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

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