A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

New Product News – July/August 2013

by Lian Sze on September 6, 2013

LibraryBox to Launch 2.0 Version

LibraryBox, an anonymous file-sharing tool used to distribute files to anyone with Wi-Fi access, is preparing to launch a 2.0 version. LibraryBox provides access to information in places where people usually don’t have it, such as areas with little Internet usage that might be off the broadband grid. Using opensourced software, anyone can build their own LibraryBox. However, for those lacking the right maker skills, the 2.0 version of Library-Box will soon be available for purchase. With the 2.0 version, there will be a much easier installation, a way to count the number of downloads, and an easier interface for users. Jason Griffey, the brains behind the operation, is also hoping that LibraryBoxes can be on a mesh network, so that boxes can trade content with one another. LibraryBox 2.0 will also come with instructions for those who would like to do modifications. Griffey has started a crowdsourcing Kickstarter campaign that has raised more than $21,000 as of press time. He hopes to use this money to work on this new version. For more information on LibraryBox 2.0, please visit http://librarybox.us.

3M’s New Interface Offers Recommendations for Patrons

With the new 3M SelfCheck QuickConnect Interface, patrons will be able to get future reading recommendations whenever they check out their library books. Connected to NoveList, the interface will show patrons books that are available in the library’s catalog that they can either check out or put on hold. They can also print out a list of the recommendations or email it to themselves. “Libraries will have an opportunity to connect more strongly to those patrons who may ordinarily do no more than come in the library, pick up a book, check out, and leave,” said Duncan Smith, vice president of NoveList. “Now those ‘drive by’ readers will have a reason to plan their next visit to the library.” Another unique feature of the new interface is the patron promos feature, which allows the library to promote its programs, events, and services to patrons as they are checking out their books. The design of the interface is user-friendly, with easy-to-install upgrades. The interface also allows staff to print reports and to customize the interface with different templates and themes. For more information on this interface, please visit 3M.com/QuickConnect.

EBSCO Introduces EBSCONET Analytics

EBSCO has launched EBSCONET Analytics, a new way for librarians to oversee their EBSCO resources in one simple to use dashboard. With EBSCONET Analytics, librarians can create detailed reports on the cost of titles and packages, as well as the ability to compare year to year trends. EBSCONET Analytics can also be combined with EBSCONET Usage Consolidation, which will let librarians know the cost-per-use of each item, and help librarians analyze which resources are their most and least used. EBSCO hopes to release upgrades in the future that will allow librarians to analyze usage by subject, publisher, format, and more. EBSCO also hopes to add more report types including pie charts, bar charts, and detailed reports.

Boopsie Now Compatible with Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone

Boopsie has announced that its apps are now compatible with both Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phones. “Expanding our support for new operating systems and quickly enabling our library applications for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone use is critical,” explained Boopsie for Libraries’ CEO Tony Medrano. “Delivering mobile apps for libraries on these new platforms enables our customers to better serve their communities by allowing their patrons to use the library application on any mobile device.” Boopsie apps are currently compatible with many platforms, such as Android, Blackberry, iOS, Kindle, and more, making it easy for patrons whose libraries use a Boopsie app.

Polaris Adds New Software Updates to Help Increase Staff Efficiency

Polaris Library Systems has added one hundred new updates to its software, a technology solution that is currently being used in many public, academic, and special libraries. The new updates, many requested by librarians themselves, will help make the day-to-day tasks of all library staff easier. “In order to provide our customers with the best product on the market today, we listen to what librarians need and continually evolve our products to make their job easier. Many of these new features are the result of enhancement requests from the Polaris User Groups and our customers’ feedback,” said Anita Wagner, vice president and board secretary, Polaris Library Systems. One of the updates will allow staff to calculate fines depending on the day that overdue items will be returned. Other updates will help catalogers, such as the “do not  overlay” checkbox for bibliographic records and the ability to delete certain tags from MARC records after importation. The Staff Client Find Tool has also been improved upon, with more search access points that allow staff to do more detailed searches. For a more complete list on these updates, please visit www.polarislibrary.com.

LearningExpress Library Debuts 3.0 Version

At the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, LearningExpress Library debuted the 3.0 version of its product, an online learning tool for test preparation and skill improvement in reading, writing, math and basic science. “America’s libraries have been a critical resource for not only students but also job seekers during the continuing difficult economic environment,” said Barry Lippman, president and CEO at Learning-Express, LLC.  “LearningExpress Library has helped millions of people prepare for success in school as well as careers and the new 3.0 version will be an important tool for every librarian’s electronic tool kit.” The 3.0 version will have a new easier-to-use interface, and librarians can post additional links to resources in specific centers. Patrons can also create a personalized account in the “My Center” portion, but can also search for tutorials and practice tests without an account. Patrons will also be able to get more feedback and guidance from the tool, as well as view answers to questions either during or after a test. For additional information on LearningExpress Library’s 3.0 version, please visit  www.learningexpressllc.com.

Innovative Launches New Encore ES

Encore ES, from Innovative Interfaces, is a new version of the Encore Synergy discovery application that integrates both a library’s e-resources and print collection all in one. With the new Encore ES, Innovative has partnered with EBSCO to use EBSCO Discovery Service’s (EDS) index as its main journal and magazine index. With this partnership, Encore ES users will also have access to EDS’s large collection of full-text articles. Innovative has also partnered with Overdrive and 3M to create a seamless e-book interface experience for patrons. With 3M e-books, patrons will be able to directly check out and put items on hold, as well as see the availability of the e-books they are searching for. For more information on Encore ES, please visit www.iii.com.