News from the Show Floor | ALA Annual 2017

The American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, held this year at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, June 22-27, included a number of announcements and product launches from library vendors. Here are a few that LJ had the opportunity to learn about in person.
ALA Annual 2017 Chicago logoThe American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, held this year at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, June 22–27, included a number of announcements and product launches from library vendors. Here are a few that LJ had the opportunity to learn about in person. ALA and Google announced an expansion of their Libraries Ready to Code collaboration. As part of Phase III of the program, Google will provide $500,000 in competitive grants to be awarded to 25 to 50 libraries, as well as consulting expertise and operational support, as participating libraries pilot and rapidly iterate an educational toolkit for computer science in libraries. In a statement, ALA president Julie Todaro said that a key goal of the collaboration is providing coding opportunities for youth that are underrepresented in CS education and careers, such as girls, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans. HarperCollins is expanding its exploration into cost-per-circ (CPC) licensing for libraries. On June 22, hoopla and Freading, two library content platforms that both employ CPC lending models, announced that thousands of ebook titles from imprints including Harlequin, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, and HarperCollins UK would be available to patrons through their services beginning in early July. Separately, OverDrive announced that a portion of its HarperCollins ebook and audiobook catalog (15,000 ebooks and 7,400 audiobooks) would be available for CPC lending, in addition to licensing via publishers' current metered access, one copy/one user model. Recorded Books launched RBdigital, a new app that integrates Zinio with OneClickdigital, enabling users to explore and download Zinio’s collection of digital magazines as well as check out ebooks, audiobooks, and other Recorded Books content using a single app interface. Patrons of libraries that offer both services will receive the new functionality via an app update that went live on June 27. Libraries that only offer Zinio will receive information about the new RBdigital app, but users will not be required to switch to the new app. In addition to content integration, the new app features enhanced search by format and areas of interest, in-app previews, and streamlined checkouts and renewals. Demco Software (created in January from a merger of Evanced and Boopsie) launched DiscoverLocal. The new service adds structured data markup and geotagging to library events and special collections posted online. Structured data markup enables search engines to parse information such as an event’s location, time, content, and people or institutions involved, causing this content to surface prominently in open web searches. If a library offers yoga classes, for example, and structured data has enabled Google to determine that the library hosts a weekly yoga class at a branch near where a patron is searching for this term, the event’s relevance and search ranking will increase significantly. OverDrive officially launched Libby, a new library ebooks and audiobooks app for Android, iOS, and Windows 10 that features intuitive navigation, streamlined borrowing and downloading, and a unified bookshelf that can display loans and holds from multiple libraries in one place. Other features include a simple, one-time sign-up process; syncing of reading positions, bookmarks, and notes across devices; one-tap sampling; and more. The app had been available since December during a soft launch/beta test period. Director of brand and marketing communication David Burleigh told LJ that OverDrive plans to maintain its existing app for the foreseeable future as well. Lyngsoe Systems is offering its Intelligent Material Management System (IMMS) to libraries in the United States. Implemented at Denmark’s Aarhus and Copenhagen libraries beginning in 2013–14, the logistics solution led to 15.7 percent and 40.9 percent reductions in work time spent handling materials at the two libraries, respectively. (The significant difference in work time reduction was attributed to Aarhus already having central sorting implemented prior to launching IMMS.) Although the company is best known in the library field for its automated materials handling and self-checkout equipment, Lyngsoe also provides electronic logistics control and supply chain solutions to industries including perishable foods, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and airlines. IMMS applies features from these commercial supply chains to internal library supply chains, enabling libraries to identify the precise location of materials, including items on hold shelves and items in transit between branch locations. Gale launched Gale Small Business Builder, an online planning tool that offers new entrepreneurs, business owners, and nonprofit operators step-by-step guidance for starting, managing, or optimizing small businesses and nonprofits. Tools include an entrepreneur profile, which helps users assess their preparedness for starting a business, a business ideation feature for planning the high-level framework in which their business will operate, a break-even analysis tool, a business plan creator, and a financial projections generator. Separately, the company launched a new interactive dashboard feature for its community/market analysis platform, Gale Analytics on Demand. The Library of Congress announced plans to launch a legislative data “app challenge” later this summer with the themes “innovate, integrate, and legislate.” In a prelaunch announcement, Library of Congress CIO Bernard Barton said “the sets of data involved in this challenge are core to a legislative process that is centuries old. It’s the source code of American government. An informed citizenry is better able to participate in our democracy, and this is a very real opportunity to contribute to a better understanding of the work being done in Washington. It may even provide insights for the people doing the work around the clock, both on the Hill, and in state and district offices.” The Library will be posting more information prior to launch at EBSCO Information Services announced the winners of its inaugural EBSCO FOLIO Innovation Challenge, which offers grants totaling $100,000 for libraries working on projects that leverage the codebase of the open source library services platform FOLIO. Villanova University, PA, will develop an integration of VuFind with FOLIO, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will integrate their hardware circulation module with FOLIO. Separately, the company also announced the recipients of two $100,000 EBSCO Solar grants for libraries to install solar arrays on their buildings: Athens–Clarke County Library, GA, and Indian Trails Public Library, IL. Discovery platform Yewno showcased Yewno Life Sciences, a research tool designed to use neural networks, machine learning, computational linguistics, and graph theory to derive and connect concepts within a body of academic literature. “By forming connections that researchers may not have detected the ‘old-fashioned’ way,” this concept inference model “helps us venture into unexpected and novel lines of inquiry” in biomedical research, according to the company. Separately, the company announced a new release of the Yewno Discover Research Application, which will launch on July 1 and will feature a new Knowledge Map design with improved usability features and enhanced accessibility compliance; increased customization, filtering, and annotation options, enhanced sharing and export functionality, and institutional branding options. ProQuest announced that Matti Shem Tov, president of Ex Libris since 2003, would succeed Kurt Sanford as CEO of ProQuest later this year. Bar Veinstein, Ex Libris corporate VP for resource management solutions, will become president of Ex Libris. During Sanford’s six years as CEO, he led ProQuest through multiple acquisitions of library companies, including ebrary, EBL, SIPX, Coutts Information Services—including the MyiLibrary Platform and Online Acquisitions and Selection Information System (OASIS)—Ex Libris, and Alexander Street. Shem Tov’s achievements at Ex Libris include the creation of the Alma library management service, and the growth of the company’s customer base to more than 7,000 institutions in 82 countries. Sanford will remain at ProQuest through the end of 2017 to help with the transition. ProQuest also announced integrations and interoperability for several of its products. An enhanced Alma application programming interface (API) will enable OASIS order information to be transferred directly to Alma, reducing the potential for order duplication. A second integration enables libraries to embed Alexander Streets DVD content acquisition workflows via OASIS. Separately, ProQuest Syndetics Unbound catalog enrichment services has been integrated with the Ex Libris Primo and Summon discovery services. Alexander Street, a ProQuest company, launched Performance Design Archive Online, an international multimedia collection of more than 100,000 pages of primary and secondary resources covering all aspects of theater production design. Sketches, photographs, technical drawings, monographs, articles, and dissertations in the collection span the 17th century to the modern day. Separately, Alexander Street announced a partnership with A+E Networks, which will add streaming access to more than 200 videos via the company’s Academic Video Online solution. Did we miss your news? Please add it in the comments!

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