September 18, 2014

Matt Enis

About Matt Enis

Matt Enis (menis@mediasourceinc.com; @matthewenis on Twitter) is Associate Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

New Frederick County PL Library Card Doubles as a Visa Debit Card

140909_FrederickPLcard

Following four months of discussions with SirsiDynix and a brief pilot test this summer, Maryland’s Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) on September 5 officially launched the “I Love My Library” prepaid Visa debit card. Developed by SirsiDynix in partnership with Visa and Card Limited, the new affinity cards double as a patron’s library card and aim to help libraries achieve three goals.

Boston College’s MediaKron Digital Humanities Platform Looks To Grow

Boston College MediaKron project logo

Fresh off of its second year of partnerships with six northeastern colleges and universities, Boston College’s Instructional Design + eTeaching Services (IDeS) department is beginning to look at ways to expand access to its proprietary MediaKron digital humanities platform to other institutions, according to Tim Lindgren, senior instructional designer for IDeS.

Michigan State Launches SearchPlus for Ease of Use, Interdisciplinary Research

SearchPlus logo

In an effort to cater to the growth of interdisciplinary research while also simplifying the search experience for undergraduates, the Michigan State University Libraries (MSU) this month debuted Summon from ProQuest as its first web scale discovery service. Branded as SearchPlus by MSU, the discovery layer will offer students and researchers a single entry point for searching the majority of the library’s resources.

Penn State’s One Button Studios Now Used 4,500 Times Per Year

Penn State One Button Studio logo

The two “one button” simplified video recording studios at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Library’s Tombros and McWhirter Knowledge Commons have proven exceptionally popular and are now used for about 4,500 recording sessions per year.

With All “Big Five” Ebooks Now Available, Ebook Vendors Assess the Road Ahead

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Shortly after Simon & Schuster’s June 26 announcement that it had concluded a 15-month pilot test and would make its entire ebook catalog available to all U.S. libraries, Macmillan last week announced that it will make all frontlist ebook titles available to U.S. libraries as well. These moves mark a milestone in terms of the availability of popular ebooks, as Macmillan and Simon & Schuster became the final two of the “big five” publishers to allow U.S. libraries to license and loan all titles in their ebook collections.

Librarians, Media React to Launch of Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited

In a long-expected move, Amazon on July 18 announced the launch of Kindle Unlimited, a new subscription service that will give users unlimited access to a selection of 600,000 ebooks and more than 2,000 audiobooks on Amazon Kindle devices and any device with a Kindle app for $9.99 per month. The online retailer’s financial resources, marketing clout, and massive base of Kindle users alter the competitive landscape for all providers of ebooks, including libraries.

Greenburgh PL Installs Audio Induction Loop for Hearing Impaired

audio loop logo

Using funding provided by a local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America, New York’s Greenburgh Public Library this spring installed an audio frequency induction loop (AFIL) in its multipurpose room. AFILs enable public address systems and other AV equipment to send audio transmissions directly to hearing aids, eliminating background noise for hearing impaired visitors.

Anticipatory Discovery and One-Click Server Installs Among LITA Top Tech Trends | ALA 2014

LITA Top Tech Trends 2014 panel

Anticipatory and contextual discovery, open hardware, one-click server installs, mobile-first design, institutional digital assets management, and even biohackerspaces were some of the topics discussed this year at the Library and Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Tech Trends panel, held June 29 at the American Library Association (ALA) 2014 Annual Conference.

Library Simplified Works on Three-Click Access for Library Ebooks | ALA 2014

Library Simplified logo

Library ebook transactions remain too lengthy and complicated for patrons, especially in comparison with consumer ebook transactions, James English, product manager for the Library Simplified project at the New York Public Library (NYPL) said during his “EPUB: Walled Gardens and the Readium Foundation” presentation at the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Book Industry Study Group (BISG) Eighth Annual Forum, held June 27 in conjunction with the American Library Association (ALA) 2014 Annual Conference. The group is working to make an open, commercial-grade ereader for libraries that would greatly simplify this process.

Vendor News Roundup | ALA 2014

Trying to keep up with all the vendor, publisher, and product news coming out of the year’s biggest gathering of librarians? So are we. This is a selection of announcements that vendors have sent LJ staff this week prior to the ALA 2014 annual convention. If we missed your announcement, please feel free to post an excerpt in our comments section.