If summer is your planning and product research time, then I think this issue of MMIS can be of particular help as a resource. All four main features for this midsummer issue are packed with information about a wide range of vendors, products, and services. While the issue is not a buyers guide, its vendor and product focus renders it similar.
Combined with company and product news and insights you've garnered—first-hand or second-hand via colleagues—from recent ed tech and library tech events such as NECC and ALA, this issue will give you some thoughtful input for planning and purchasing decisions.
First, there's our cover story, Audrey Church's E-Book Resources for the School Library, on page 9. Audrey has gathered together the best of the free and the fee-based sources of electronic books for K-12. By investigating them, you'll also be bringing yourself up-to-date on the status of this relatively new technology, which is a 21st-century way to build your collection and distribute your library's resources.
Then there are two Part 2 features. Robert Congelton supplements his March/April 2005 article with Database News: What's There, and What's Coming Up, in the World of K-12 Content—Part 2 (page 16). This time he covers Facts On File, Greenwood Electronic Publishing, netTrekker, NewsBank, and World Book. And Barbara Fiehn follows her May/June 2005 article on the library systems field with insights drawn from her conversations with another set of vendors. In The Voice of the Vendors: Futures in School Library Automation, Part 2, page 25, she reports on what representatives of Mandarin Library Automation, The Library Corporation, Innovative Interfaces, and Sirsi Corporation had to say about current and future developments in library automation.
And, finally, if you want to be the go-to person for your math department when it's looking for technology-based instructional, testing, tutorial, and other math materials, then read Charlie Doe's latest, A Look At … Products for Math Teachers, on page 29. Charlie has rounded up 14 very current products to focus on.
As long as I'm signaling product and vendor news, I'll take this opportunity to point you toward our new but maturing Web site and biweekly e-newsletter, MMIS Xtra. One of the main features in each is the roundup of current library and ed tech industry news they deliver on a rolling basis. By the time you read this, ALA and NECC announcements will be front and center. I hope you'll visit the Web site and consider signing up for MMIS Xtra as well.
David Hoffman, Editor