Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Update from Mango Languages

Mango Languages has announced the latest addition to its growing family of products with the launch of Mango Take-Out. Designed to provide Mango courses on a USB device, Mango Take-Out enables patrons of those libraries that currently offer the Mango program to complete the courses on their own personal computer.

The Mango Take-Out program, which is initially available only to current Mango library partners, is available in 12 languages: Spanish, French, Mandarin, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, German, Russian, Portuguese, Hebrew, Irish and English as a Second Language (ESL) for Spanish. The program is easy to use, as the user simply inserts the USB device into the port and clicks on the icon. There are no installations and the program will auto-run.

By catering to the user who is interested in our courses but not able to spend the appropriate amount of time at the library personally, Mango Take-Out allows them to work through the program, from their own computer without the need for internet access.

Since its founding in 2007, Mango Languages has grown to become one of the world's leading providers of online language learning products. That growth will continue throughout 2010, as the company plans to enrich content within current offerings and introduce several new products, languages and features to the market, each of which will target a specific user profile and meet that user's needs.

View upcoming webinars here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

article on Freegal

Check out this article about Santa Clara County's launch of the Freegal music service.

Library first in state to launch 'free music' program
By Matt Wilson
Posted: 06/14/2010 07:34:11 PM PDT
Updated: 06/14/2010 07:34:12 PM PDT

The Santa Clara County Library has a long history of letting people borrow items, but now the library is actually giving patrons something to keep.

At the start of this month, the library system became the first in California to offer residents free music downloads.

The county library system, which includes the Cupertino Library, has a new digital music service that lets library card holders search for music and download songs permanently at no charge.

The service, Freegal, is an online database that provides access to songs exclusively from Sony Music Entertainment's catalog of artists. Each library card holder can download three songs each week in MP3 format. The file is permanently saved onto computers, smart phones and other devices with access to the catalog and MP3 capabilities.

"We have been waiting a long time for a service like this that delivers great music, compatibility with lots of devices and simplicity of use. We think this will be incredibly popular with our patrons and will help the library in marketing all its services to the community," said county librarian Melinda Cervantes.

The library system is the first in California to offer the service, which launched the first week of June.

"This is a brand-new type of product that has not been available to libraries before," said Nancy Howe, a deputy county librarian.

Offering music to library patrons isn't new, but this service is on a wider scale than what
is currently available.

"We've had CDs you can check out for a long time now and we have had some streaming music, but this is unique in terms of the range of offerings," said Howe. "The library has a been a place where you can check out music for a long time. The formats have been changing on us, and we have not been able to offer our patrons the [genres] that suited everyone."

Library officials estimate that there hundreds of thousands of songs available in the collection, which covers all of Sony's record labels.

"We wanted to offer something that everyone can enjoy. This is the one that caught our attention," Howe said.

Users can start downloading another three songs each Sunday at midnight when their account resets. Every song has a sample clip patrons can listen to before downloading. The service will work with any MP3 player, including iPods, and songs can be loaded into iTunes, according to library officials.

Currently the service is available remotely only. The county purchased a subscription to the service for one year at a cost of $23,300.

Howe estimates that there are about 1.6 million digital county-wide retrievals on the system's various collections each year, which include digital books and other media. The library system is trying to keep pace with the evolving technology of the day.

"We've had our toe in the water for a while now," she said.

Santa Clara County Library provides library services to residents in Cupertino, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Altos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and unincorporated areas of the county. Howe reminds residents that anyone in the county can get a library card and use the system.

For more information about the service or to inquire about getting a Santa Clara County Library card, go to

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Upcoming Powerspeak webinars

Gale is hosting a few upcoming webinars on Powerspeak. If you are unable to attend any of these, please let Patti Brown Finnie or Gail Bandish know, and they will work with you to set up a time that works for you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
10:00 am PDT: Powerspeak Languages Webinar

Join the Audio Conference
1 (866) 635-4644

Join the Web Conference
To join the web conference, click here

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
10:00 am PST and 1:00 pm PDT:
Powerspeak Languages Webinar

Join the Audio Conference
1 (866) 635-4644

Join the Web Conference
To join the web conference, click here

Thursday, June 24, 2010
10:00 am PDT and 1:00 pm PDT
Powerspeak Languages Webinar

Join the Audio Conference
1 (866) 635-4644

Join the Web Conference
To join the web conference, click here

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Upcoming BYKI Patron Training Webinars

For those of you who have BYKI, or are considering adding it, please see below:
Recorded Books will be hosting monthly online tours of your Byki Online service. These tours consist of a comprehensive overview designed so that your patrons can get the most out of their Byki Online user experience.

Topics covered in this short 45 minute program will include:

- Creating user accounts
- Selecting Lists and Using Byki Cards
- Managing and Refreshing Learned Items
- Using Learning Activities
- Using Pronunciation Analysis
- Using Blogs, Twitter, FaceBook and Word of the Day features
- Best practices for language learning

These webinars are open to all patrons at your library whether they are currently using Byki Online or they would just like to know a little more about it.

This email invitation is designed so that you can forward it to individual patrons or all of the patrons in your library. Our webinars can accommodate up to 1000 people, so the more the better!

Click on the link to register for this month's webinar or select from one of our future webinar dates below.

Register for a session now by clicking a date below:

Tue, Jun 22, 2010 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM PDT
Tue, Jul 20, 2010 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM PDT
Tue, Aug 17, 2010 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM PDT

Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration
with information you need to join the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Fun

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gale Powerspeak offer for small publics

Gale has announced special pricing for PowerSpeak, their language learning product, for small public libraries who order by June 30. If you have fewer than 100,000 population served, and are interested in this product, email me for a quote. To trial, go to, then Members then Internal Documents. You'll need your Califa login/pw - email me if you don't have it. The trial login info is on that main members-only page.

Powerspeak features the 5 most demanded languages asked for by public libraries: Spanish, German, French, Mandarin Chinese, and ESL for Spanish speakers.

Powerspeak was founded on 30+ years of breakthrough research and has earned the unique distinction of being the leader in accredited online language courses.

Powerspeak works because it uses an arsenal of proven and effective teaching methods, not single-delivery techniques like listen and repeat, or memorization that have been shown to be ineffective. Vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, pronunciation are all covered.

Powerspeak makes learning a language fun with an engaging adventure story and multi-modal interaction like audio, video, rich graphics and music to stimulate all learning types: audible, visual and tactile. The creator of LeapFrog brought his vision to Powerspeak.

Powerspeak makes it easy to learn a new language with the extensive use of the diglot weave, a teaching method that gradually weaves together the language you already know with the language that you want to know.

Powerspeak teaches culture and how to communicate fluently, effectively and appropriately while in another country.

Powerspeak was designed with significant input from an advisory board of public librarians looking to build a more effective language product than has been available until now.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

EBSCO Legal Information Ref Center and LibraryIdeas' Freegal

First, we now have pricing on EBSCO's Legal Reference Center's. Many of you are familiar with the fact that EBSCO signed an exclusive contract with NOLO to offer their titles as an EBSCO database. The material has been split up into two databases - the Legal Information Reference Center and the Small Business Legal Reference Center. If you order before the end of June, you will receive both databases for the price of one, for the first year. If you'd like a quote, let me know.

Secondly, our contract with FREEGAL, the music downloading service, has been approved. To get the best possible discount for everyone, we will need 150,000 downloads, collectively, by the end of the month. If you are interested in participating in this group purchase, or want more information, let me know.