Friday, February 27, 2009

New Digitization Grant Opportunities

In addition to the recently-announced LHDRP grants, Califa has compiled a list of other digitization grants for 2009 on our wiki. Check it out, and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Califa Vendor

We are very pleased to announce a new partnership with Altarama, who have a suite of Reference support products including RefTracker, SMSreference, and IM-RefChatter. Altarama became a Califa vendor because so many Califa member libraries persuaded them that it would be a good thing, so thank you to all of the libraries who suggested this to them - it made them very eager to put together a compelling offer for our members.

The discounts vary per product and range between 5 and 12% with additional incentives if orders are placed within certain time periods. For pricing and discounting information, as well as trials, please email

To announce their relationship with Califa, and introduce their products, they will be hosting two webinars next week. Tuesday the 3rd at 10am which will cover: IM-RefChatter/SMS-SMSreference and DeskStats as well as Thursday, the 5th, which will cover RefTracker–request management and VRLplus–live chat reference. To RSVP for either - or both - of these webinars, please send an email to specifying which webinar you want to attend and including your name, library name, and email address. Login instructions will be sent out the day before each respective webinar.

Additionally, they are offering all Califa members a free subscription to DeskStats - a web-based tool that allows for capture and reporting of reference transactions – until December 31. Please see their memo to Califa members below, outlining this offer, and let us know if you would like to participate.

Also, let us know, as always, if you have any questions.

February 24, 2009
Dear Colleagues,

As the newest member of the CALIFA vendor community, we have been thinking about how best to introduce ourselves to CALIFA members. While the CALIFA staff have negotiated for quite aggressive member discounts on our family of reference management products, we have determined that something more is called for. So we have decided to do something we think will be useful for each CALIFA member, whether or not the member ultimately purchases anything from us.

Since for most libraries reference statistics are problematic, we have arranged with CALIFA to provide its member libraries with shared access to our DeskStats system at no cost for the rest of this calendar year. DeskStats is a Web-based tool that allows librarians to capture and report reference (and other) transactions simply and flexibly.

At no cost, we’ll provide training and support for any CALIFA member that wants to use DeskStats, allowing them to capture, examine, report and export statistical information on as wide a variety of activities as they choose to include.

The catch? Only that after December 31, 2009, any library wishing to continue using DeskStats will need to purchase a license or subscription. For those who don’t choose to continue, we’ll provide a full export of the data they have collected—again at no charge—and they’re under no further obligation of any kind.

Since this will be a shared system, CALIFA members will have access to view each other’s reference statistics. And, while each library can define its own transaction types and groups, there will be a few profile points on which general agreement will be necessary. Still, DeskStats allows each individual staff member or service point to see only those transactions that are relevant to their tasks, making the capture of statistical informant remarkably quick and easy. And each member will have the ability to report and export its own data in real time, anytime.
We’ll be doing a series of webinars on our full range of reference management tools, including DeskStats, beginning next week. We hope you’ll join us, and that you’ll let CALIFA staff know if this is something you’d like to pursue.

We look forward to a long and productive relationship with CALIFA and its members as we deliver excellent tools and support services for today’s reference librarians.

Sincerely yours,
Arthur L. Brady, President

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Califa Vendor - Shoutbomb

We are happy to announce a new vendor, discovered by one of our members who has happily worked with them. Shoutbomb is a company specializing in SMS applications and currently offer notifications such as late fees, holds, overdue and renewal notices of library items using text messaging applications. The software is hosted by the vendor, and the pricing includes unlimited notifications and text messages.

To announce their new service for libraries and their partnership with Califa, they will be hosting a webinar on March 12 at 10am. To RSVP for this webinar, please email and include your name, library name, and email address.

While Shoutbomb is fairly new, several libraries are already using their services. You can view these posts from various Shoutbomb library customers to see how it is being used in libraries arleady.

Skokie Public Library: blog
Peninsula Library System: info

If you would like pricing, please also email and let us know if you have any questions.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Califa Vendor Showcase

We recently told you about the Vendor Day on March 9 held by our partner consortium, SCELC (a consortium for academic libraries), at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

The following day, March 10, Califa will be hosting a select number of vendors at the MCLS office in Monrovia to present products and offers that specifically relate to public libraries, and particularly offers that are current for our members. You may RSVP for individual sessions, or for the entire day, but please note that space is very limited, and I can only accept the first ten RSVPs for each demo. Also, if you RSVP and are then unable to make the demo, please let us know so that someone else can take your place.

There is no cost to attend this Vendor Showcase, and both breakfast and lunch will be provided by Califa.

The schedule of the day will be:

9am - arrive, sign in, coffee/snacks
9:30 - HW Wilson will be discussing their new products for public libraries including the new Cinema Image Gallery.
10:30 - MyiLibrary will be demonstrating their new ipod-compatible eAudio product, and specifically discussing the Califa shared collection.
11:30 - Altarama will demonstrate RefTracker, DeskStats, and their new SMS Reference product
12:30 - LUNCH1:15 - SerialsSolutions will share an overview of their new developments and products
2:15 - ProQuest will share their new packages for public libraries.
(note: ProQuest demo is still to be confirmed).

The day will end at 3pm.

To RSVP, please send an email to specifying which demo you want to attend, or if you want to attend the entire day. After you RSVP an email will be sent to you with driving directions and parking information.

This is a great opportunity to meet with several popular, and new, vendors at one time, get your questions answered, and discuss the specifics of offers made to Califa members.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Califa Vendor -

After polling members a month ago, we realized that there was enough interest to pursue a discount on We are happy to let members know that we now have secured a 10% discount from Vault, the publishers of Career Guides and Company Insider Guides, for their online subscription. The discount is for all new customers who place orders before July 1, 2009.

Below is more information on Vault. We have also scheduled a webinar to introduce the product. The webinar is scheduled for March 17 at 10am. To RSVP, please send an email to stating that you would like to attend, and include your name, email address, and library name.

This product is a good example of how member input can help us get discounts for everyone. Because the member reaction was so supportive to Vault, we were able to move quickly to ensure a discount for all members. Thanks for your feedback!

Links and more info on Vault(please note that if these links don't work, you can cut and paste them.

Library Journal reviewed this resource, and Vault was recently named one the Journal’s Top 10 Outstanding Electronic Resources of 2007 -- here are links to both the articles:

An event that Vault did with the New York Public Library

Wall Street Journal - Folks Are Flocking to the Library

80 Vault Career Guidebooks
4,000+ Company Profiles
50 GOLD Company Profiles customizable to your local area
NEW! 50+ Vault Insider Videos
Internship Database
Access to the Vault Message Boards
Insider College Admissions Reports
3,000 Career Advice Articles
Sample resumes and cover letters, and interview tips
Industry and occupational research

Insider Information: Vault surveys thousands of professionals every year to get the inside scoop on companies and industries.

Access: Reach more patrons effortlessly. Your users can access the content 24/7 from any computer with internet access, and you are allowed unlimited concurrent users.

Customization: We give the Online Career Library the look and feel of your site, including the logo and navigation tools.

Trusted Content: The Online Career Library is used at over 1,000 subscribing institutions.
Quick & Painless: Vault does all the work. We build and host the Online Career Library–you just post the link on your site to give your patrons access.

Price Security: When you license the Online Career Library, Vault has built in a minimal 10% renewal fee for clients. This is price protection for our continued partners since the cost of the Online Career Library increases upwards of 30% or more each year.

Tracking: Upon your request, Vault provides statistics monitoring usage. This way you ensure a return on your investment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Califa Member Survey Time

It's time for Califa's annual survey of members. This evaluation is extremely important for Califa's staff and Board to improve Califa's current services and plan future services. Please spend a few minutes answering the seven questions of this brief survey. The survey will close on Friday, February 27 (only open for two weeks). Thanks for your consideration, and we hope, your participation.

Califa Members 2009 Survey:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Upcoming SOPAC webinar

We are happy to announce that Joseph Muennich from will be doing a webinar for our members on new developments in SOPAC and Druple on February 24 from 2pm-3pm. Full description is below.

There is no cost for this webinar. To RSVP, please email and you will be sent a link to complete your registration. Also let us know if you have any questions. Please note that Califa offers a discount on any services through, including SOPAC integration.

Drupal is the content management system (CMS) being used by many libraries to create and maintain their library website. Why? I plan to discuss the benefits of using a CMS and Drupal in particular – covering the most current features developed for Drupal version 6. I specifically will cover SOPAC – a module recently contributed to Drupal by John Blyberg of the Darien Public Library. I will show the behind-the-scenes administrative interface for several library websites built with Drupal.