When superstorm Sandy hit the east coast in October 2012, the Queens Library (QL) in New York was among many northeastern library systems affected. QL persevered, continuing to offer crucial services in storm-ravaged communities while rebuilding damaged branches. The system also managed to turn a generous corporate donation into an innovative new platform for tablet computers, enabling a tech lending program that has since continued to grow.
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.
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 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 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.
Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III), developer of the Millennium ILS and next-generation Sierra Services Platform among other discovery and automation solutions, this month announced a partnership with Bibliotheca, the global RFID, EM/RFID hybrid and barcode-based library solutions supplier. Both companies describe the partnership as a strategic alliance that will enhance the integration of their respective software and hardware products.
The ninth annual Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) conference this year hosted more than 650 attendees from 40 states and six countries, representing a spike in attendance of more than 20 percent compared with 2013. Online viewership of the conference’s sessions rose significantly as well, with more than 50 U.S. academic libraries registering for ER&L Online.
EBSCO has rolled out Research Starters, a new feature for EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) that presents student researchers with short, citable summaries on frequently searched topics. Drawn from sources such as Salem Press, Encyclopedia Britannica, and American National Biography, more than 62,000 of these 500- to 1,500-word summaries are accessible, offering students an authoritative overview of their chosen subject, as well as links to other research starter summaries, or peer reviewed research where they can delve deeper into a topic.
Library web hosting provider LISHost this month launched Library CMS, a modular, Drupal-based content management system template tailored to the needs of library websites. The move follows the March debut of Prefab, a Wordpress-based CMS template designed for libraries by user experience (UX) consultancy Influx. Both are offered in conjunction with web hosting and are positioned as affordable, comprehensive website redesign services for individual libraries and small systems.
OverDrive’s most recent agreement touts plans for “deep API integration” with Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III) products, including Sierra and the Encore Discovery Services Platform, including new API updates that “will include the ability to check out and place a hold on ebooks from a library’s online catalog,” according to a company announcement. The integration will also enable a “seamless experience,” within OverDrive’s Content Reserve collection portal, offering the option of viewing a library’s physical and digital holdings side-by-side