A New Chapter for Gale: Power to the User, Value to the Library

Every company has a story.  Enduring businesses adapt and innovate to meet the needs of their customers.  For more than 50 years, Gale has provided the highest quality information to libraries with passion and commitment – continually striving to meet and exceed their expectations.  As a publisher, aggregator, library advocate and technology partner, Gale has provided high value and excellent service to library customers.

Turn the page…

With a continuing commitment to those same values, we are moving to the next step in Gale’s evolution.  Our objective is simply stated as:  Power to the User, Value to the Library.  With an unprecedented focus on understanding user needs, we are working to make libraries more relevant and essential to their communities.

But what does that look like, and how are we doing it?  We are pleased to showcase in this press packet how we are developing products and services that deliver on this commitment in practical, very real examples.  And watch for more to come, as we continue to bring new ideas and approaches to life.

Making information more discoverable, more accessible …
Gale is working to bring the next generation of discovery tools to users.  As users have become more self-sufficient and inquisitive, workflows have changed.  Our developments make information easier to find and use.  For example,

  • Gale PowerSearch now enables true customization (at the individual user level), allows users to establish RSS feeds to their personal accounts, and provides greater ability to find information quickly in multiple ways.  See “Gale PowerSearch Defining Power to the User” in the following pages for more detail.
  • ReadSpeak technology, announced in March (see http://pressroom.gale.com/2008/03/gale-database-1.html ), allows users to have articles read to them or downloaded into MP3 format to listen to later.  Library users have embraced this technology.  Whether visually impaired or preferring audio format, users have a choice and can now access information in a completely different way from traditional databases.
  • AccessMyLibrary.com, our groundbreaking library advocacy program, is a major portal from the open Web to libraries.  By allowing Web searchers to find what they need and then directing them to their local library for more, we are helping people find quality information while raising awareness about the rich resources available in their library.
  • We have just partnered with ProQuest to enable users to search across multiple collections in an unprecedented discovery service.  (See ProQuest’s announcement at www.proquest.com/pressroom.)  

Understanding user behavior …
We are taking action to develop a deeper understanding of user behavior and needs.

  • Our recent acquisition of HighBeam (see http://pressroom.gale.com/2008/12/gale-acquires-h.html) will give us greater insight to how users search, how they want to receive information, and what type of information they use most.  While first and foremost, it is an online resource for individuals, it is also a valuable window for us to better understand the ever-changing search behaviors and workflows of users.
  • We are on the cusp of introducing another innovative means of learning about user needs.  Beginning later this month, we will embed surveys into selected databases to give users the opportunity to give us direct feedback about our products—content, interface and much more.  (More to come…soon!)
  • Sharing information about user behavior with our library customers is a key part of our mission.  Our first step in helping libraries understand their users’ behavior was implementing the SUSHI protocol (see http://pressroom.gale.com/2008/11/gales-new-sushi.html).  Automating the retrieval of COUNTER reports saves time and makes it easier for customers to collect usage statistics in an industry-standard format.

Quality content that meets users’ needs today …
Ranging from historical collections to the latest information on hot topics, Gale continues to develop, publish, and distribute information that users want most.  Some recent additions include:

  • SATA (Something About the Author) Online – the venerable print edition is now available online (see “Something About the Author Online Provides Easy Access to Iconic Gale Publication“ in attached pages)
  • DLB (Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete) Online – also venerable; also now online (see “Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online Makes Classic Gale Source Available 24/7 “)
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Part II (ECCO II) – a continuation of the most ambitious scholarly digitization project ever undertaken; new content and a new interface (see “Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Part II Expands Content by Nearly 50,000 Titles“)
  • New reference works with the publishing expertise and quality libraries have come to rely on (see “Gale Announces Four New Print Titles“ for a sample of new reference titles)

Bringing it all together – Global Issues in Context
Discoverability, accessibility, user focus and quality content….What if all those qualities could be brought to life in a single product that targets some of the most-studied topics?  We are delighted to announce Global Issues in Context, our latest online resource that is the culmination of our efforts to bring power to the user and value to the library.  It is the first product in a new generation of products from Gale that embody the qualities that users want and need in this Information Age.  We invite you to read more about Global Issues in Context in the attached press release (see “Gale Launches Global Issues in Context”).  And we invite you to try it for yourself.  You’ll want to experience the product first-hand to understand its power.  (To request a trial, contact Linda Busse, [email protected].)