CD-ROM) on a standalone e-book platform, with a goal of growing the collection to nearly 1,500 works. The content covers a wide range of topics such as genealogy research basics; genealogy methods and sources; colonial genealogy; immigration; and royal and Native American ancestry. Gale Genealogy Connect serves both novice and advanced researchers—beginners will learn proper research methods and how to define and organize goals, while powerful search features help advanced researchers make connections among data to uncover a meaningful story behind their family tree. Additional features include:

  • an engaging user interface with translation into thirty-eight languages;
  • unlimited and simultaneous 24/7 access;
  • seamless cross-searching across all Gale Genealogy Connect collections;
  • ability to print, save, email, or share articles; and
  • multipage PDF viewing recreating the book experience.

Content is divided into six convenient bundles, giving libraries a variety of purchase and subscription options to meet their needs.

Scholastic Expands Storia Content

Storia is Scholastic’s free downloadable children’s e-reading app and e-book system that grows with children from toddlers to teens. Available for free download on PC, iPad, iPhone, all iOS systems hardware, and Android tablets, the Storia e-reading app is designed to captivate kids while helping them become better readers. Storia offers more than two thousand titles for kids from toddlers through teens with more content being added daily. Storia was recognized with the Editor’s Choice Award for children’s e-book apps in the May 2012 edition of Children’s Technology Review. Scholastic has announced agreements with National Geographic for Kids and Albert Whitman & Company. Among the National Geographic for Kids titles to be offered on Storia are twenty titles from the bestselling series “National Geographic Readers.” Scholastic is currently working with several other publishers to provide their front- and backlist titles on Storia.

Codeacademy Offers Easy On-Ramp for Coding Clubs

Digital literacy is increasingly important for kids as more of their world goes online. In response to the lack of computer science (CS) opportunities for kids, Codeacademy has put together a startup kit. They believe that programming teaches important reasoning, logic, and communication skills, and that learning programming gives kids a voice in how software shapes their world. The kit contains everything needed to offer after-school programming clubs and other CS opportunities including a full curriculum, accounts for the students, flyers, letters to parents, and more. And because the lessons are self-paced, program facilitators and club leaders do not need to be expert programmers. Best of all, it’s completely free. Teachers and librarians can also sign up for a free after-school programming kit.

Lessons run right in the browser, with no downloads or installation required. They are self-guided, freeing facilitators to work with learners one-on-one; and self-paced with a choice of languages (Python, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS), so it’s easy to scale the class up or down. Everything is packaged for easy launch, including access to a custom forum for teachers and librarians to share best practices and swap ideas.

VTLS Releases MozGo

With library budgets strained and staff already struggling to manage, keeping pace presents a challenge. Libraries want an affordable and reliable app that will provide the features patrons want without imposing additional work for already overburdened systems staff. Recognizing this need for a consistent, full-featured app that will make lives easier for both patrons and staff, VTLS developed MozGo. The name derives from the Hungarian word for mobile (mozgó).

MozGo employs an innovative cloud-based “mobile mediator” to provide a flexible solution that can be used with almost any integrated library system (ILS). VTLS applies the library’s branding to the MozGo app, tailoring it to each library. The deployment process is simple: the application is distributed to patrons through the iTunes Store or Android Marketplace under the library’s name. Using the Mobile Mediator, MozGo connects directly to the library catalog to provide real-time information. Once deployed, no extra work is needed to support new ILS versions, or even entirely different ILS implementations at your library. MozGo is based on a new open VTLS platform, Open Skies.

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