EBSCO and William S. Hein & Co. partnership brings historical and government-related information to researchers

Just in from EBSCO:

Five HeinOnline Databases Will Be Accessible via EBSCOhost® and
EBSCO Discovery Service

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and William S. Hein & Co., Inc. (HeinOnline), the world’s largest image-based legal and historical document research database, announce the availability of five HeinOnline databases on EBSCOhost® and EBSCO Discovery Service. The arrangement brings one of the richest and most comprehensive collections of historical and government–related information to researchers in academic and public libraries.

The HeinOnline databases provide unique coverage of legal history and government documents, making them a valuable resource for government, politics and law curricula. These resources provide a vast array of content including books, government documents, constitutions and treaties. HeinOnline databases feature works from some of the greatest minds in legal history, as well as a robust collection of Congressional documents, including comprehensive coverage of the Congressional Record, more than 60,000 hearings, thousands of House and Senate Reports, CRS reports, committee prints, and much more. Additionally, comprehensive coverage of both the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations is available. Continue reading EBSCO and William S. Hein & Co. partnership brings historical and government-related information to researchers

Literary Awards Season Disambiguates Writing from Performing

This is the high season for literary award announcements, from the international Nobel Laureate to the Mystery Writers of America’s Anthony Awards. In between come plaudits for the best writing in everything from investigative journalism to lifetime achievement in military literature. Many such award winners have had previous titles recorded as audiobooks; some have the winning title already available in audio format; a few will remain unrecorded, at least in the foreseeable future.

Does a satisfying, literary award-winning book automatically translate into a great listen? This is like asking whether a fantastic cake recipe can be made into delightful cookies. Maybe. Sometimes. It depends on factors that have nothing to do with the print work—the quality of the narrators’ performance, sound engineering care—and a few that do, in fact, connect to what the book is, how the author treats both language and prosody, and whether the content makes sense aloud. Continue reading Literary Awards Season Disambiguates Writing from Performing

This week in Literature and Arts

Monster squad, let’s blow out some birthday candles (it’ll take all of us, there’s 137 of them) for the fabulous pinch-faced bitty Una O’Connor, born in Belfast, Ireland, October 23, 1890.

Along with The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein, O’Connor appeared in Robin Hood and other Errol Flynn swashbucklers and a slew of other top films. Always fun to watch.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Sweek, a social platform for reading and writing, launches a writing competition; awards a 16-year-old Swiss girl

If you are in the book/library/publishing business and you haven’t heard of Sweek, it’s time to catch up. The Dutch start-up aims to provide a global—and social—platform for free reading, writing and sharing stories. According to its earlier press releases, its already present in over 75 countries. Sweek describes itself as “an open platform that allows anyone to easily publish stories, books and series and to read online and offline…[and] it minimizes the distance between writer and reader and adds a social component through integration of social media and the follow, like, share and comment options.”

Sweek is available on all relevant platforms (including iOS and Android) and new stories from authors from around the world are uploaded daily. The idea is to give established and aspiring writers a creative outlet where they can share their stories for free, while also being able to promote their work. NSR covered Sweek in the past, mostly recently when it reached its 100,000th user.

To date, Sweek has welcomed over 200,000 users. And since its launch in October 2016, Sweek users have published more than 50,000 stories, resulting in millions of reads and a high level of  social activity.

I have a theory that writing and reading are inseparable. Reading, alone, isn’t enough to transform us or help us internalize knowledge and the experience of being human; in the (not verbatim) words of Einstein, when we only read to learn (vs. when we also create) we run the risk of becoming ‘lazy’ learners). The truth is, we are wired, as humans, to share stories. We literally exist to share stories. Everything we do, at its core, is an attempt to create or share a story. Products/platforms that blend the skill of writing with the skill of reading are helping us to envision new possibilities. Sweek is a good example.—Mirela Roncevic Continue reading Sweek, a social platform for reading and writing, launches a writing competition; awards a 16-year-old Swiss girl

VitalSource unveils next-generation professional learning platform

Just in from VitalSource:

As VitalSource Technologies heads to Elliott Masie’s Learning 2017 and the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn this week, the company is celebrating the launch of the next generation VitalSource Content Experience Platform and crossing the one-million-user threshold on its Content Experience Platform.

“We believe learning matters everywhere,” said Eric Kuennen, VitalSource VP of Professional Learning. “To that end, it is exciting to be able to share the news of our revamped VitalSource Content Experience Platform that puts high-quality content in the hands of learners. No matter where learners may live or travel, we have tools for learning organizations and companies to create, curate, deploy and measure content securely and at any scale.” Continue reading VitalSource unveils next-generation professional learning platform

Book of the Week: One More Last Dance (Jerry Antil)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

One More Last Dance

Jerome Mark Antil was born in Cortland, New York in 1941. The seventh child of a seventh son of a seventh son, Michael Charles Antil Sr., and Mary Rowe Holman Antil. His career has been “writing” and “marketing” in the business world. He wrote marketing plans, sales and training movies and commercials. He has lectured at Cornell University; The Johnson School; St. Edwards University; and Southern Methodist University. Jerome was inspired to begin the career he always wanted, at the behest of his daughter, Worley Antil Coco and has spent twelve years researching for several books he is now working on.  His favorite authors are John Steinbeck; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and Mark Twain.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Follett Challenge launches seventh annual contest; $200,000 to be awarded to schools with innovative educational programs

Just in from Follett:

Following a year when schools from 13 different states were singled out as winners, the Follett Challenge is launching its seventh annual contest.

The 2018 Follett Challenge, open for entries through Dec. 15, will reward $200,000 in products and services from Follett to schools/districts with innovative educational programs that teach 21st-century skills to students. All public and private K-12 schools/districts in the United States, Canada, and Australia are eligible to apply.

The contest’s first six years has recognized schools of all sizes and demographics from coast to coast. In the 2017 Follett Challenge, Chase County Elementary School in Strong City, Kan. – with an enrollment of 180 students – was named the Grand Prize Winner. The school was honored for its unique “Learning with Cattle” program, where students learn valuable STEM lessons and 21st-century skills through projects involving the community and the local cattle industry. Continue reading Follett Challenge launches seventh annual contest; $200,000 to be awarded to schools with innovative educational programs

Book a Free Skype Visit with a Narrator

The Audio Publishers Association coordinates a literacy initiative, Sound Learning APA, to collect and disseminate research and guidance in support of multimodal literacy. The initiative is run by volunteers with professional backgrounds in teaching, library service, and audiobook distribution and publishing. While the first years of Sound Learning efforts concentrated on collecting and organizing bibliographies and audiographies and publicizing their availability, with other supportive news, through Twitter and Facebook, a new phase is now underway.

A variety of professional narrators, featuring those with backgrounds in teaching, theater direction, and coaching, have also volunteered to become active in Sound Learning’s efforts. Librarians, teachers, and coordinators of book groups or other clubs can now contact Sound Learning to arrange for a free Skype visit with a narrator matched to their needs. (Use “Narrator Skype visit inquiry” as the subject line when emailing). Continue reading Book a Free Skype Visit with a Narrator

Credo introduces ‘Real-time Reference” within search results to combat fake news

Just in from Credo:

Credo Reference – the industry leader for information literacy, critical thinking, and research solutions – is introducing a “Real-time Reference” category within search results to help students easily identify reliable sources on current issues of importance. In addition to enabling researchers to find timely and accurate reference content relating to current events and controversial topics, Credo is announcing a partnership with ProCon.org to make its Debate Topics available within Credo’s Core Collections.

In an era where news may be fake and the number of sources available are overwhelming, the ability to navigate information online is increasingly vital to both the research process, as well as each individual’s understanding of the world around them. ProCon.org’s carefully curated arguments and background context are compiled from multiple viewpoints, reliable sources, and key experts in a diverse array of topics influencing today’s society. Continue reading Credo introduces ‘Real-time Reference” within search results to combat fake news

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 129th birthday to Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, born in New York City’s Barrett House Hotel on 43rd and Broadway October 16, 1888.

He wore a suit and tie while writing his plays, scratching them out with pen and paper. Dinner and drinks then back to the desk to edit the day’s work.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

Follett to receive an award for exceptional service to school libraries and librarians

Just in from Follett

Follett, a provider of educational resources to K-12 institutions for more than 140 years, is being honored by the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) with the organization’s 2017 Pillar Award. Follett will receive the honor Friday (Oct. 20) at ISLMA’s Awards Dinner Banquet in Springfield, IL, which caps the association’s three-day 2017 conference.

The ISLMA Board of Directors selected Follett as the Pillar Award recipient for the McHenry, Ill.-based company’s “distinguished and exceptional service and contribution to ISLMA and the school library community.”

“Follett’s support of school libraries and school librarians has been unwavering in the midst of ongoing budget cuts and state budget choices,” said Katherine Hlousek, Grants and Awards Function Representative, ISLMA. Continue reading Follett to receive an award for exceptional service to school libraries and librarians

I [Still] Want My Wikipedia!

Over 11 years ago, I co-wrote and edited an article for Library Journal with three librarians (during my days as Senior Book Review Editor for the magazine), whom I asked to test Wikipedia as a bona fide research tool at a time most scholars were adamantly resisting it. This article was published some five years after Wikipedia first launched, which was in 2001. In the article, I Want My Wikipedia!, a younger version of me wondered, “But like any form of government, democracy faces a unique set of problems: once given the power (to edit), will people abuse it?”

To give the article more balance, I recruited three librarians and subject specialists whom I had worked with on other LJ-related endeavors—Barry X. Miller (pop culture), Karl Helicher (current affairs), and Teresa Berry (science)—and asked each to give their verdict on the source’s authenticity. After reading their lengthy reviews, I concluded that “while there are still reasons to proceed with caution when using a resource that takes pride in limited professional management, many encouraging signs suggest that (at least for now) Wikipedia may be granted the librarian’s seal of approval.” Continue reading I [Still] Want My Wikipedia!

Book of the Week: The Surrender Prayer (Kristian Lynch, LCSW)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

The Surrender Prayer: Where We End and God Begins

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

A native of Harlem, New York, Kristian Lynch spent the first years of his career as an attorney. His desire to live a fulfilling life led him to quit the legal profession and attend the Rutgers University School of Social Work where he received his Master’s degree. With a focus on individual and group therapy, he has worked in both Christian and secular non-profit agencies in New Jersey. He works with adolescents, adults and families, and has developed a unique approach to helping his clients discover how to identify, face and heal their wounds by relying upon the transformative power of God’s love and acceptance. Kristian is a graduate of Brown University, Fordham University School of Law and Rutgers University School of Social Work.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Opening the Mind’s Eye

Reading by ear allows for a variety of other activities likely to require sight—running, driving, frosting birthday cakes—or no physical access to sight at all—after all, American audiobook publishing was born of the needs of blind readers. However, as with most things in life, there is a middle way: the opportunity for the sighted, or those with memory of the capacity to engage the world with their eyes, to use no organ other than ears and imagination to conjure the visual elements of what is being read. Eyes can be closed so that even the more or less automatic use of physical vision to track print across a page or screen comes out of play.

To read with the ears in this state of unaccompanied eye input is to give an open field to the images and colors the words and phrasings themselves evoke in the mind. This allows the full measure of works rich in such visual recreations to take center stage within, an experience that can be, in seriousness as well as punnery, heady and exhilarating.

Photo by Irina of Edward Hopper’s House at Dusk

A fine example of this involves an anthology of short stories commissioned to celebrate individual paintings by Edward Hopper. In Sunlight or In Shadow (print Pegasus Books, 2016) was a project of author and demonstrably gifted anthology editor Lawrence Block and comprises 17 short stories by the likes of Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Gail Levin, and other well known, critically acclaimed authors. Reading these tales of cravenness, fantastical mystery, and regret would be a rich experience in itself. Continue reading Opening the Mind’s Eye

Frankfurt Book Fair 2017: Cultural, economical, political

According to a press release NSR received from the 2017 Frankfurter Buchmesse, the world’s largest Book Fair ended yesterday with some positive numbers:

  • 286,425 visitors from over 150 countries
  • 3 percent increase in attendance over 2016
  • 7,300 exhibitors from 102 countries
  • a total of 4,000 events  over the course of six days
  • 500 tables sold at the Literary Agents and Scouts Centre (LitAg), a new record
  • 6.5 percent more visitors over the weekend (when the Fair is open to the public)

More from the press release summing up this year’s Fair:

The opening of the Frankfurter Buchmesse by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron sent a strong signal highlighting a Europe of culture. Various other politicians attended the fair, including French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen, German Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters, German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles, German SPD Party Leader Martin Schulz, and Gregor Gysi, President of the European Left. The fair was overshadowed by confrontations between left- and right-wing groups. Continue reading Frankfurt Book Fair 2017: Cultural, economical, political

Digital Public Library of America unveils a pilot program to test a new model for a library-centered ebook marketplace

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) unveiled this week a pilot program to test a new model for a library-owned and library-centered ebook marketplace for popular ebooks, together with free public domain and openly-licensed ebooks. The DPLA Exchange (exchange.dp.la), will allow staff at six pilot libraries to select ebooks from over a hundred thousand licensed titles and thousands more that are openly-licensed. The new program will be administered through a partnership with LYRASIS, which will provide the hosting and other technology resources.

The launch of the Exchange represents a major milestone in the DPLA ebook pilot announced earlier this year. The goal of the program is to demonstrate how DPLA can help libraries maximize access to ebooks for their patrons. For the pilot, DPLA sought out a mix of library types including a state library, a consortium, and both a large public library and one serving smaller and rural populations. The  pilot libraries include: Alameda County Library (CA); Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (PA); Connecticut State Library (CT); Califa Library Group (CA, KS); St. Mary’s County Library (MD) and Yavapai Library Network (AZ). After a preliminary period working with these selected libraries, DPLA will explore expanding the Exchange to more institutions. Continue reading Digital Public Library of America unveils a pilot program to test a new model for a library-centered ebook marketplace

This week in Literature and Arts

Happy 77th birthday to John Winston Lennon, born October 9, 1946. Oddly, if he still were alive he might actually look like Wilfred Bramble now.


October 10, 1985: Orson Welles, 70, dies of heart failure while sleeping. Before going to bed he’d spent the night writing stage directions for his next project.


Continue reading This week in Literature and Arts

New Bowker report reveals self-publishing ISBNs climbed 8 percent between 2015 and 2016

Just in from Bowker:

New Bowker report reveals maturation and stabilization in the self-publishing industry

Since 2011, International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) for self-published titles have climbed 218.33%, according to the latest report from Bowker. A total of 786,935 ISBNs were assigned to self-published titles in 2016; in 2011, that number was 247,210. Continue reading New Bowker report reveals self-publishing ISBNs climbed 8 percent between 2015 and 2016

Book of the Week: Orphan in America (Nanette L. Avery)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

Orphan in America

Nanette L. Avery is a writer, educator, and meticulous researcher. In preparation for Orphan in America, Avery spent several years traveling across the country and immersing herself in the history and lifestyle of 19th century America. Nanette lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and orange cat, Frieda.
BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

ProQuest Dissertations Now Discoverable in Google Scholar

From ProQuest:

Following the indexing of millions of scholarly articles in Google Scholar in 2015, ProQuest and Google are expanding their collaboration by indexing almost half a million full text dissertations from the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database (PQDT), the leading source of emerging research from the world’s great universities.

Google Scholar users can now seamlessly discover and access this set of full text dissertations in their libraries’ subscription collections. The user experience is improved and libraries benefit from increased usage for their content investment.

“Dissertations are excellent sources for finding emerging research and new voices,” said Allan Lu, Vice President Research Tools, Services and Platforms. “ProQuest has curated this content over decades and we’re continually looking for ways to simplify its discovery and access.” Continue reading ProQuest Dissertations Now Discoverable in Google Scholar