Monday, December 22, 2008

Member Savings Report

We have finished our Member Savings Report for 2007, and we are happy to report that we helped libraries save about $6 million last year! Read more and view the report here. If you have any questions about your savings, or would like more information, let us know. Thanks!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Discounts on Raha Books

A new discount for our members to be aware of. If you mention that you heard about them through Califa, all members will receive an 8% discount on materials from Raha Books, which offers Persian books and media. Read more about them here, and let us know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Califa seeks early adopters for new ipod-compatible eaudio product from Ingram

Yes, that's right - we finally have an IPOD product ready to launch that has current titles, with DRM built in!

Califa will be the first group in the nation to put together a collection with Ingram Digital for their eAudio collection. Their product will officially be launching at ALA in January, but those of you who stopped by the Califa booth at CLA to see their sneak-preview demo saw that the service is already up and working. They are preparing the audio files, and expect to launch with between 3000 and 4000 titles by mid-January for ALA, with more being made available throughout the year.

Our shared collection will launch, around January or February, and will be run on a calendar-year cycle with invoices sent out that are payable any time throughout the year This will give some flexibility to libraries that may want to participate, but need to wait til next year's budget to buy into the service.

To get in on the ground level (which, in addition to the rewarding feeling of being an early-adopter, you'll get to shape the development of the product, and have the additional incentive of a big, initial discount. If potentially interested (no commitment yet), here's what you need to do:

1. Call or email me telling me of your interest.
2. If you haven't seen the product at CLA, or want more detailed information than I can answer, we will set up a webinar with the Ingram folks.
3. You will then need to decide how much money you can put towards the shared collection that we are building. We can then put together a tiered list based on the contributions that people are able to make during 2009.

Once we have a total of the contributions that everyone is able to pledge, then we meet with Ingram & will work with the committed libraries to begin selecting titles for our shared collection based on the title lists that we will receive from Ingram.

Our next eBook/e-resources meeting is in early January, and we can have the IPOD collection & participants defined by then. This offer is ongoing, but the early-adopter pricing will probably not continue past ALA, so make sure you let us know of your interest in participating, and the contribution you can consider this calendar year as soon as possible. We would like to hear from any interested libraries before the E- Resources meeting on Jan. 7

We are so excited to be able to offer this product to our members, and can't wait to get this new collection off the ground!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

If you like our blog... might want to check us out on Twitter - we're catching the microblogging bug! We're at

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Update from SerialsSolutions

We got this from SerialsSolutions - looks like there are some good savings opportunities...

Serials Solutions’ "Save BIG and Lock In Savings Now" program

Now is the time to evaluate how you are and will be managing, assessing and providing access to your e-resources in 2009. To make e-resource access and management easier for you in 2009, Serials Solutions is offering a unique "Save BIG and Lock In Savings Now" pricing program through December 31, 2008.

Email Serials Solutions at or your regional representative to request pricing, learn more about this program and discover how you can "Save BIG and Lock In Savings Now." These savings are in addition to our consortium discount and any other available discount opportunities to which you may qualify (multi-product, community college, multi-year, et al.) and includes all Serials Solutions 360, Ulrich's Global Intelligence Services, and WebFeat services.

"Save BIG" with special year-end prices for new product orders confirmed before December 31, 2008.

"Lock In Savings Now" with special prices for new product orders confirmed before March 31, 2009. Requests for pricing must be made prior to December 31, 2008 to "Lock In Savings Now."

Serials Solutions’ proven solutions and their new eBook upgrade service can help improve access to your e-resources and strengthen your collection. You can enter to win a free eBook reader at and request more information about all of their services by visiting

Serials Solutions also offers free webinars that you can take advantage of to learn about their services. Simply go to

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Town Hall Meetings with the State Library

WorldCat, CalCat and Resource Sharing
Sponsored by Califa and the California State Library

Facilitated by Stacey Aldrich, Deputy State Librarian, Gerry Maginnity, Bureau Chief, Library Development Services, and Rush Brandis, Library Consultant

What do we want to accomplish in California with WorldCat, CalCat and resource sharing? Join us for a Town Hall Meeting to discuss these questions and to share ideas for how we can build the future of resource sharing. Don’t let your library miss out on this opportunity to be a part of the conversation!

These meeting are free, but attendees are required to register.
Registration Page

Dates and Locations
December 8: San Jose Public Library: Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
December 10: Solano County: Fairfield Civic Center Library
December 15: Shasta Public Library: Redding

January 6: San Diego County Library
January 7: Burbank Public Library
January 8: Fresno County Public Library: Fowler Branch

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

iPod-compatible eAudio from Ingram

For those of you attending CLA this weekend: on Sunday, we will have a sneak-preview of the new iPod-compatible eAudiobook product from Ingram. Not officially launching until ALA in January, the Sales Director is anxious to work with Califa, and will be at our booth (#410) most of the day on Sunday giving demos of the product and showing it work with an ipod. The collection is starting off with 6,000 titles from Penguin, but will be building as Ingram completes contracts with other publishers.

If you are interested in the development of iPod content for libraries, you'll want to stop by the Califa booth on Sunday to meet with Linda Vendreys of Ingram and learn about this new product. Let us know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Update from Facts on File

From Facts On File to our Members:
Facts On File understands that this is a difficult year for California institutions dependent on public funding, and we want to help. For a limited time, we are offering a special promotion exclusive to California libraries. Receive six free months of our Issues and Controversies database when you order a 12-month subscription to World News Digest by 12/15/2008.

In addition, your subscription to both databases will feature unlimited simultaneous usage and remote access at no additional cost. Since 1940 the World News Digest has set the standard for information on U.S. and world events. For more than seven decades, it has served as a resource that filters and presents current events in a consistent, reliable, and unbiased manner. The database includes a searchable full-text archive of past events, breaking news, research tools, and much more.

Issues and Controversies helps researchers understand the crucial issues we face today, exploring more than 800 hot topics in politics, government, business, education, and popular culture. A subscription to both databases will provide patrons with access to:

• 2008 Presidential Election Guide and Iraq War Coverage Guide
• “Need a Research Topic?” suggestions
• Reliable information on pressing issues such as global warming and alternative energy
• Pro and con statements on controversial topics such as bilingual education
• And much more!

For a price quote and free trial, please contact Heather Tesko, of CALIFA, at 310-348-9578 or and mention promotional code CAP. Offer expires 12/15/2008.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Discount on Language Sets from OCLC

We are happy to announce a new discount on OCLC Language Sets for our members. Until February 28, Califa members may order foreign language materials from OCLC and get discounts up to 23% based on participation.

Language Sets offer:
- selects and acquires current popular materials in your choice of 17 languages for adults or children
- Most orders include carefully selected classics, best-sellers and highly anticipated new releases that appeal to public library users
- The collections include fiction, non-fiction, or a mixture of both
- The collections include no duplicate titles because your holdings are checked against WorldCat
- MARC cataloging with LC subject headings and Dewey or LC call numbers is included. All records include Bilindex subject headings for Spanish titles
- Holdings are set in WorldCat, which means your users will be able to find library materials on the Web through familiar sites such as Google and Yahoo! Search
- Materials are shipped to you at no cost
- Promotional materials are shipped along with your purchase at no charge to get your new collections circulating
- Optional physical processing is available so your items arrive ready to circulate to your patrons.

For more information, email

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Califa Vendor: Morningstar

We are happy to announce an agreement with Morningstar for our members. When we took a poll of business and financial databases on our blog in the Spring, Morningstar was ranked the number one vendor with whom we should be pursuing a contract.

They will be holding webinars to introduce Califa members to their products. Each webinar will try to cover the same information, but they have offered four times so that more people will be able to find a time that works for their schedules. The times of the webinars are:

November 11th at 10am
November 11th at 2pm
November 13th at 10am
November 13th at 2pm

If you would like to attend one of these webinars, please send an RSVP to with your name, library name, and email address in the message body. Also, please specify which webinar time you will be attending.

Morningstar Investment Research Center is an interactive investment database with information on over 30,000 Stocks, Mutual Funds, and Exchange Traded Funds. It combines cutting-edge technology with Morningstar’s investment know-how to give your patrons a one-stop investment site. Designed specifically for libraries, it provides independent analysis, industry information, stock charts, portfolio building tools, and investment education.

If you would like a quote for your library, please also email

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2009 Digitization Symposium

Books 24x7 Review, New Trial, and Webinar

Over the summer, we announced a trial of Books 24x7, an eBook product with modules covering IT, Business and Wellness. Califa members also did a review of the product, which is now available on our website. Books 24x7 has flexible pricing, and would let us start a shared collection if there is interest.

The trial is active again now, as there was interest at our recent Digital Resources Steering Commitee Meeting. They will also be hosting two more webinars, on November 10th at 2pm and November 12th at 10am. If you would like to attend either of these webinars, please RSVP to with the time of the webinar you wish to attend, and your name, library name, and email address in the message body.

Please take a look at the trial and review, and let us know if this is something you think we should be pursuing. Please email any feedback or thoughts to I can also provide you with ballpark pricing if that will help in your evaluation.

The review is here:
Please email me for the trial information if you are interested.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We're on YouTube now!

We're on youtube now!
Check us out:

We'll be posting videos from workshops and events. It's just another way to keep up with our activities!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Califa welcoming GoLibrary and Counting Opinions to CLA

If you're going to be attending CLA this year, make sure to stop and see a GoLibrary machine in action. Califa has set up a booth for two of our International vendors - Counting Opinions and GoLibrary at booth numbers 619 and 617 respectively.

Check out this video of the GoLibrary machine in Yuba County and make a note to stop by the booth and see it in person!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Early Literacy Stations Live Demo

Califa is happy to invite you to a demo of one of our most popular products, the Early Literacy Station.

Friday November 7 at 10am
Carson Library 150 Carson St. - Carson, CA 90745 - 310-830-0901 (map available here:

Thursday, November 13 at 10am
Berkeley Public Library - 4th Floor Children's Library (map and directions available here:

*Carson and Berkeley libraries have an ELS unit installed so you may see it "in action" after the demo
*Coffee and refreshments will be provided at Carson only.

Register online at our website:

New Califa Vendor: SpringShare

We are happy to be able to announce an agreement with SpringShare, the creators of LibGuides, for our members.

What is LibGuides? LibGuides is a web 2.0 content management and information sharing system designed specifically for Libraries. Over 6,000 librarians at 350 libraries worldwide use LibGuides to create content, share knowledge, and connect with patrons. Califa members will now get a discount on LibGuides. Contact us for a quote, or more information!

To learn more about LibGuides please visit the following pages on the Springshare Website:
General Information on LibGuides
LibGuides: Features
LibGuides: Benefits
What our clients are doing:

Public Library Examples
Contra Costa County Library -
Burlington County Library System -
Ocean City Public Library -
East Baton Rouge Parish Library -

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Califa Vendor: Raco

Califa is pleased to announce a renewed agreement with Raco Industries. Members can now get 25%-70% discounts on barcode readers, thermal and impact printers, and barcode labels. The full list of discounts available to Califa members and simple order process is listed on the Califa website under “Raco”.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ebsco is hosting two webinars next week for those libraries interested in learning more about NoveList Plus. Please note that this is for libraries who do not currently have NoveList Plus (if you do have it, and would like a training, let us know and that can be arranged).

The webinars will be held October 21 and October 23 at 11am (register for one), and will be hosted by Duncan Smith, the NoveList creator (more information below). If you are interested in learning more about NoveList Plus, please plan to sign up for one of these webinars by sending the following information to

Your Name:
Your Library:
Email Address:
Phone Number:
The date of the webinar you wish to attend (Oct 21 or 23):


Libraries across the country are finding that the use of their nonfiction collections is increasing and the reason for this increase is NOT school assignments. While adults who read nonfiction for fun have always been loyal library users—their numbers are increasing as is their demand for help in finding their next biography, true crime or current events title.

NoveList Plus is designed especially to help you respond to the needs of these readers. Duncan Smith, NoveList creator and product manager provides a guided tour of this new database of over 70,000 popular nonfiction titles.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Facts on File trials available

An update from Facts on File... email if you would like a trial.
Facts On File would like to have the opportunity to set up a trial of our online database collection for your library.

Our collection of award-winning reference databases includes:
Science Online: includes over 960 experiments, 6,300 diagrams, 2,800 biographies, 6,300 essays, timelines, videos, and 32,000 definitions.
History Database Center: a new interface that allows users to search across six history databases
American History Online*
Modern World History Online*
Ancient & Medieval History Online*
American Women's History*
American Indian History Online*
African-American History Online*
*databases can be purchased separately

Ferguson's Career Guidance Center: includes profiles of over 3,300 careers in more than 94 industries as well as information about college programs and scholarships
Curriculum Resource Center: printable, curriculum-related handouts for middle and high school teachers
Curriculum Resource Center Junior Edition: printable curriculum-related handouts for elementary school teachers
World Atlas: more than 200 countries and territories are covered through maps, vital statistics, history overviews, Videos, images, and more.
Bloom's Literary Reference: examines the lives and works of great writers throughout history; searchable by character, author, works, a glossary, and more
Health Reference Center: encyclopedic database with more than 28,500 hyper-linked entries on a variety of health-related concerns and social issues.

Facts On File's parent company, Infobase Publishing, has recently acquired Facts On File News Services. As a result, Facts On File and Facts On File News Services are once again under common ownership, as the two companies were before March 1996. Here are just some of the exciting recent additions to our News Services databases:
Facts on File World News Digest
Issues & Controversies
Issues & Controversies In American History
Today's Science

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Final Agenda available for Social Discovery workshop

We now have the final agenda available for the Social Discovery workshops coming up at the end of the month. View it, and register here:

Any questions, email us!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Upcoming Webinar on Credo Reference

For those of you who are interested in our newest vendor, Credo Reference, we will be having a webinar on Wednesday, October 8 at 10am. To RSVP send an email with the following information to
Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Library:
If you have any questions, let us know.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Product - Ebsco's Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center

We are happy to announce that we now have discounted pricing on Ebsco’s new database, the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center, their newest addition to the collection of Do it Yourself content which also includes the Auto Repair Reference Center, Small Engine Repair Reference Center and Home Improvement Reference Center.

Below is a description of the new Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center. For quotes or trials, please email
Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center is a full text database accessible via a custom EBSCO interface designed primarily for use in public libraries. Content in the database includes a collection of core, proprietary articles covering over 140 topics, as well as licensed periodicals, books and video that focus on categories commonly referred to as hobbies and crafts and is available in high-quality PDF format. Features include the ability to search the Hobbies & Crafts interface by category, view all available topics and browse popular resources related to the area of Hobbies & Crafts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Califa Vendor: Credo Reference

We are happy to announce that discounts are now available for Credo Reference (formerly x-refer). Information about Credo is below. If you would like more information, a trial or a quote, please email

Working with over 60 of the world's leading reference publishers, Credo Reference uses innovative digital technologies to unlock the knowledge value of reference material. By using proprietary technology that integrates information through a network of intelligent, multi-dimensional cross-references, Credo Reference delivers added value to authoritative, highly-respected reference content.

There are over 340 reference titles in the Credo Reference database consisting of an aggregate of 3 million entries all interconnected by over 100,000,000 cross-references. Credo Reference offers each subscribing library the ability to customize the reference service to meet the needs of their users.

Credo Reference features:

* Unlimited, simultaneous and remote user access.

* Interactive features such as dynamic table functionality for world, state, and county statistics, an interactive world atlas, flash animations, videos, poetry/literature readings, over 700 music files, and our critically-acclaimed concept map for data visualization and ideation.

* More than 175,000 images from all subject areas, over 200,000 audio pronunciations

* A citation formatter in APA, MLA, and Chicago formats for all articles.

* "Did You Mean" feature offering suggestions to misspelled words.

* MARC records for all titles, customer training, user guides, and many promoting materials and suggestions.

* Seamless one-click searching into your other library resources using highly advanced meta-technology.

* Web 2.0 compatibility – the ability to bookmark and share Credo Reference content using highly popular services such as Digg,, Facebook and many others.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Trendwatching - DIY

The struggling economy means that a lot of library patrons are fixing their own leaky faucets, and changing their own oil rather than paying someone like a contractor or mechanic. Libraries can provide valuable services to their patrons by offering books and databases covering popular "Do it Yourself" projects.

One large library system recently purchased a suite of DIY databases from Ebsco. Their Auto Repair Reference Center has always been popular with Califa members, but this year they added to the options with the Home Improvement Reference Center (covering subjects ranging from how to put up drywall to rewiring your house) and Small Engine Repair Reference Center (lawnmowers have engines too).

Patrons are beginning to learn about these resources at the library, and many systems have seen their usage stats rise steadily this year. Discounted pricing and trials are available for Califa members. For more information email

Monday, September 15, 2008

NoveList Plus Webinars

Califa is hosting a webinar on NoveList Plus on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, September 24 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m.

  • This one-hour session on NoveList Plus will show you the many different ways you can search NoveList Plus, as well as review the robust feature content NoveList Plus offers and how to navigate the new interface.

    Please RSVP (preferably by Friday, September 19) to

    Library Name:
    Email Address:
    Phone Number:

    For NoveList Plus trial information, please email

    Webinar for Natural Standard

    Below there is already a blog post on the trial of Natural Standard available to members. Califa will also be hosting a webinar, Thursday Sept 25, at 10am. To RSVP send the following information to

    Your Name:
    Your Library:
    Your Email Address:


    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Social Discovery Workshop Coming Soon

    Introduction to Social Discovery and the Library Catalog

    In making everyday decisions, we depend on the judgment and insights of others. Web 2.0 features such as tags, comments, and wikis are neither a frill nor a fad; when implemented in conjunction with the library catalog, social tools capture the judgment and insights of others in order to improve findability, discovery, and reader's advisory services.

    Califa is proud to announce a half-day seminar on "Introduction to Social Discovery and the Library Catalog" presented by staff from BiblioCommons, a company that has developed a unique product that embeds social tools into the library catalog.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008
    Burbank Public Library, Buena Vista Branch
    Register here for the Burbank event

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008
    San Mateo Public Library, Main Library
    Register here for the San Mateo event

    Cost: $35/registrant

    Friday, August 29, 2008

    Natural Standard Trial for Members

    Califa is offering member libraries a trial to Natural Standard.

    The Natural Standard database is a clinical decision support tool that is designed to help clinicians and consumers on the safety and efficacy of herbs, supplements, vitamins, diets, nutrition, exercise, and complementary practices (e.g., yoga and chiropractic). Natural Standard consists of over 500 internationally world-renowned clinicians and researchers. More than 45 translators translate all foreign language articles for accurate literature capture. The content is first person authored and undergoes blinded multidisciplinary peer review by academics and scientists across the world. Natural Standard does the clinical and patient information for The National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School, Yale, MD Anderson, Susan G Komen, and Mayo clinic among many other prestigious clients.

    This resource comes at a great time as many of you may have seen that the Pew Internet & American Life Project just released a report estimating “between 75% and 80% of internet users have looked online for health information.” This estimate is “in line with Harris Interactive’s latest data on health information seekers 81% of internet users; 66% of all adults.”

    To access your trial, please email for login information. The trial will expire Sept 30, 2008.

    Friday, August 22, 2008

    Books & Authors Webinar

    A Webinar on Gale's Books & Authors is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 26.

    To sign up for this session, please send your name, library, and email
    address to

    Books & Authors is specially designed to complement the browsing habits of today's Web user, integrating easy-to-follow menus that allow users to broaden and narrow their searches according to author, title, series, awards and other criteria. An "if you like" search connects readers to themes and genres that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    Discounts and Webinar on CraftySpace's

    Recently we announced that, in partnership with the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System (MCLS), we were offering discounts on website creation from Details of that discount, and pricing information is available at this page they put together for us. Additionally, we have scheduled a webinar with them for August 19 at 10am for our members to be able to find out more about the company, the other sites they've already created for libraries, and the package that they are offering our members. To RSVP for the webinar, please send the following information to

    Your Name:
    Your Library:
    Your Email Address:

    In the meantime, if you have any questions about the company or their website services, please let us know!

    Discounts on products from HW Wilson

    Califa Members now have an opportunity to save on content from HW Wilson. Contact if you would like a quote, or more information on these products.

    Friday, August 1, 2008

    Internet Librarian Discounts Available

    Califa members may now register for Internet Librarian at a discount through Califa's registration form. This year's program, held from October 20 - 22, is now online.

    This year's conference theme, Beyond 2.0: User-Focused Tools & Practices, highlights how Web 2.0 tools and practices, web services, social media, and new platforms of social computing are enabling libraries and information professionals to interact with their clients and communities in new and exciting ways. New tools and processes have ignited creative integrated content mashups, specialized and personalized services for community segments, and exciting new techniques for dealing with voluminous information flows, including user-generated content.

    Internet Librarian 2008 provides attendees with many chances to meet and hear from leading edge information professionals in all types of environments—leaders in the information industry who are integrating content and delighting their clients, organizing and managing digital content in creative ways, setting the context for excellence in information utilization in their organizations, revolutionizing the roles of info pros, building strong collaborative communities among their customers and colleagues, and using new technologies in creative and exciting ways.

    Payments are due on Sept. 16, 2008.
    Make checks payable to Information Today and mail or fax to Califa
    at 32 W. 25th Avenue, Suite 201, San Mateo CA 94403 or 650.572.2746.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    CARL North IT Interest Group Workshop

    Susan and I made it out to the CARL North IT Interest Group's workshop on mashup technology and the art of remixing library and information resources at Santa Clara University last Friday. The workshop offered various levels of complexity on all things mashup related.

    I'd have to say that my favorite presentation was from Harrison Dekker on the use of Google's Charts and spreadsheet gadgets for numeric data. As a user of Google docs, I was surprised to find that there are widgets to create nifty looking charts and moveable data. If you've seen Hans Rosling's presentation on Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen, then you'll have an idea of what this looks like.

    Other topics included Yahoo Pipes for aggregating feeds and web content; web applications used for visually searching the web; and an informative talk on social operating systems. Anyone interested in seeing any of the presentations can go to

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Changes Made to Website; Share Your Success Stories

    Our redesigned website is nearly 2 months old and we continue striving to make improvements so our members can more easily find the information they need.

    Some recent changes/additions include:

    Under Products & Services

    Under Information & Resources

    • Added an eBook FAQ for general and technical questions.
    We like to spotlight our member libraries' best practices along with featuring our new products. Please contact Califa if you would like to share either a best practice from your library and/or a success story involving a Califa purchase. We are maintaining an easily accessible archive of the libraries we spotlight.

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    California Libraries Install the First Automated Book Lending Machines in the Nation

    The Summer 2008 issue of the California State Library’s quarterly newsletter, CSL Connection, includes an article on the libraries and partners involved in a unique project, known respectively as Library-a-Go-Go in Contra Costa County and GoLibrary in Yuba County.

    The automated book lending service is now installed and in use by the public. Contra Costa County launched their service at the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station on May 29. On Saturday, August 23, Yuba County will be providing personal demos of GoLibrary and urging the public to get library cards during an all day kick off for library card sign up month.

    Califa negotiated the contract with the Swedish vendor, Distec, on behalf of California member libraries. Check out Califa's GoLibrary page if you would like to find out more about this project.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    3M/Checkpoint Participation Survey

    With the merger of 3M and Checkpoint, Califa is being offered a discount program on security gates and self-charge systems from both vendors. We will be sponsoring a webinar on August 6th to detail the differences among the available equipment (contact if you would like to attend).

    We are also surveying members to determine interest in purchasing 3M or Checkpoint equipment through us. With an aggregated order (10 units or more), we will be able to offer every library a discount. The larger the order the larger the discount. To determine the level of discount, we are asking members to provide information of their security system/self check-out needs in 2008-09.

    The survey is available here and will close at noon on Friday, August 1st. Thank you very much for you participation in this survey.

    Sunday, June 29, 2008

    ContentDM Digital Collection Showcase

    All of our current ContentDM users (or prospective ones) might be interested in all the possibilities for using this application for content besides images. Today I saw how Ball State University is using it for oral histories within their Middletown Digital History Oral Collections. They outline the detailed process (including their metadata schema) on their wiki. The collection is astounding particularly in that they have managed to digitize analog interviews ranging from 1971 to 2006, and place them into an easily accessible format. I am told that the presentation will be available from the ContentDm site soon.

    Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Digital Storytelling: Where Outreach, Local History, Programming and Technology Collide

    I attended a really great program today at ALA on the digital story station pilot program. Two featured programs were the California of the Past program started by the California State Library, and the California Council for the Humanities' How I See It program. You may recall that we blogged about this last year, as Califa was a partner in the CCH project. It's thrilling to see communities including our own member libraries such as Orange County Public Library and South San Francisco Public Library reaching out to their communities and creating oral histories.

    Mixing it up: The Mashed up Library

    I attended an OCLC Symposium yesterday on the topic of using mash-ups in your library. The talk was great, but I thought the best bits of information came from David Lee King. He is the Digital Branch and Services Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. He talked about useful ways to implement meebo widgets, RSS feeds, google map mashups, and the publication of user content such as teen poetry on their site. He also talked about how your library can use Google "ego" alerts to keep track of what people are saying about your library online. It's a great way to respond to users whether they post good, bad, or incorrect information about your library. It's well worth a listen if/when OCLC posts the video on their site.....

    Friday, June 27, 2008

    Greetings from ALA 2008 in Anaheim!!

    The exhibits haven't opened yet, but we're anticipating a good day at the booths tomorrow when we start to make our rounds. We'll let you know what we find. Until then, happy conference going to all our fellow attendees.

    Thursday, June 26, 2008 Discounts

    Califa and the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System (MCLS) are happy to announce a joint discount program for our members from CraftySpace, a website design and development company. has been developed by CraftySpace to bring professionally developed website services to libraries.

    CraftySpace offers three options that are appropriate for libraries of varied sizes and with different budgets:

    · The Subscription program is designed for small community libraries that often lack technology support or infrastructure. It is a hosted solution with a low entry cost and includes ongoing support, secure site hosting, and continuous technology upgrades.

    · Larger libraries may take advantage of a Customized Site program that meets the need for a site that can be hosted on internal servers and maintained by technology staff. These websites include significant amounts of customized page graphics and features that enhance online community building.

    · Custom Development projects are appropriate for very large library districts or systems that support numerous branch libraries. These websites include all of the features found in our other library programs. Additionally, they incorporate management features enabling multiple levels of administrative access. This enables management control and uniformity throughout the system, while empowering each branch with tools to address and serve their local patron communities.

    All work done by CraftySpace is supported with a unique 60-Day Money Back Guarantee. If the site and support services do not meet expectations during the first 60 days following site launch, all fees are refunded.

    For more information on these packages and to view sample sites, please go to the CraftySpace website at Deeper discounts are available from the prices that are listed on the site. Please note that while we will have an ongoing discount with CraftySpace, they are also offering an additional discount to all libraries who sign up before July 1.

    For all questions, please email if your library is NOT an MCLS member, or contact if your library is a member of MCLS.

    Monday, June 9, 2008

    Califa Web Site Gets a Redesign – Launching Wednesday!

    Califa is excited to announce a new and improved Web site that will replace the existing site at

    In addition to a new design and brighter feel, the site will improve your ability to access the majority of Califa’s information without the need for remembering your password and login.

    The site features a simple top navigation bar for finding Califa news, products, services, and reviews. Quick links along the side give you easy access to the Califa blog and MySpace page along with our master list of products. A feed of our blog also appears so you can easily and quickly keep up to date with the latest Califa news.

    The information on Califa products and services has been pared down and does not contain any pricing, so we can include it on a public page. While each product listed contains an up-to-date description, you will need to contact Califa staff in order to obtain the most current pricing information.

    Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional improvements and refinements that will help make your experience at a much better one. We look forward to your feedback when the site goes live.

    Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    Bokomaten, GoLibrary, Library-a-Go-Go

    No matter what name you decide to call it, Califa is very excited to be California's exclusive purchasing agent for this book (or video) lending machine that can easily extend the reach of your library services and hours to new locales.

    The Contra Costa County Library unveiled the first of four installations to the public last week. This particular unit is housed at the Pittsburg BART Station, so commuters with a valid card will be able to check out and return books at their convenience. Contra Costa County Library is calling their service Library-a-Go-Go.

    Yuba County Library installed their GoLibrary machine at the Wheatland Community Center. Yuba opted for a built-in unit that looks similar to an ATM and is available to the public 24/7.

    Califa is capturing press information and frequently asked questions about the product. Check back at our Web site or at our GoLibrary page as we continue gathering information. We will begin taking orders for more of our member libraries beginning July 1. Contact Susan Kantor-Horning, Califa Operations Manager, if you have questions and/or want to place an order.

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Mango Languages Review Completed

    Thanks to all the libraries who participated in our review of Mango Languages. The review is now complete, and can be found in the Product Review area of the Clearinghouse on the Califa website.

    Or you can just go directly to it, here.

    The average composite score was a 3.02 out of 4. Some of the comments include:

    There was a lot of vocabulary, and currency exchange phrases reflected present day currencies, for example. I think if you worked your way through a course, you’d be very comfortable when traveling in a country where that language was spoken.


    I think that anyone who has gone through all the lessons for a particular language would be at ease when traveling in a country where that language is spoken. The biggest drawback is often beginning with sentences that do not seem to apply to the main topic or title of the chapter. For example, when a chapter is entitled “Setting the Table”, does “This blouse is too tight around the shoulders and back,” seem relevant?

    Check out all the comments and scores at the review, and let us know if you have any questions.

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Wireless Mobility AT&T FOCUS Lunch+Learns

    Jackie Siminitus, AT&T Library Advocate, sent us the following invitation to pass along to our members.

    California library technology leaders are invited to one of two FOCUS Lunch+Learns scheduled for California: San Francisco on June 17 and Anaheim on June 26.

    The events are dedicated to enterprise mobility and the virtual workplace. As we've all heard, wireline and wireless technologies are converging. Handheld devices are able to do more and more each day.

    Jackie would like to host a table of librarians so mobility specialists can get an earful of how libraries use or would like to use telecommunications within their library and the community they serve. To reserve a "Librarians' Table," email Jackie.

    AT&T FOCUS events are open, so librarians should directly register at -- go to "Local Chapters" then "Lunch+Learns."

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Current Issue of Charleston Advisor

    Califa member libraries have free online access to the Charleston Advisor's critical reviews of online resources. Reviews contain thorough product descriptions and considers factors such as strength and weakness, searchability, content, etc.

    April's issue includes a look at the following products: ReferenceUSA, CQ Political Reference Suite, Value Line Research Center, and WorldCat.

    Log onto the Califa Web site and find the Charleston Advisor on the left-hand menu. Instructions for signing in to this resource are also posted.

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    New Poll for Members

    Over to the right, there is a new poll for our members asking whether we should work with any of the listed business database vendors. Please take a moment to let us know your opinion on these companies, and whether we should negotiate a Califa discount with any of them.

    Thanks so much for your time and effort!

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Free offer from Ebrary for National Library Week

    In support of U.S. National Library Week, April 13 to 19, 2008, ebrary would like to offer librarians as well as students and faculty in library science and related programs complimentary access to their Library Center for one year. Non-U.S. libraries are welcome to participate as well.

    Subsidized by ebrary, the Library Center includes more than 85 full-text e-books covering topics such as digital library development, general collection development, and the history of libraries and librarianship, as well as illustrated guides from the U.S. Library of Congress. Contributing publishers include Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Idea Group, Inc., Greenwood Publishing Group, Library of Congress, and MIT Press.

    To receive complimentary access, students,faculty, and librarians may register at

    For more information, please read the ebrary press release at

    Thursday, April 3, 2008

    Gale Books and Authors Trial Available

    Trials are now available for Books and Authors, the new Readers Advisory product from Gale. To sign up for a trial, or to get a quote with introductory pricing (through May 31), please email

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    Mango Languages Review Team Forming

    We are forming a Review Team for our members to evaluate Mango Languages, a competing product to Rosetta Stone. If you have an interest in languages, or have experience with Rosetta Stone, we would love for your input, and would ask that you consider taking part in the review. If you would like more information, or Review Guidelines, please email

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Books & Authors Webinar

    Late March marks the release of Books & Authors, Gale’s new online readers’ advisory database that "leverages the Internet’s unique capacity to create, build, communicate with and sustain communities of readers.”

    Books & Authors contains both fiction and nonfiction content along with book reviews from 30 different sources. Users also can create reading and search lists in their user accounts, which remain intact in a “My Reading Room” feature. A customizable interface helps libraries to promote events, special collections, or new additions.

    A Webinar on Books & Authors is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 3. To sign up for either of these two sessions, please send your name, library, and email address to

    Discount pricing and a description can be found on the Califa Web site.

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Scanner recommendations for 2008

    In response to members' questions regarding the kinds of equipment to purchase for digitizing library materials, Califa consultant and LHDRP imaging coordinator, Trudy Levy wrote this handy guide to the kinds of scanner, digital cameras and other equipment for libraries to consider if they plan to image their own materials. This guide can be found in Califa's Information Forum on "Digitization."

    Monday, March 3, 2008

    Califa Member Survey

    It’s time for Califa’s annual survey of members. This evaluation is extremely important for Califa’s staff and Board to plan Califa’s future services. The survey also provides direction on how Califa can improve its services. Please spend the few minutes to answer the nine questions of this brief survey. The survey will close on Thursday, March 21.

    Please take the survey here, and thanks for your time.

    Friday, February 29, 2008

    Charleston Advisor

    The latest issue includes a comparative review of Ebsco’s Points of View Reference Center and Gale’s Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Reviews of CQ's Congress Collection and ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers are also available. Other items of interest include AquaBrowser innovations at the University of Chicago and reports on archiving systems' Portico and LOCKKS.

    Califa members have free online access to the full text of The Charleston Advisor, one of the premier sources for database reviews for libraries. Log into the Califa Web site and look for this resource under the main menu.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    Library Discard Sales through bLogistics

    Many of our members often wonder what to do with their discard sales. Califa has a relationship with bLogistics, which handles online discard sales for libraries.

    For more information, please see their website. Additionally, documents explaining the program have just been updated on the Califa site - log in (email us if you forget your password) and go to the Documents section.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    Califa is happy to have pricing on two new Ebsco databases. We now have pricing on NoveList Plus (complete readers’ advisory solution - with all of the things you love about NoveList – PLUS 50,000 nonfiction titles and value-added editorial content).

    Additionally, we have pricing for Ebsco's new Home Improvement Reference Center, an online tool for home improvement assistance, including: maintenance, remodeling, electrical work, plumbing,
    wood projects, outdoor improvements, decorating home & garden, etc.

    Full details are on the Califa site.

    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    SCELC Vendor Day

    Califa members are welcome to attend the 2008 SCELC Vendor Day at Loyola Marymount University on March 6. Please go to the SCELC website to check out the program and list of vendors confirmed.

    There will be a continental breakfast from 8-9am, and then three 50-minute sessions with the vendors of your choice. During lunch you will be able to speak with vendors, and then after lunch there will be four 30-minute sessions, for a total of seven offered throughout the day.

    This is a fun and informative day, and we look forward to seeing lots of Califa members attend.

    Monday, February 4, 2008

    MyiLibrary Webinar

    For those of you interested in the MyiLibrary eBook platform, we will be hosting a webinar on February 14 at 10am. To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please send an email to with your name, library, and email address.

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008

    Special on Book Trucks through Highsmith

    Check out this flyer to see special prices for Califa members on book trucks from Highsmith. If you order, please make sure you use the correct discount code, listed on the flyer by the order number. Otherwise you won't get the full discount.

    Let us know if you have any questions/comments.

    Chinese eBook Trial

    If your library has any interest in Chinese eBooks, you may want to take part in our current trial of several Chinese eBook companies to help determine the best products for our members. Yu Tao at Pleasanton is organizing the trials and will be helping to aggregate the responses. Please email Califa for more information on taking part in this trial.

    Thursday, January 17, 2008

    Discount Registration on BookExpo

    BookExpo America 2008
    Los Angeles Convention Center
    May 29 - June 1, 2008

    Sign up and receive a Califa discount for BookExpo America using our convenient online registration form. If you would like to register a group of 20 or more please call 866.209.5439 (CA only) for more information.

    The many offerings for BookExpo America include:

    • Latest Books, Advanced Read Copies, and Galleys for the summer and fall seasons.
    • 1,000 Authors to meet, greet, listen to, and recruit for your library.
    • Over 2,000 Exhibitors with thousands of money saving show specials.
    • 1,200+ Publishers - including Major Publishers, University Presses, Independents Houses, and Audio Publishers. Most of which you won't see anywhere else.
    • Sessions you can use like budgeting, hot book titles, how to program events at your library and more.

    Califa members pay $65 for the 3 day pass and $45 for the 1 day pass. The group rate for institutions with 20 or more attendees pay $60 for the 3 day pass and $40 for the day pass. Califa members save $15-20 per person from the standard rate of $60-$85.

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    Greetings from ALA midwinter in Philadelphia

    Heather, Susan, and Michele were in Philadelphia looking at the latest and greatest of products for our member libraries.

    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Califa is in the City of Brotherly Love

    Califa Visits ALA Midwinter in the City of Brotherly Love.

    Monday, January 7, 2008

    Best Practices: Telephone Notification Survey

    We all read the surveys that often get posted on CALIX, and Califa would like to start aggregating and sharing the results of those surveys here on our blog.

    On December 12, Linda Arbaugh placed a query on CALIX asking:

    • What ILS do you have?
    • How long (about) have you offered telephone notification?
    • What is the general reaction of your patrons – whether they like it or not
    • Have there been any complaints about privacy?
    • Have you done a cost-benefit analysis? If so, what were the results?
    • Does your ILS offer patrons the option of being notified by phone, email or snail mail?

    Within a week, she received 20 responses. To read what the respondents said, go to this link on our website where we have compiled the responses.

    Thursday, January 3, 2008

    Editorial Oceano Review Complete

    A few months ago we put out a call to our members to review the new Spanish-language databases from the publishing company Editorial Oceano. We are happy to have completed a review, and this database scored very high - a composite score of 3.6 out of a possible 4.

    To read the review, please go to the Clearninghouse area of our website. Go to --> Clearinghouse --> Product Reviews. You may have to scroll to page two as only the first ten items are listed on the front page. Alternatively, you can go to this link, which should take you directly to the review.

    Many thanks to the participating libraries:
    County of Los Angeles
    Solano County
    We are introducing a free service from to our members. Libraries411, a Counting Opinions product, provides custom online maps to specific libraries and library systems.

    This service allows users to easily search for libraries in their region by IP, name or zip code. The map also provides markers with library contact information, and links to the library’s website. We currently know one member library (Riverside County Library System) that offers a link to their Libraries411 map from their website. You can find the link at under the branches tab.

    Go to or to the Califa Member Map at to see how it works. If you would like to use this service, please contact Michele Alaniz at for username and password. Califa will also host a webinar on January 25 at 10am for anyone interested in learning how to use this service. If you would like to sign up for the webinar, please contact Heather Teysko at

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008

    OCLC Language Sets: Offer Deadline Extended

    For those libraries who are looking to grow their non-English collections, Califa and OCLC are currently aggregating an order of the OCLC Language Sets. This service allows you to choose preselected materials for adults or children in any of 15 languages, and includes full MARC records.

    The deadline for our aggregated order is February 29. For more information, either email Califa or visit the OCLC Language Sets website.