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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > April 2003
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Vol. 23 No. 4 — April 2003
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Newsline
Newsline is compiled by Kimberly Shigo

Research Libraries Collaborate on DSpace

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries has announced initial development of the DSpace Federation with six other major research universities: Columbia University, Cornell University, Ohio State University, and the universities of Rochester, Toronto, and Washington. DSpace (http://www.dspace.org) was launched worldwide in November 2002 as an open-source system, the result of a 2-year collaboration between the MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. The system is now in full production at MIT and holds approximately 1,000 items from five early-adopter communities.

DSpace is a digital library system that can capture, store, index, preserve, and redistribute the intellectual output of a university's research faculty in digital formats. It has a flexible storage and retrieval architecture adaptable to a multitude of data formats and distinct research disciplines.

As part of a 1-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MIT is now extending the scope of DSpace by offering it to other research-intensive institutions as an open-source system and building a federation among these institutions. By making the system freely available, DSpace will enable even small colleges to run repositories with existing resources. This project will explore the adaptability of DSpace to other institutions beyond MIT, develop documentation for future federators, and investigate new types of services that can be built on federated collections held in DSpace repositories at different institutions.

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, Cambridge, MA, 617/253-5655; http://libraries.mit.edu.

British Library Leads Effort for U.K. Bill to Capture and Preserve Electronic Materials

The British Library has announced the introduction of a Private Members Bill that would change the current legislation relating to legal deposit. The bill would ensure that electronic publications and other nonprint materials are saved as part of the U.K. published archive.

If the campaign, which is being led by The British Library on behalf of all the legal deposit libraries and publisher trade bodies, is successful, new generic legislation would ensure that nonprint formats are included within legal deposit, allowing U.K. businesses and educational institutions to benefit from access to the widest possible collection of research material. Since 1911, the six legal deposit libraries have been able to collect copies of all printed material in the U.K. However, the increasing volume of material being published only in electronic formats falls outside the scope of the 1911 act and therefore is not comprehensively collected.

In January 2000, a voluntary scheme to help extend the National Published Archive was established. Administered by the Joint Committee on Voluntary Deposit, the scheme has already saved many nonprint items. However, the legal deposit libraries, publishers' representatives, and library users now agree that new legislation is necessary to safeguard the future of the published archive.

Source: The British Library, London, 011-44-20-7412-7112; Fax: 011-44-20-7412-7168; http://www.bl.uk.

Infotrieve Acquires Ariel Software from RLG

Infotrieve, a provider of on-demand article distribution services, has announced that it has acquired Ariel software from the Research Libraries Group (RLG), a membership corporation of research libraries, archives, and museums.

Ariel enables academic and research libraries to electronically convey and share scanned or digitized documents, such as articles published in scholarly and professional journals, between and within institutions in high-resolution TIF or PDF via the Internet. RLG developed and launched the software in 1991.

According to the announcement, Infotrieve will continue to work in close cooperation with RLG member libraries on additional enhancements to Ariel. The company says it expects to add new information management tools and features to the Ariel software that will facilitate improved interlibrary loan procedures and enterprise information sharing.

Current license and distribution agreements with Ariel customers will be transferred and managed by Infotrieve, as will customer support, training, billing, and other business functions.

Source: Infotrieve, Los Angeles, 310/234-2000; http://www.infotrieve.com.

Factiva Enhances News and Decision Portal

Factiva has announced a new release of its news and decision portal software, Factiva Publisher.

According to the announcement, Factiva Publisher 3.8 saves employees time by consolidating critical information into a single place. Users can manage their e-mail and calendars, as well as track critical news and internal information, all from the corporate portal. The enhanced software, which is built on an XML architecture, allows customers to integrate business news and information into the portal interface along with Microsoft Outlook and Web components. Building on Factiva Select, customers can also publish news to their corporate portals and intranets using the software's content management tools.

Factiva Publisher 3.8 is designed to be implemented as an out-of-the-box portal for enterprise content or integrated into an existing portal or intranet. Factiva reports that Web managers can save considerable resources over the course of a project because Factiva Publisher contains much of the functionality needed to manage the Factiva Select news feed. Customers can hire Factiva Client Solutions to build on Factiva Publisher's capabilities, or they can use their own development teams.

Source: Factiva, Princeton, NJ, 800/369-7466, 609/627-2000; http://www.factiva.com.

Company News

EBSCO Acquires CommSearch Database

EBSCO announced that it has acquired CommSearch, a scholarly database for communication studies, from the National Communication Association (NCA). Currently, CommSearch contains bibliographic and keyword references to 26 journals in communication studies with coverage extending back to the inaugural issue of each. The database also includes cover-to-cover indexes of NCA's six journals from their first editions to the present and abstracts from their earliest appearances in NCA journals. EBSCO says that it will significantly expand the abstracting-and-indexing coverage of appropriate titles in CommSearch, as well as add abstracting and indexing for many more important titles in the communication field.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, Ipswich, MA, 800/653-2726, 978/356-6500; http://www.ebsco.com.

Ex Libris and Syndetic Form Partnership to Provide Enriched Bibliographic Content

Ex Libris and Syndetic Solutions have announced that they are partnering to provide access to enriched content, including tables of contents, first chapters, reviews, synopses and annotations, author notes, cover art images, and excerpts, as well as fiction and biography headings. Ex Libris reports that it will initially be offering the content through the MetaLib/SFX modules with plans to provide enhanced access via the ALEPH PAC module in an upcoming release.

Source: Ex Libris (USA), Inc., Chicago, 877/527-1689, 773/404-5527; http://www.aleph.co.il.

Your Digital Library

CLASSICAL.com Streams Music to Users

CLASSICAL.com, Ltd. has launched a streaming classical music service that allows library patrons to access and listen to thousands of classical music recordings, complete with extensive supplementary metadata.

According to the company, CLASSICAL.com is a user-friendly service that presents easily customized, on-demand listening of 10,000-plus classical music recordings for library users. Users can browse, search, and arrange the music in any way they choose. Also included with an annual subscription is access to supplementary resources, including hundreds of themed playlists; thousands of key composer and artist biographies; program notes on key works and movements; daily classical music news and weekly features; and Classical Music Beginner's Guide, timeline, and glossary.

Libraries can customize their subscription plans to suit their needs, choosing either Direct or Local Service, with a flexible pricing plan for academic, public, school, or special libraries.

Source: CLASSICAL.com, Ltd., New York, 212/689-0536; http://www.classical.com.

Kanex Group Upgrades QuickPopup Software

Kanex Group, Inc. has announced QuickPopup 4.0, which allows users to securely exchange pop-up messages over networks without connecting to the Internet.

New features for this release include a new message format that allows faster, more reliable, and secure messaging; a sent messages archive that is browsable and includes the ability to resend previously sent messages; transparent message encryption; clickable URLs; and longer user name space, up to 27 characters.

QuickPopup can be used cross-platform for Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops.

Pricing starts at $15 per copy, with discounts for site licenses. All current customers receive new QuickPopup versions at no charge.

Source: Kanex Group, Inc., New York, 212/981-4150; http://www.softwarium.com.

New/Enhanced Databases

ebrary Launches Collections for Libraries

ebrary, a provider of information distribution and retrieval services, has announced the availability of unique database collections that combine more than 20,000 books and other documents from more than 150 leading academic, trade, and professional publishers. These collections are categorized into Aggregated Collections, which span academic and general subject areas, and Publisher Collections, which feature highly specialized content from individual academic and professional publishers.

These collections enable simultaneous, multiuser access, feature advanced research tools, and integrate with existing ILS systems and digital resources, with full MARC records provided. Aggregated Collections now cover individual subject areas including Business & Economics; Computers, Technology, & Engineering; Humanities; Life & Physical Sciences; and Social & Behavioral Sciences. The company also offers a collection of Spanish-language titles and aggregated collections specifically for bothacademic and public libraries. Publisher Collections are from Byron Hoyt (more than 5,000 classical sheet music titles), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (over 4,000 books, journals, and technical papers), and Octavo (30-plus rare and original manuscripts).

ebrary charges an annual subscription fee based on library type and size.

Source: ebrary, Palo Alto, CA, 866/4EBRARY, 650/475-8700; http://www.ebrary.com.

Blackwell Expands Its 'Synergy' Online Tool

Blackwell Publishing has announced the addition of more than 250 social science and humanities journals to its online research tool, Blackwell Synergy (http://www.blackwell-synergy.com). Many of these titles are published on behalf of scholarly and professional societies and include top international peer-reviewed journals in economics, business, geography, politics, psychology, philosophy, and sociology, among others.

According to the sales and marketing director at Blackwell Publishing, many of the journals on Synergy now include CrossRef linking to cited articles, JSTOR links to back volumes, and reference links to the ISI database. In addition, several of these journals also have OnlineEarly papers, where peer-reviewed articles are posted online before the print issue is published.

Librarians can set up a single platform for all their Blackwell journals in the Library Administrator area of the Synergy site. There they can download daily updated usage statistics, administer their own IP addresses, and download SFX-compatible files for setting up links in their library catalogs.

Source: Blackwell Publishing, Inc., Malden, MA, 781/388-8200; http://www.blackwellpublishing.com.

American National Biography Online Adds Profiles, Features Black History Collection

Oxford University Press (OUP) has announced that the quarterly update to its American National Biography (ANB) Online product is complete, featuring a diverse array of new articles, photographs, and revisions.

According to the company, American National Biography Online (http://www.anb.org) offers all the benefits of the 24-volume print edition, along with dynamic search functions, updated biographies, hyperlinks, and exclusive photographs. ANB.org offers portraits of 18,000 men and women, from every era and from all walks of life, whose lives and works have shaped the nation. The new update continues ANB.org's tradition of diversity by covering occupations from abolitionists to winegrowers, spies, actors, poets, feminists, football coaches, theater critics, biologists, and politicians.

In a separate announcement, OUP highlighted its Black History Special Collection, which includes many new articles on notable African Americans. The collection offers searchers an easy way to access black history features in ANB.org. Users simply check the Black History Special Collection box, and they will find more than 500 articles related to the topic.

ANB.org is updated quarterly and features thousands of illustrations, more than 80,000 hyperlinked cross-references, links to Web sites, and search capabilities.

Source: Oxford University Press, New York, 212/726-6057; http://www.oup-usa.org.

Gale Releases Kids InfoBits Online Product

Gale has announced the expansion of its line of Web-based products for young students with the release of Kids InfoBits. The child-friendly spinoff of the InfoTrac search service is aimed at grades K through 5 and gathers reference, magazine articles, and an array of images in one interface.

According to the Kids InfoBits product manager, the product serves two different groups of students: the K through 2 group and a second, more research-savvy group from grades 3 through 5, as these two groups approach searches in different ways. Kids InfoBits' home page includes an icon-rich topic tree that allows younger children to click and drill down to a single topic. Its design allows successful searches for kids who do not yet have the ability to narrow their topic to a single phrase or who can't spell what they are looking for. Upper-elementary-level kids, who know how to express what they want to search for, can use the search bar also included on the opening page. Results are delivered in a simple format that organizes each resource in folders by type—reference, magazine articles, newspaper articles, charts and graphs, and images.

Kids InfoBits content is drawn from a variety of sources: references from Blackbirch Press (The Kid's Visual Reference of the World and the Encyclopedia of Science and Invention) and periodical content from 60 full-text magazines aimed at the elementary audience (such as Discovery Kids). Kids InfoBits also includes a variety of educational support materials in its Teacher Toolbox. Library media specialists and other teachers can use the downloadable templates, written in language appropriate for elementary school students, to explain such ideas as how to write a topic sentence.

Source: Gale, Farmington Hills, MI, 800/877-4253, 248/699-4253; http://www.gale.com.

EBSCO Offers New Databases, Capabilities

EBSCO Publishing has announced the History Reference Center, a comprehensive history database with 270,000 entries from myriad historical sources.

The database includes more than 300 reference books and encyclopedias, 58,000 historical documents, 43,000 biographies, and more than 100,000 images and historical maps. It also features cover-to-cover full text for 50 leading history periodicals such as America's Civil War, American Heritage, American Historical Review, and History Today, along with selected articles from nearly 500 magazines and journals. It also includes reference books from academic publishers Oxford University Press, Millbrook Press, Lerner Publishing, Salem Press, and more. This new database also features access to primary source documents and five complete encyclopedia volumes including the Encyclopedia of World History. Additionally, History Reference Center provides world history and U.S. history timelines so users can search for information from specific eras.

In a separate news release, EBSCO and NewspaperARCHIVE.com announced a partnership that will enable EBSCO to offer its customers a large backfile of newspaper content. The recent arrangement between the two companies allows customers to purchase NewspaperARCHIVE.com through EBSCO. NewspaperARCHIVE.com grants unlimited access to online newspaper archives for libraries at affordable prices. The product offers coverage for hundreds of newspapers dating as far back as the 1700s. The collection provides a searchable archival file of important newspapers from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

In addition, EBSCO unveiled LinkSource, a unique link resolver that offers a solution to the challenge of integrating multiple electronic collections that are hosted on a variety of different systems.

LinkSource is an OpenURL-compliant resolver designed specifically to allow libraries to provide bidirectional, item-level linking to a wide range of online information resources from a single link menu. LinkSource has many linking partnerships in place, and EBSCO says it is working to establish partnerships with additional vendors. Currently, LinkSource can instantly provide prevalidated links and match citations against available full text from 12,000 journals—approximately 16 million article links. It also allows for appropriate copy linking for DOI-based links (through CrossRef), links to virtually any Web-based OPAC, and links to interlibrary loan or document delivery services. In addition, a number of pay-per-view options are available for e-content either directly from the publisher or through EBSCOhost.

Source: EBSCO Publishing, Ipswich, MA, 800/653-2726, 978/356-6500; http://www.ebsco.com.

Wilson Announces Debut of Legal Database

The H.W. Wilson Co. has announced the Index to Legal Periodicals & Books Full Text, a new WilsonWeb database based on the print reference.

Index to Legal Periodicals & Books Full Text delivers articles cover-to-cover from 180 select sources, in full text and PDF page images, in addition to detailed indexing of 840 periodicals and 1,400 monographs per year. The database features more than 15,000 full-text records to start (dating back as far as 1994) with new entries being added in daily updates. Index records date back to 1981.

Searching by keyword, subject heading, personal name, date, title words, type of article, or any combination retrieves scholarly articles, symposia, jurisdictional surveys, court decisions, legislation, book reviews, and more. The product also offers options for access to articles that are not reflected in the full text.

Source: H.W. Wilson, New York, 800/367-6770, 718/588-8400; http://www.hwwilson.com.

Sea Change Upgrades Two of Its Resources: WebClarity Resource Gateway, BookWhere

Sea Change Corp., a software company that develops standards-based solutions for the library and research communities, has announced the availability of WebClarity Resource Gateway version 2.0.

The WebClarity Resource Gateway is a portal for accessing structured bibliographic, media, and geospatial data.According to the announcement, its advantage is that it allows standard Web browsers to access the same Z39.50 resources that were previously only available through a Z39.50-based client.

Version 2.0 offers a centrally managed console on which administration can modify and create specific profiles for users or groups of users. The admin console also features cascading style sheets, which allows for quick customization of the user interface. Another key feature is a new host management system that contains an automatic host update mechanism called AutoSync. This ensures that users always have an updated set of searchable databases. AutoSync now has filtering capability so that users can disable or activate databases to search or add user names and passwords. Also, with version 2.0 users can now directly export downloaded records to their hard drives, or they can send them to a specific third-party application.

In a separate announcement, Sea Change announced the availability of BookWhere version 4.2.0. This new release supports four new international user interfaces: French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Other features for version 4.2.0 include an enhanced toolbar with quick buttons for Print and AutoSync. AutoSync now offers a summary page that details which host database records were last updated. BookWhere will also now warn users when they have requested to link to a database that requires user name and password authentication. A new convenience feature is the re-addition of the ProCite and ReferenceManager SendTo options for exporting MARC records into these citation management packages.

Source: Sea Change Corp., Concord, ON, Canada, 800/661-7274, 905/760-7488; http://www.seachange.com.

Linking Initiatives

Paratext, ABC-CLIO Create Database Links

Paratext, a reference database publisher, has announced that one of its databases, 19th Century Masterfile (NCM), now contains over 2 million additional links to ABC-CLIO's historical abstracting-and-indexing databases Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. With this new agreement, library subscribers to NCM who also subscribe to either Historical Abstracts or America: History and Life will be able to maximize the value of both resources.

19th Century Masterfile, established in 1999 by Paratext, contains a growing body of subject indexes to periodicals, books, newspapers, government documents, and patents for all manner of historical research. Recent additions include links to full-text editions of 19th century journals, the Congressional Record, and the U.S. Patent File.

Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life, established in 1955 and 1964, respectively, are research tools for students, scholars, and historians. They contain abstracts of journal articles and book reviews pertaining to the history of the world, with more than 16,000 new abstracts added to each database every year.

Source: Paratext, LLC, Sterling, VA, 703/318-0285; http://www.paratext.com.

Ex Libris Announces Release of SFX 2.0, New Content Agreements for SFX, MetaLib

Ex Libris has announced the release of SFX 2.0, the new version of its OpenURL link server.

SFX provides a library's users with dynamically created, context-sensitive links to services that are defined by the librarian on the basis of the institution's electronic collections and policies. New features include specialized tools for localization of linking for consortia managers, supporting a range of consortium types, from fully centralized to fully decentralized; an XML Gateway enabling cross-domain communication between different SFX servers or different SFX instances on a single server; full Unicode-compliance; enhanced Web tools; and XML- and HTML-based options for generating A­Z journal title lists with the optional delivery of comprehensive MARC records.

In a separate agreement, OCLC and Ex Libris announced they have successfully implemented linking from the Ex Libris SFX link server to select OCLC reference and resource sharing services. These include linking to OCLC WorldCat on the OCLC FirstSearch service to check library holdings information, linking to the full text of journal articles available in OCLC FirstSearch Electronic Collections Online Fulfillment, and linking through OCLC ILLiad interlibrary loan service.

In addition, Ex Libris announced that the Books24x7 ITPro and BusinessPro Referenceware libraries are now accessible through MetaLib, the Ex Libris library portal, and through SFX. This agreement facilitates users' access to the more than 3,000 unabridged books and documents available through Books24x7.

Source: Ex Libris (USA), Inc., Chicago, 877/527-1689, 773/404-5527; http://www.aleph.co.il.

Innovative Interfaces Announces OpenURL WebBridge Linking with OCLC Services

Innovative Interfaces, Inc. has announced that users can link between its WebBridge product and the OCLC FirstSearch service as well as the OCLC ILLiad Resource Sharing Management software via OpenURL-compliant link servers.

From the WebBridge OpenURL resolution server—the resource linking component of Innovative's integrated portal solution, Millennium Access Plus—users can link to journal articles available through FirstSearch, metadata and holdings information through the WorldCat database via FirstSearch, and OCLC ILLiad Resource Sharing Management software. WorldCat can also send an OpenURL to WebBridge, augmenting WorldCat content with WebBridge's related resources.

Innovative and OCLC both have developed products that meet the OpenURL standard. OpenURL, a Web-based protocol for transmitting metadata, increases the visibility and accessibility of resources by providing a way to link an information resource and a library service component.

Source: Innovative Interfaces, Inc., Emeryville, CA, 510/655-6200; http://www.iii.com.

Cool Sites

Brooklyn Public Library Launches Web Site for Young People to Learn About Business

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has announced its new interactive Web site called "Someday Soon ... I'll Start My Own Business" (http://www.somedaysoon.brooklynpubliclibrary.org), which has been designed to address the financial literacy needs of young adult entrepreneurs. This project was supported by a grant from the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation.

The Someday Soon Web site introduces basic financial concepts and identifies the building blocks for creating a small business, while providing information that focuses on the business areas that need to be mastered to start and effectively manage a small business. The site offers tools to young people, ages 12–21, to start their own small businesses.

The scope of the Web site encompasses the core business idea, market analysis, means and cost of production, business plans, financing, advertising, marketing, sales, accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes. The site also includes success stories from local young entrepreneurs. Users are encouraged to test their readiness for business entrepreneurship and their ability to succeed by completing two evaluation surveys and answering questions that range from product knowledge and customer service to marketing, management, and communication. As part of its support to the Someday Soon Web site, BPL offers free Web-based resources including links to in-house bibliographies and access to BPL databases, as well as to interactive Web tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) business mapping, checklists, and electronic reference services.

Source: Brooklyn Public Library, New York, 718/230-2100; http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org.

U-M Launches Site on Great Lakes Wildlife

The University of Michigan (U-M) has announced that the University Library and the U-M Museum of Natural History have created Flora and Fauna of the Great Lakes Region (http://www.lib.umich.edu/programs/greatlakes), a Web site featuring images and descriptions of thousands of specimens of fish, mammals, and fungi local to the Great Lakes region.

The site draws material from the U-M Museum of Natural History, more than 16,000 digital images and 115,000 data records from the Fish and Mammal divisions of the university, and material from the Museum of Zoology and the Fungus Collections of the U-M Herbarium, made available electronically by the University Library. Through this collaborative effort, funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, disparate collections from the museum divisions are combined to provide access to data about the natural history of the Great Lakes region.

Collection records provide detailed information about when and where specimens were collected. The databases list both scientific and common names and include records for specimens collected in the Great Lakes region from the 1850s to the present. Digital photographs taken specifically for this project accompany the specimen records. Also included are maps, as well as field notes drafted by the scientists who collected the specimens.

Links among related records assist the user in navigating the collections.

Source: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 734/764-7260; http://www.umich.edu.

Helpful Tools

VTLS Offers New Tools to Its Virtua Users

VTLS, Inc. has announced a partnership with PhoneTree to offer a quick and easy way to contact patrons.

PhoneTree is a phone notification service that supplies a system that calls clients in bulk with specific messages programmed by the user. It can be used to notify patrons of overdue notices, hold availabilities, recalls, and library events. It extracts the phone list from Virtua, delivers the message (even to an answering machine), and reports its outcome. A single-line system will deliver 60 calls in an hour; a four-line system will notify those same 60 people in 15 minutes. PhoneTree connects to any PC running Windows with a USB port.

In a separate announcement, VTLS reported that it is pushing ahead with its FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) implementation by adding several new features to its FRBR software in release 42 of Virtua ILS.

According to the company, it is now possible to convert a traditional MARC record to the FRBR format with the click of a single button. The basic FRBR record consists of three entities—work, expression, and manifestation. In addition, item records (holding records) may be attached to the manifestation. Virtua also creates a tree display structure for the FRBR record. Automatic duplicate control and linking at the work and expression levels are also built into the software. If a traditional MARC record is being converted to FRBR using the single-click method, the software will match the newly created manifestation to an expression if it already exists or an expression to a work if it already exists.

Source: VTLS, Inc., Blacksburg, VA, 800/468-8857, 540/557-1200; http://www.vtls.com.

Indigo Media and OCLC Offer Libraries a Solution for Processing Nonprint Media

Indigo Media Processing and OCLC have announced the development of a business partnership to reduce the cost of physical processing of nonprint media, while offering libraries the means to fully customize their packaging. According to the announcement, Indigo's physical processing application is the first of its kind to create shelf-ready nonprint media for the library community.

OCLC will use Indigo's application to process foreign language videos and audiobooks as part of its Language Sets program. Indigo's application will combine the original retail box artwork with custom labels such as property stamps, hours of operation, and "Please don't put in the book drop" markings. This is all done automatically rather than by actually placing the stickers on the product or case. The printed color output will contain all this information, and Indigo's application will be interfaced with OCLC's bibliographic database to obtain the ability to write custom spine labels and bar code information. The result is a VHS, DVD, audiobook, or CD-ROM cover that is printed out in color with all the customized markings, labels, bar codes, and artwork sized to fit the appropriate box.

Source: Indigo Media Processing, Elmhurst, IL, 630/617-9800; http://www.indigoprocessing.com and OCLC, Dublin, OH, 800/848-5878, 614/764-6000; http://www.oclc.org.

Maxell Corp. Offers New Smart Cash Card

Maxell Corp. of America has launched its Smart Cash Card, a new digital tool to store or substitute available cash in a digital format for use in copy machines, fax machines, and other access points of sale.

Maxell's Smart Cash Cards are designed to serve as digital cash equivalent tools for affinity group populations, such as those on college campuses or institutions, where currency may be substituted or deposited for security or safekeeping. The cards are low-cost and noncontact, and they have an integrated circuit (IC) chip embedded in them. The chip memory is larger than the data storage on a typical magnetic stripe card. Because the storage medium employs active IC elements, the card can be used for both online and offline payment or vending needs.

Unlike contact chip smart cards, Maxell's Coil-on-Chip is protected by a layer of plastic coating. Stored data cannot be tampered with or damaged by moisture, abrasion, etc., and will even survive laundering. Other advantages to the technology include stand-alone offline vending operations, no LAN wiring, easy instant system installation, and reduction or elimination of cash transactions.

Besides the ability to transfer cash amounts to the card, funds can also be transferred from bank and credit cards. In addition, the Maxell Smart Cash Card is compatible with both the Off-Line and On-Line General Meters University One-Card System. General Meters, Inc. technical support guarantees seamless system integration and operation.

Source: Maxell Corp. of America, Fair Lawn, NJ, 201/703-2370; http://www.maxell.com.

Professional Opportunities

ISTE Adds Library Media Specialists Group

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has created a new Special Interest Group for Media Specialists (SIGMS) to provide a support network for school library media specialists working to integrate instructional technology into the curriculum.

According to the ISTE, SIGMS is intended to provide a forum for school library media specialists to learn about technologies that improve the operation of the school library media center, increase access, and create a more effective and efficient working environment. Communication among group members will be facilitated through an e-mail list and on the SIGMS Web site (http://www.iste.org/sigms). The first in-person meeting of SIGMS will take place during ISTE's 2003 National Educational Computing Conference in Seattle, June 29–July 2.

Standard ISTE membership costs $65 and includes a choice of Learning & Leading with Technology or the Journal of Research on Technology in Education, membership in one SIG, access to ISTE Update and other online services, and reprint rights and member discounts on ISTE products. Details about membership types and benefits are available at http://www.iste.org/join.

Source: International Society for Technology in Education, Eugene, OR, 800/336-5191; http://www.iste.org.

H.W. Wilson Renews Scholarship Grants

The board of directors of the H.W. Wilson Foundation has announced that it will continue to support education in library and information science with a new round of scholarship grants.

This year's scholarship program will deliver grants of $10,000 each to 56 schools. Grants will be distributed over 4 years (2004–2007). Attracting potential librarians to the field and supporting qualified students are major goals of the program, the company says.

The program allows each school to distribute its grant in accordance with its own scholarship criteria, as well as to divide the total amount to accommodate a local institution's particular needs. Library schools that receive accreditation during any of the program years will receive grants the year following accreditation.

Source: H.W. Wilson, New York, 800/367-6770, 718/588-8400; http://www.hwwilson.com.

Dialog Seeks 2003 Scholarship Applicants, Adds Distance Learning to Grad Ed Program

The Dialog Corporation has announced that it is seeking applicants from North America for the 2003 Roger K. Summit scholarship, the company's scholarship program for graduate students in library and information sciences.

The North American prize will be awarded in New York at the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference in June. Applications are available at http://training.dialog.com/gep/scholarship.html, and must be submitted by April 30, 2003. Dialog awards three $5,000 scholarships annually, one each in North America, in the Europe and Middle East region, and in the Asia Pacific region. Later this year, Dialog will be accepting applications for the European scholarship, to be awarded at London Online in December 2003, and for the Asia Pacific scholarship, to be awarded in 2004.

A panel of local information professionals and educators selects the regional winners after reviewing academic achievement, interest in electronic information services, proficiency using Dialog's online services, and faculty recommendations.

In a separate announcement, Dialog introduced distance learning as part of its Graduate Education Program (GEP).

Faculty and students in library science programs worldwide can now access distance-learning modules at no cost at http://training.dialog.com/gep/distance. Online sessions cover searching basics, database indexing, and advanced business searching on Dialog.

Dialog's GEP is a professional development initiative to help prepare future librarians to use online information services in their jobs. The free program offers graduate library schools access to Dialog services and specialized training materials for instruction in online searching. Dialog also uses the Web and video conferencing for live, real-time instruction to students in remote locations.

Source: The Dialog Corporation, Cary, NC, 800/3DIALOG, 919/462-8600; http://www.dialog.com.

New Books

Radical New Ideas for Staying Competitive

ALA Editions has announced publication of The Ultimate Digital Library: Where the New Information Players Meet(ISBN: 0-8389-0844-6, $35), by Andrew K. Pace.

A librarian and former technology vendor (and a CIL columnist), Pace advocates for libraries to shift their current practices and create collaborative, win-win partnerships with vendors. He draws from successful and failed Internet service models, and explores complicated library-vendor relationships to show you how you can improve customer satisfaction.

The book is divided into eight chapters, including "Sizing Up the Dot-Com Competition," "Business Models for Digital Library Services," and "Libraries Are Not All Business."

In the final chapter, "Radical Notions and Conclusions," Pace suggests major changes to help libraries stay competitive in the new digital arena.

Source: ALA Editions, Chicago, 800/545-2433, 312/280-2427; http://www.store.ala.org.

Neal-Schuman Releases Virtual Ref Guide

Neal-Schuman has published The Virtual Reference Librarian's Handbook(ISBN: 1-55570-445-X, $75), by Anne Grodzins Lipow. The book and accompanying CD-ROM, written for librarians who have either recently begun or have yet to take the plunge into virtual reference service, explore the service possibilities of today's communication technology while addressing the larger implications of modernizing a library's point-of-need service.

Lipow, a reference expert, provides solutions for transforming traditional functions such as the reference interview, library policies and procedures, and user needs assessments from the physical to the virtual realm. She includes practical tools such as tips for maximizing a virtual workspace with pre-scripted messages, surveys, and other training mechanisms.

Every Web site mentioned in the book is bookmarked on the CD-ROM, which also features customizable Microsoft Word files of all the book's forms and checklists.

Source: Neal-Schuman, New York, 212/925-8650; http://www.neal-schuman.com.

ITI Publishes Accidental Systems Librarian

Information Today, Inc. has announced publication of The Accidental Systems Librarian (ISBN: 1-57387-161-3, $29.50), by Rachel Singer Gordon. The book offers practical advice and strategies for managing library technology.

Gordon posits that anyone with a solid foundation in the principles and practices of librarianship and a willingness to confront changing technology can serve effectively in a library technology position—with or without formal computer training. Her advice on using organizational, bibliographic, and research skills to solve various systems problems is geared toward helping "accidental" systems librarians to develop the skills they need to succeed and the confidence they need to excel.

The book features a foreword by Kathy Dempsey, editor of Computers in Libraries magazine, explanatory figures and sidebars, a recommended reading list and directory of Web sites, and a regularly updated Web page with more than 150 useful Internet resources.

Source: Information Today, Inc., Medford, NJ, 800/300-9868, 609/654-6266; http://www.infotoday.com.

Columbia Title Explains Digital Publishing

Columbia University Press has announced publication of The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing (ISBN: 0-231-12498-8, $65 cloth, $34.95 paper), edited by William E. Kasdorf.

According to the publisher, the Guide is concise and clearly written, and it provides a comprehensive introduction to many aspects of the digital publishing process. It aims to help publishing professionals to exploit the potential of digital technologies. The book provides up-to-date information on subjects such as digital rights management, data capture and conversion, digital printing, international and legal issues, e-books, metadata, accessibility, and document structure.

The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing is also available by subscription online. The online version includes all the features of the print edition plus dynamic, Web-only content such as regular updates, graphics, and hyperlinks. For subscription information about the online version, contact Nan Hudes at 212/459-0600, ext. 7125, or at nh2010@columbia.edu.

Source: Columbia University Press, New York, 212/459-0600; http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup.


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