Library Vendors Debut New Offerings | ALA Midwinter 2016

As always, the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting was the occasion for the debuts of new offerings from a wide range of library vendors. Below, please find a smattering of those we spotted in the aisles in alphabetical order. This list is necessarily far from comprehensive; if we missed yours (or your favorite) please add it in the comments!
American Library Association Midwinter 2016 signAs always, the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting was the occasion for the debuts of new offerings from a wide range of library vendors. Below, find a smattering of those we spotted in the aisles in alphabetical order. This list is necessarily far from comprehensive; if we missed yours (or your favorite) please add it in the comments! In the wake of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, Alexander Street Press is launching the first database on disability history and disability studies. The product, Disability in the Modern World: History of a Social Movement, features firsthand accounts from people with disabilities and contains more than 150,000 pages of resources and 125 hours of video on how people with disabilities have fought for change in everything from law to medicine to education. Available in March, this resource will support courses in a variety of disciplines including history, gender studies, human rights, and political science. The American Psychological Association (APA) debuted APA Style CENTRAL, a new online writing platform for students, faculty, researchers, and librarians that features a full integration of the APA Style manual and a growing repository of more than 3.4 million citations from the APA PsychINFO database. Available exclusively to institutions as an annual license, the online platform includes a suite of four integrated but separate centers, providing resources for each stage of the learning, writing, research, and publishing processes. For example, the learning center offers tutorials and guides that aim to help undergraduate students understand proper research methods. The writing center offers a range of templates and tools to simplify citations, keep track of figures, charts, and footnotes, and simplify APA-style formatting while working. The research center offers a collaborative online environment that makes it easy for faculty, researchers, grad students, and undergrads to work together as contributors on projects. And the publishing module helps researchers search through statistics and contact information for 1,800 current journals to identify the best place to submit their finished work. APA plans to publicly launch the platform at the end of February. BiblioBoard, creator of SELF-e (in partnership with LJ), unveiled Pressbook Public, a self-publishing tool that lets libraries partner with authors to help them write, edit, design, and publish their own work as professional-quality electronic and print books in a range of formats. The new service will integrate with SELF-e and BiblioBoard’s Creator to offer a comprehensive collection of library-based multimedia publishing tools for aspiring authors. “Pressbooks Public gives libraries the ability to support writers through the entire lifecycle of their books, from the first word they type to commercial availability worldwide,” Biblioboard founder and chief business officer Mitchell Davis noted in a statement. Library app provider Boopsie, which was acquired by library supplier DEMCO last fall, showcased recent integrations and technology partnerships with content providers including Zinio, Recorded Books and iVerse Media, and Baker & Taylor. Libraries that subscribe to these resources can now enable instant access to content available through Baker & Taylor's Axis 360 digital media platform, as well as access to Zinio's 3,000 online magazine titles, and Recorded Books and iVerse Media's 10,000 digital comics and graphic novels. The company also recently introduced a new "Express" app at a lower price point for small and rural libraries, as well as new features for its primary app platform, including a rating and reviews system, and a data-driven "Top 20 Books" carousel that displays the top titles currently trending with Boopsie's more than 3 million users. EBSCO Information Services announced that it is soliciting applications for a grant that make a total of $150,000 available to one or more libraries to install solar installations. As part of the EBSCO Solar Initiative, the company hopes to help libraries reduce utilities spending and, if allowed in their state, sell electricity to the grid. “We believe alternative energy strategies are worth supporting,” said EBSCO president and CEO Tim Collins in a statement. “If we can help libraries begin to consider or move forward with plans to go solar, we see this as a worthwhile activity to invest in.” Submissions are due by April 29, 2016, and winners will be announced by June 24, 2016. In a session that explored the variables—and differences—in analytics and reporting, Ex Libris, a ProQuest Company announced the launch of the newest release of its Alma unified resource management system. The updated platform, representing phase two of Alma’s enhanced support for managing digital resources, is deeply customizable, with the ability to run complex queries and generate specific reports for individual libraries and consortia. With a focus on special collection workflows and processes, the enhanced descriptive analytics give everyone in the library a role in creating reports, according to company officials. Separately, the company announced a linked data collaboration program with academic library customers including Boston College and the University of Oklahoma in the United States, as well as University of Manitoba in Canada; Bodleian Libraries in the UK; the Austrian Library Network; the Library of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands; Karolinska Institutet in Sweden; and the State Libraries of Queensland; and New South Wales in Australia. Also launching in March is the first part of Gale's Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, a planned three-part file that will make rare and unique primary source material and government documents readily available. The first part of the product contains nearly two million pages of content on social, political, legal, and health issues that have impacted the LBGTQ community in both the United States and other countries since 1940. With content sourced from gay and lesbian organizations worldwide, this archive aligns with research in gender studies, psychology, sociology, health, and political science among others subject areas. Jason Griffey, founder and principal technology consulting firm Evenly Distributed, announced the official launch of LibraryBox v2.1, the latest version of the tiny, cheap-to-build portable web servers created by Griffey and developer Matthias Strubel. Partially funded by a prototype grant from the John S. and James L. Knight foundation, this latest version of the LibraryBox project features support for 12 languages in the user interface; expanded hardware support, allowing users to build a LibraryBox with a larger variety of different router hardware; fully responsive CSS-styled directory listings, enabling users to customize the look and feel of file download directories; an auto updater feature that will greatly simplify the installation of future updates; and a built-in miniDLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance-compliant) server that enables devices such as SmartTVs and Blu-Ray players to discover and play content stored on a LibraryBox.

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