Monday, December 31, 2007

TumbleReadables Review Complete

About a month ago we posted an entry asking for children's and YA librarians to take part in our review of TumbleReadables, a somewhat new product from Tumblebooks. The review is complete, and can be viewed on our website, in the Clearinghouse area. Go to and then Clearinghouse --> Product Reviews --> Tumblebooks. You may have to scroll to page two of the product reviews as only 10 items are listed at once. Alternatively, you can try going to this link, which should take you directly to the review.

Many thanks to the participating libraries:

The Buckley School
Glendora Public Library
San Diego Public Library
Santa Cruz Public Library

Friday, December 28, 2007

AWE Early Literacy Stations - another successful order!

We concluded another successful order of the AWE Early Literacy Stations in December and are happy to report that our combined member savings was over $25,000. Thanks to two large libraries who placed very large orders, all the participating libraries, most of whom ordered 1 or 2 units, were able to get the 50+ unit price.

For those who were not able to take advantage of this aggregated bulk order, we'll be doing another one in May or June. Stay tuned for more information, or email us if you want details.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Califa: save on more than databases!

A lot of people think "Califa: I get my databases through them..." BUT if that's the only thing you think of when you think Califa, you may be missing out on some big savings on supplies, books, furniture, and more!

Kudos to the following libraries who saved a good chunk of money this fall by purchasing equipment and supplies from Highsmith, using the Califa discount.

Azusa City Library
Bentley School
City of Escondido
El Molino High School
Imperial County Free Library
Lick Wilmerding High School
Long Beach Public Library
Marin County Free Library
Montclair Branch Library
Monterey Public Library
Murrieta Valley Unified School District
Naval Postgraduate School
Nevada County Library
Newport Beach Public Library
Oakland Public Library
Oxnard Public Library
Palm Springs Public Library
Palos Verdes Library District
Paso Robles Public Library
Pleasanton Public Library
Redondo Beach Public Library
Redwood High School
San Jose State University
San Leandro Public Library
Sir Francis Drake High school
Sonoma County Library
South Pasadena Public Library
Thousand Oaks Public Library

Make sure you view all our vendors before purchasing - we're always adding more, and there's a quicklist now that doesn't require a password. You might just be surprised at all the ways you can save money and time through Califa!

Friday, December 7, 2007

OCLC and Recorded Books Reach a Settlement

Many libraries have been concerned about their subscription to Recorded Books content on the NetLibrary platform. We are happy to post this link to the OCLC website where information about the out-of-court settlement is posted.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Most of our member subscriptions for Recorded Books renew in June, so we will be contacting you in the new year with renewal information.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Member Polls: We Need You!

We have introduced a new polling feature, on the right hand sidebar just under the picture of our logo. We need your help to decide what products and vendors to represent, and we are hoping that a regular monthly poll with the vendors we are looking at will help us prioritize our contracts.

Take a second now to exercise your right as a Califa member and vote on your favorite product that you'd like to see represented by Califa!

Thanks for your input, and watch for the next poll in January.

December 2007 Offers

Editorial Oceano: Substantial discounts are available on these Spanish-language databases that cover areas such as health and businesses as well as general reference. Orders must be placed by December 15.

LibraryThing: Califa members receive a discount on this popular social tagging product for the library catalog. Orders must be placed by December 27.

OCLC Language Sets: Califa members will receive discounts on an aggregated order of books and cataloging in various languages until January 23.

Booklist Online: We will be aggregating orders for the online book review service from Booklist until December 15.

For more information on these, and other Califa Member Offers, please log in to the Products and Vendors section of, or email

Further discount on e-Vanced

For those libraries who are interested in the e-Vanced Summer Reader program, there is an additional 10% discount on the Summer Reader Program to existing customers. With the Summer Reader program kids and teens can log their progress, keep track of prizes, register at home or at the library, and safely share comments and reviews with other teens.

Please note that this discount applies only to current customers, and to those customers who are not having their software hosted on the Califa server. Only those customers who host their own software or have e-Vanced host it may take advantage of this further discount (though it will be on top of the existing Califa discount for these subscriptions as well).

This offer is available until February 29, 2008.

Email the staff if you have questions or would like more information.

Monday, December 3, 2007

eBooks: Stacks of Options for All Types of Libraries!

Introducing new technologies to staff and patrons can be daunting, especially with the pace of change in the digital world. If your library has been curious about eBooks, Califa has many programs with vendors that can help you whether you've been downloading for years, or you're just opening a pdf for the first time.

A good option, especially for those who are just starting out, would be participating in a Califa-managed shared collection. These collections are put together by Califa and the participating libraries. Current shared collections include a NetLibrary General Collection (an eBook collection covering many topics, but with an emphasis on business), a NetLibrary Legal Collection (including Nolo Press) and a soon-to-be forming NetLibrary General Audio Collection (with titles from Blackstone and Books on Tape). We also manage the Missions Series collection from Follett/BWI and a shared subscription to ProQuest Safari. Finally, we have a shared OverDrive eBook and eAudio shared collection for smaller libraries to join. For all of these shared collections, the libraries handle collection development as a group, and the libraries are invoiced by Califa.

We also have discounts on individual collections including the Recorded Books subscription through NetLibrary.

We are always looking at new vendors - currently we are considering adding Chinese eBooks to our list of choices, as well as content on the MyiLibrary platform. We are also going to be piloting a program from Bolinda in the new year which includes audio content that is compatible with iPods.

Pricing for all of our options are on our website in the Products and Vendors area under each specific vendor. If you are interested in learning more about any of our eBook programs, please email

Friday, November 30, 2007

ProQuest and LA Times renewal

For those libraries who subscribe to the Los Angeles Times through ProQuest, we will be sending out renewal notices over the next two weeks. If you are not planning to renew, please let us know.

Many of you are also up for renewal for other ProQuest databases like Ancestry, HeritageQuest and the Historical LA Times and New York Times.

Full pricing can be found at the Califa website under the Products and Vendors area. Email with any questions you might have on these products.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Califa Postpones its “Best Practices Fair”

At the request of members and because of the busy spring conference schedule, Califa has decided to postpone its prototype, “Best Practices Fair,” originally scheduled for March 4 until the fall of 2008.

Instead, Califa urges its members to participate in some of the other professional opportunities that are coming this spring including the Public Library Association’s Conference, March 25-29 in Minneapolis; the BookExpo America Conference, May 29-June 1 in the Los Angeles Convention Center; and the American Library Association annual conference, June 26-July 2, in Anaheim. Califa will be contacting those libraries that have requested presentations to accommodate them in the new schedule.

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Review Team Forming for Tumble Readables

We are forming a review committee to evaluate TumbleReadables, an online collection of read-along titles for elementary, middle school, and high school students which features adjustable online text and complete audio narration. We are looking for YA librarians, as well as those involved in adult literacy to review the material and platform using guidelines which Califa will provide.

For more information on TumbleReadables, please see their website at

We are hoping to complete this review by December 20, and expect that each participant will spend about 2 hours reviewing the materials.

If you are interested in being part of this team, please send an email to me at and I will respond with trial information and the review guidelines.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

AWE Early Literacy Stations - 50 units reached!

Califa aggregates orders on these ELS stations twice a year. The normal pricing is by number of units purchased, but during these special offers, all the orders will be aggregated. We have reached the highest discount threshold, so every library will now receive the price for 50+ units, even if they just buy one.

For more information, email us, or check out the AWE website.

LII RSS feed In Bloglines top 1000!

Congratulations to the Librarians’ Internet Index for nabbing the rank of 24 out of 1,000 in the recent Bloglines list of top RSS feeds. In case you are wondering why we would be so happy for the folks at LII, well, it’s because Califa manages LII. We would like to see LII continue to succeed, and that’s why it’s so thrilling that so many people still see it as a relevant tool for information.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monomouse Product Review

Monomouse is a hand-held device that allows visually impaired individuals to turn their television into a large screen magnifier/reading machine. We asked librarians from the Bay Area Disability Librarians group to give Califa comments about this device. The review is now live on the Califa site - log in (if you forgot your password, email us) and go to Clearinghouse, then Product Reviews.

Let us know if you have any comments or questions.

Trial Information for MyiLibrary

Several Califa libraries checked out the MyiLibrary platform about a year ago, but it's worth giving this vendor, Ingram, another look. According to the product reps, this digital collection offers new titles and a well-rounded reference collection.

Califa eBook Steering Committee members would value any input you can contribute to help us decide whether Califa should offer the MyiLibrary platform and content.

Log in at
email for user name and password.
Trial ends December 21, 2007.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Issue of Charleston Advisor Now Available

The October 2007 issue of this quarterly publication is available online exclusively to Califa members. This issue includes the Seventh Annual Readers’ Choice Awards along with reviews of databases, software products, and Web sites.

Ingenta is now hosting this e-journal and the interface may look a bit different. You will need to use the user name and password (separate from your Califa login) to access subscription content. You can find login information under the link to the Charleston Advisor from the Califa Web site.

Trial Information for TumbleBooks

We are working on our TumbleBooks renewal, which is a very popular product. If you are a TumbleBook library we will be contacting you regarding your renewal.

We are also working with TumbleBooks to introduce their latest product, TumbleReadables, that features high-interest/low vocabulary audiobooks for young adults.

Please take some time to evaluate the trial, which is active until the end of the year and send along any feedback you may have.
username - california
password - login

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New California Council for the Humanities Teen Program

Califa is happy to be partnering with the California Council for the Humanities again on their new program How I See It: Teens Document Their World Through Digital Media. The program has already been piloted by several libraries, who shared their experiences at the CLA conference. Erica Cuyogan of Santa Monica Public Library and Sue Struthers and Alicia Doktor of Riverside Public Library spoke about the projects they and colleagues in Fresno and Yuba City conducted last fall. Teens at each library researched and documented aspects of youth culture (social networking, music, spoken word and “rebellious art”) and created public programs that shared their research and engaged community members and peers in discussions.

Califa and CCH’s next teen-focused project in libraries is How I See It: My Place, which, with the generous support of the State Library, will provide resources, training, equipment and small grants for programs next summer and fall (2008). An application will be available on the CCH website from December 10 through January 17, 2008; decisions will be announced by March 1.

For more information, visit the CCH website at, or contact Senior Programs Manager Felicia Kelley at

November Product Offers and Deadlines

We have several products, and offer deadlines to make you aware of:

Checkpoint: For several years members have received a discount on Checkpoint security services, but we also have great pricing on their Universal Self Service stations. These stations allow patrons to check out books and media, unlock media from cases, pay fines, and more from one station.

OCLC Language Sets:
We did a bulk buy of the language sets back in the Spring, and it was incredibly popular. We are again aggregating orders until mid-January.

AWE Early Literacy Stations:
Another bulk buy that is always popular - we are again aggregating orders for the early literacy stations, until November 23.
We will be aggregating orders for the online book review service from Booklist until November 15. We have scheduled a webinar for those of you who are interested in learning more about the service for November 8 at 10am.

MOTOR (Mentioned on Television or Radio):
If you are renewing your MOTOR subscription, you have until November 15 to get it in to us.

For more details on these, and our other offers, please go to the Products and Vendors page of the Califa website, or email

Vendor Webinars in November

Even though we're starting to get ready for the holidays, we'll still be hosting a few vendor webinars this month. They are:

November 8, 10am: - a standard for book reviews is now online, and discounted to Califa members.
November 8, 1pm:
Peek-a-Book - these kiosks for children's areas are exceptionally cool - it will read part of a book to the child, and then the child can check it out to get the rest of the story.
November 16, 10am:
Editorial Oceano - Spanish-language databases covering general information as well as health and reference information for students from grade school to university.

To RSVP for any of these webinars, please email

New Califa Vendor: PayPal

Califa is pleased to announce that it now can offer members a discount to PayPal’s e-commerce service for paying library fines and other charges on-line. Califa can set up a PayFlow-Pro account that can integrate with local ILS systems. We have successfully modeled the set-up with Peninsula Library System and San Francisco Public Library.

The discount is 40% less than retail for set-up and the monthly fee (includes the first 1,0000 transactions). Additionally, the charge for each additional transaction is 9.5 cents versus the usual 10 cents retail. To set up your account, contact

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Editorial Oceano Review Team Forming

We are working on putting together several new teams to review new products. We have done reviews in the past, and they are always well-received. The first new team we are forming will review the Spanish-language Editorial Oceano databases. So we are looking for librarians who speak Spanish, or deal with many Spanish-speaking patrons, and would be interested in evaluating these new databases. We will provide you with trial information and a template to use for your review. If you are interested in being part of this team, please email

CLA Recap

Like most California librarians, we're getting back to work after a fun and busy weekend at CLA. If you were there, we hope you stopped by our booth and said hello.

We were "bubbling over" with Halloween festiveness - our bubble machine, and small halloween character bubbles were a hit. As always, we loved being part of the Statewide Projects area, which InfoPeople so wonderfully decorated. We spoke to several new potential vendors, too, so hopefully we'll have some new discounts in the new year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bokomaten in Action!

Califa is now happy to be representing BokoMaten (Go Library!) in California. BokoMaten/Go Library! is a very cool kiosk that holds hundreds of books and interacts directly with your ILS. So you can put it in a train station, shopping mall, or anywhere you want to interact with your patrons, and they can check books out using their library card, and RETURN them to the kiosk as well.

Check it out here:

And the inside is viewable here:

Two new products - Editorial Oceano and LibraryThing

We've just signed agreements with LibraryThing for Libraries and Editorial Oceano, a Spanish-language database company. Pricing is on the Califa site. Trials are available for Oceano. For both of these vendors, special pricing runs through the end of the year - with Oceano we are aggregating orders to get a tiered discount. Hopefully we'll get the largest number needed to get to the highest threshold and get 40% discounts for everyone. For LibraryThing, the pricing is effective until December 31, but you can place your order any time.

As always, email if you have any questions.

October Newsletter now Online

The October issue of the Califa newsletter is now on the Califa site. Five new member offers (including LibraryThing, Motion Picture Licensing - for those who have Movie Nights at the Library,, Editorial Oceano and Peek-a-Books). Check it out in the "Documents" section of the Califa site. If you forget your login and password, email califa at califa dot org