Vendor News Roundup June–July 2023

This summer has seen several announcements from library vendors, including many during the recent American Library Association conference in Chicago. Here’s some of the recent news.

McCormick PlaceThis summer has seen several announcements from library vendors, including many during the recent American Library Association conference in Chicago. Here’s some of the recent news:

Clarivate, the parent company of ProQuest, Web of Science, ScholarOne, and several other resources and platforms, announced a partnership with AI21 Labs as part of its generative artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. By training AI21 Labs’ large language model with vetted academic content from across Clarivate’s brands, the company aims to create “conversational search” across its aggregated databases and collections. “AI has the potential to revolutionize the world, but its effectiveness relies heavily on the quality of the training data. With billions of trusted, curated articles, books, documents, and propriety best-in-class data points, Clarivate is well-placed to lead the market on this opportunity, providing customers with the highest quality open, licensed, and proprietary content, data, and insights while mitigating associated risks,” the company explained in a press release.

OCLC has introduced artificial intelligence (AI)–generated print and ebook recommendations in WorldCat.org and WorldCat Find, the new mobile app extension for WorldCat.org. The company also announced that 11 more libraries will be implementing OCLC’s Worldshare Management Services platform, the library services platform with WorldCat as its foundation. Separately, this spring, OCLC made Choreo Insights widely available. The new library analytics solution enables collection development librarians to compare detailed subject breakdowns of local collections with overlap and gap analysis with any other library or group in WorldCat. OCLC announced a partnership with the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) to advance the development of its consortial borrowing solution OCLC Resource Sharing for Groups and to support BTAA’s UBorrow service. And the company’s Capira library services—CapiraMobile, LendingKey, and MuseumKey—received platinum and gold awards in LibraryWorks’ ninth annual Modern Library Awards.

Sage announced a partnership with National Public Radio’s Planet Money podcast on a new series of interactive, educational digital business case studies designed to help keep students engaged with economic and financial concepts. The 20 new peer-reviewed case studies, which provide real-world stories of business “successes and setbacks from global industries” are part of the Sage Business Cases collection, which is available to academic libraries via purchase or subscription.

ITHAKA announced three new services to help institutions share, preserve, and manage local digital collections using the same infrastructure powering the organization’s nonprofit services JSTOR and Portico. The new services were developed following a series of pilots with over 300 institutions, with input from a cohort of 40 partners that helped define preservation and collection loading needs. The Share service enables an institution’s local collections to be shared on JSTOR; the Preserve service safeguards the long-term accessibility and usability of digital files with Portico; and the Manage service enables institutions to catalog, edit metadata, and publish local collections on JSTOR and other sites using the web-based JSTOR Forum tool.

Educational VR provider Lifeliqe has launched a selection of virtual “field trips” focused on STEM-based occupations and other in-demand careers (according to the U.S. Department of Labor). Designed for use in libraries, K–12 schools, and community colleges, the field trips enable students to explore careers ranging from surgical technologist to agricultural equipment operator on any platform with a web browser, including VR headsets.

Library Ideas is now offering PLAY Interactive Touch Tables. The waterproof, shockproof touchscreen tables can be custom branded with library or donor logos, and come preloaded with a selection of puzzles, quiz games, interactive “painting,” and multiplayer games for all ages such as air hockey, pong, tic-tac-toe, curling, and more.

ConnectWell, a digital health and wellness content provider that has traditionally focused on healthcare providers, telemedicine platforms, remote patient monitoring providers, digital health and wellness providers, and others, has expanded to offer services to libraries. ConnectWell’s suite of products curates health content from sources such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, University of California, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, American Diabetes Association, and other leading health institutions, and transforms this content into easy-to-understand articles, videos, healthy recipe collections, personal wellness initiatives, and other interactive digital health tools for a consumer audience.

Hoopla has brought manga to its platform, with more than 400 titles currently available to patrons of subscribing libraries. To make the experience more like reading in the original Japanese, the stories progress with right to left scrolling, and can be read with either a panel-by-panel action view or a full-page view with hoopla’s comics reader. (If patrons open a manga title and try scrolling left to right, a “how to read” these titles prompt will walk them through the format.) Separately, the company announced that Hallmark Movies Now is now available through a hoopla BingePass, which allows patrons to watch as many Hallmark Movies as they want on the platform for seven days, while only incurring one cost-per-circ charge to their library.

OverDrive announced several new features. The OverDrive Marketplace now includes the Patron Interests Dashboard. The new dashboard works with the “deep search” feature in the Libby app for patrons, which acts as a replacement/enhancement of the former “recommend to library” feature in the OverDrive app. Patrons use “deep search” to search OverDrive’s entire catalog—including titles not available at their library—and indicate their interest in specific unavailable titles with a “notify me” tag. Librarians can then use the Patron Interests Dashboard to view real-time data about which titles are generating interest. Marketplace also now features a new Access+ Collections feature, enabling librarians to see what titles are available in multiple access models, making it easier to select the most cost-effective options by title. In addition, OverDrive announced that Libby now supports 15 different languages, and is available on the Amazon app store for Kindle Fire devices.

At Gale, the Gale Business: Plan Builder platform has been updated with new features including streamlined navigation, enabling users to navigate through the five sections of guided business planning from a single drop-down menu on the left of their screens. In addition, a Learning Library feature has been added with articles on business topics and terminology, a Save User Sessions feature helps users navigate back to content they were previously viewing with a “Pick Up Where You Left Off” link in the dashboard, and a new “Guide Me” button presents users with detailed explanations about what to do in each field. In addition, the company shared project findings of the five inaugural recipients of the Gale and Committee on LGBT History Non-Residential Fellowship program, who used the company’s Archives of Sexuality and Gender and Gale Digital Scholar Lab for their research. In addition, Gale released two new digital archives: The Mail on Sunday Historical Archive, 1982–2011 and China and the Modern World: Hong Kong, Britain, and China, Part II: 1965–1993.

EBSCO announced a milestone for the FOLIO open source Library Services Platform (LSP). The company’s EBSCO FOLIO Services division—which offers hosting, training, implementation and migration support, feature development, and other services for FOLIO—now serves more than 100 libraries worldwide, including academic research libraries, consortia, community colleges, and universities of all sizes. Separately, EBSCO announced that the Russell County Public Library, KY; Purdue University Fort Wayne Helmke Library, IN; and the Maplewood Memorial Library Foundation, NJ, are this year’s recipients of the company’s EBSCO Solar Grants, and will receive $300,000 in funding to install a solar array. The company also announced the winners of the 2023 John Cotton Dana Awards, which are managed by EBSCO and ALA’s Core Division and recognize libraries for successful public relations and strategic communications efforts. The winners were the Ashtabula County District Library, OH; Calgary Public Library, AB, Canada; Gerber/Hart Library Archives, IL; Mesa Public Library, AZ; Patchogue-Medford Public Library, NY; Pioneer Library System, OK; and the San José Public Library, CA.

Project MUSE announced that it has engaged with the Association of University Presses of Latin America and the Caribbean (EULAC), which represents over 350 university presses across Latin America, as part of an initiative to “greatly expand” Spanish and Portuguese language book content on its platform. Aiming to support as many university press publishers as possible in this effort, MUSE has signed agreements with two major distribution partners in the region—Hipertexto-Netizen and Siglo.

The Internet Archive has released the Archives Research Compute Hub (ARCH), a new research and education service for users to build, access, and analyze digital collections. Designed for any user seeking “an accessible approach to working with digital collections computationally at scale,” according to the organization, ARCH enables users to generate research-ready datasets including full-text, images, PDFs, graph data, and more, from digital collections directly in a browser or via API. Users can then work with datasets in applications such as Jupyter Notebooks, Google CoLab, Gephi, and Voyant to produce in-browser visualizations.

The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) released its Ethical Framework for Library Publishing version 2.0. The update to its original 2018 framework is “a remarkably different document, structured to orient library publishers to how they might proceed toward ethical thinking in their discipline. The form, scope, and direction of this Framework are entirely new,” the organization wrote in an announcement. Available at Purdue University Libraries as well as on LPC’s Resources page, the new Framework is released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, so it can be freely copied, distributed, and built upon.

The Open Access (OA) Scholarly Publishing Association and the Directory of Open Access Journals released a new Open Access Journals Toolkit. Key features of the new toolkit include a user-friendly, accessible website; a curated collection of resources covering aspects of OA publishing including editorial policies, licensing, metadata, and indexing; guidelines and templates for publishers; and a downloadable version for those without access to stable internet connections. The guide is available in several languages, with a French version launching soon.

ResearchGate and Wiley have expanded their partnership to include the majority of Wiley’s open access journals, including the entire OA portfolios of the American Geophysical Union, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and all Hindawi titles, all of which will have an enhanced presence on ResearchGate through its new Journal Home offering. Wiley will now syndicate article content from a total of 649 journals, with 519 of these journals benefiting from an enhanced presence on ResearchGate through Journal Home.

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Matt Enis

menis@mediasourceinc.com

@MatthewEnis

Matt Enis (matthewenis.com) is Senior Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

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