A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

New Product News Jan/Feb 2012

by Lynn Hawkins on April 25, 2013

E-Book Sales Drive New Delivery Models

Booktrack, a startup headquartered in New York City, has announced the release of soundtrack-enhanced e-books. The experimental technology is something that Booktrack founders hope will catch on and change e-book readership. The company’s proprietary technology combines music, sound effects, and ambient sound, automatically paced to an individual’s reading speed. Funded by investors that include Peter Thiel, cofounder and CEO of PayPal and the first external investor in Facebook, Booktrack looks to achieve an industry first by creating synchronized soundtracks for e-books that dramatically boost the reader’s imagination and engagement. Booktrack’s enhanced e-book product debuts with The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (HarperCollins, 2011), a YA novel chosen for its cinematic scope. Booktrack was honored with the international Smart Content Award, as the best entertainment development for smart devices in 2011. Booktrack editions are limited to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, with Android compatibility coming soon.

Not Your Parent’s Tablet: LeapPad for Kids

LeapFrog Enterprises recently unveiled LeapPad, a personalized learning tablet designed for kids ages four and up. Designed for little hands and big imaginations, LeapPad will launch with LeapFrog’s largest library ever with plans to offer more than 100 learning game cartridges, books, apps, and videos. The existing library of Leapster Explorer game cartridges and apps is cross compatible with LeapPad. Kids can doodle on photos taken with the built-in camera, create a story about themselves in the Story Studio, or bring their favorite characters to life with the Animation Studio. LeapPad aims to offer kids the ability to create their own personalized experiences and have fun while learning at their own pace with content that automatically adjusts to their skill level. Each LeapPad book app is actually three books in one, offering each story at three different levels. LeapPad has 2 GB of memory, and a five-inch touch screen with 480 x 272 resolution. It offers kids motion-based play with a sensor and includes a built-in camera, video recorder, microphone, and stylus. LeapPad is now available for presale at select retailers.

CollectionHQ Launches New Discovery Module

CollectionHQ recently announced the launch of a powerful new Discovery module. The module provides unique insight into the material that is being read most frequently by library patrons, and presents the results in an interactive browser interface. In addition, the Discovery module enables libraries to cross reference data against their own holdings, so that gap analysis can be carried out quickly. For example, Discovery could enable a library to search for the most popular books on digital photography nationally over the past six months, restricting the results to show only items that the library has never purchased. The library could add these titles to purchase lists. CollectionHQ is a software application for public libraries delivered as a hosted, subscription-based service over the Internet. It uses the principles embodied in Evidence Based Stock Management (EBSM), a collection performance improvement methodology designed for libraries.

OverDrive Debuts New ContentWire Newsletter

OverDrive recently announced the availability of a new version of ContentWire. Targeted for children and young adult audiences, the monthly newsletter is a tool to help children’s and teen selectors to be aware of what’s newly available from OverDrive. It will feature new children’s publishers, popular series, required reads, and award winners. Also be on the lookout for selection and searching tips to help selectors make the most out of digital collections for younger patrons.

OverDrive Launches Test Drive

OverDrive recently launched Test Drive, a program that assists libraries in offering e-book devices for demonstration and lending. OverDrive provides guidelines, recommendations, best practices, and promotional materials for integrating e-book devices into everyday services, all within publisher copyrights and library-lending policies. Three options are available for program implementation: (1) staff education and training; (2) demo devices at the library; or (3) lending devices to users. OverDrive does not sell devices; once your library purchases the devices, you may use the Test Drive toolkit to help in preparing the devices for training, demos, or lending. Test Drive programs are required to be operated with consideration for publisher copyright permissions for lending e-books. Libraries participating in the programs will have access to recommendations and best practices to acquire devices that provide assistive features for
low vision and blind readers.

Gimlet Tracks Reference Data

Sidecar Publications’ Gimlet, a statistical tool for reference questions, allows users to build a searchable knowledge base while tracking questions. The tracking form is customizable and permits storage of full-text Q&As for search and retrieval. A tagging feature helps with trend and pattern discovery. A Gimlet bookmarklet integrates with the form; anytime you find yourself answering a question where a webpage contains the answer, you may use the bookmarklet. If the answer to a patron question is on a webpage, the bookmarklet adds that answer to the appropriate field on the answer form. Once recorded, full-text answers are searchable by text or tags through filters. The starring feature allows for boosting best answers to the top of the result list. The reports tab allows for building a table of data points, sorting, highlighting, and filtering, as well as for exporting data to spreadsheets. Gimlet provides useful data for scheduling by tracking the times that the desk is busy. The software is free for the first site; reports and additional sites are $10 per month, no contract is necessary.

User Feedback Drives Gale PowerSearch Enhancements

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, recently announced enhancements to Gale PowerSearch, its specially designed platform that offers cross-searching of periodical content, reference content, primary source information, and e-books from a single interface. Based on user feedback, Gale has added a multitude of new features, including search assist, expanded content, and enhanced subject and publication search options. The features allow for a faster and easier way to search the more than 180 million entries and multiple online resources with a single query.

EBSCO Publishing Releases Business Source Corporate Plus

EBSCO has expanded its collection of corporate research solutions with the release of Business Source Corporate Plus (BSC+). The database includes full text from more than 4,000 quality business journals, magazines,and trade publications. It provides researchers with full-text newspapers, television and news radio transcripts, SWOT analyses and more than 950 full-text books and monographs. BSC+ also offers researchers access to more than 20,000 industry reports, conference proceedings, country reports, and monographs.

BSC+ also provides two companion databases with hundreds of full-text sources including regional business publications, newspapers, and newswires. With daily updates, Regional Business News provides full text for more than eighty regional US and Canadian business publications. The McClatchy-Tribune Collection includes a 90-day archive of more than 280 newspapers from the McClatchy-Tribune wire service. PL