Friday, July 3, 2015

Vendors & what they offer

The first thing I noticed about the ALA conference is the magnitude of the exhibition hall (in this case - halls, plural). I don't know exactly how many exhibitors there were, but there were over 1000 (for  22,696  attendees).  Having moved out of the school situation I was now looking for useful tools and services that we may not be aware of in the South East Asia region that could be utilised by schools.

These are some that I found that piqued my interest ... (I took photographs of the the paper leaflets to reduce weight and space in my bags, so the quality is not that great.)

Open source Library management systems

From the brief chat I had with the vendor, this system is open source and organisations can also have technical support for a modest fee. The users will also have the opportunity to have input in the development of the  system.

This is another open source system which offers support alongside those who want to go it alone.

Ebooks :

Odilo - this company caught my eye as they are based in Madrid and are used throughout Europe, which for international and IB school this may offer a little diversity in content. 

From their website it says "OdiloTK allows seamless lending of digital content (eBooks, eAudio, eVideo) using industry standards. OdiloTK not only allows the digital lending of eBooks, but is also a complete digital asset management platform."  They also offer a library management service. It may be a company worth checking out.

To be honest, what caught my attention at this display stand was their revolving banner  - it is the little things. This company offers :  a cloud-based platform that creates a single, collaborative environment for reading, writing and research.

Referencing and citation services

If you have been following my blog you will know I am an Easybib enthusiast, however, it may be worth having a look at these tools to see what they are offering.

Generate citations in APA, MLA, Harvard or any style. For free for individuals, but they also have an institution plan.


Digital Asset Management
This is something I am quite interested in where all digital assets (video, audio, past essay papers) are stored off site or on a server but can be streamed or accessed through the OPAC.

This powerful is directed at the University market, but if you have the funds manybe it is something you could look into.

If you have a large online journal subscription base, this may be useful, it is designed and targeting universities.

No image for this one. 
SimpleDL is a digital asset management and display platform. They enable librarians to affordably create beautiful viewing experiences for their patrons.


This is part of the wider Academic Rights press group which has specialised databases on a number of topics.. 

This is an interesting database as it offers a huge range of professional footage from news reels and documentaries. It is targeting university consortiums, so if a number of schools can get together to open an account, this may be worthwhile. They are a startup, so are open to discussion.

The Fun and quirky that caught my interest.

This product seems to work as a facade or alongside your LMS OPAC to make it a little more interactive.

Maker space fun stuff

There was a lot of buzz about maker spaces at ALA and having just visited the Stanford D-school a few days before, I was inspired. That visit will be a seperate blog ...

Keva Planks - now this got my creative construction juices flowing, having had great memories of Cuisenaire rods as a child along with Janga, and this is the same thing on steroids.

Kits being sold for different projects. Very doable and practical.

Language learning

Mango Language learning

Book recycling & literacy programs

This business / charity collects and sells books online to donate and fund literacy programs worldwide. Have a look at their extensive website to see what it is all about.

Book vending machine

Now this is probably out of the range of most schools, but maybe it is something worth working for in the local community? 

Library cards and book marks

Are you looking for something that will help make your library cards and bookmarks pop? Have a look at what this company can offer - nice shiny cards that will get noticed.

More stuff 

Included with the vendors there were of course the publishers from all over the place fiction and non fiction. There were over 100 authors making an appearance and I was fortunate to meet Gene Luen Yang who was quietly sitting at his table with his supportive friends waiting for people to walk past and talk to him. What a lovely guy. He is interested in an extended school tour of South East Asia.  

It must be the only conference where authors are treated like rockstars - the crowds, the interest, the buzz about writing was palpable. There are also books called ARCS which are available throughout the conference. These are free uncorrected copies of new publications, they are given out for free in the hope they will be read and reviewed and book talked and purchased for libraries. I picked up a few, but many other people were able to fill boxes that needed to be posted at the on site postal service centre.

You can download the ALA program and exhibit directory from here if you would like to peruse the entire exhibits (part 2 will have the exhibitors information). This has got me thinking about developing a database of vendors that would be useful for school libraries ... another project!

If you attended ALA San Francisco 2015 - what vendors caught your interest?

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