Follett Software Company has announced Version 8.5 of the Destiny Resource Management Solution. School districts that upgrade to the latest version of Destiny can jump-start their ebook collection with 65 free ebooks per school. Users of the new Destiny Library Manager release can choose from a list of classic titles in the middle- and high-school ranges, available through a special arrangement with Follett Library Resources. Once downloaded, the ebooks are searchable and available through Destiny Library Manager.
Destiny Library Manager features a number of enhancements that help make the school library more integral to student learning and classroom instruction:
* Destiny Quest: Version 8.5 of Destiny Library Manager includes Destiny Quest, the new online searching interface focused on the student that is being unveiled at NECC 08. Destiny Quest combines a visually engaging interface, broad-based integrated searching power and social networking components. The interface offers new functions such as the ability to post ratings and reviews – including audio and video reviews – and a function that lets users virtually browse library shelves.
* Guided Reading Support: In addition to Accelerated Reader, Scholastic Reading Counts, and Lexile information, subscribers to the Reading Programs service for Destiny can now see Fountas and Pinnell reading level for books. The information makes it easier to implement the popular Guided Reading approach in classrooms.
* Fast Access to Digital Content: Destiny users can now upload audio files, videos, PDFs, Word documents, PowerPoint files and other digital content to a MARC record, so that a link to the digital content displays in the title details. Digital content is keyword searchable, so students can quickly find and access it with a single click.
* Share Book Recommendations: Using Destiny Library Manager 8.5, teachers, students and media specialists can recommend library books or media to other patrons. The recommendations appear in the student’s "My Info" space.
* Patron Input on Collection Development: Users can now suggest library books or media they would like to see in the collection from within Destiny. They can also add a note to explain why the book would be a useful addition. Destiny compiles the recommendations into a "Wish List" for each site, which can be viewed by users with administrator access.
Destiny 8.5 includes several improvements in the Destiny Textbook Manager module as well:
* Save and Generate Revenue on Textbooks: Destiny Textbook Manager lets districts upload textbook inventory information to Follett Educational Services, which provides detailed, real-time financial reports on how much the district can save by buying pre-owned copies of needed texts, and how much revenue they can generate by selling surpluses.
* Easier Textbook Transfers Between Schools: Destiny 8.5 now makes it easier to identify copies belonging to other sites and provides the option to transfer ownership of the copy without initiating a formal transfer. New capabilities make it possible to track copies added, marked lost, or transferred/received.
* More Powerful Reports: District textbook managers can now view comprehensive textbook statistics in a new report format, including a new column showing the checkout percentage by school. In addition, sites now have the ability to review textbook statistics for prior years. A "Subject" field has been added to the textbook title record. Authorized users at the site, district or state level can select a subject from the dropdown list and add, edit or delete subjects.
* Faster, Easier Barcoding: Rather than generating new barcodes when they implement Textbook Manager, districts can now opt to use pre-existing barcodes simply by scanning or typing in a list of barcodes. In addition, textbooks previously barcoded with the Follett Classic "T" prefix will now be accepted by Destiny Textbook Manager.
Destiny Asset Manager, which helps districts track all their fixed and movable assets from a single, centralized location, has also received new features in the 8.5 version:
* Automated Preventive Maintenance Notification: To help custodians keep on top of item maintenance, asset administrators now have the ability to add scheduled maintenance information for asset items and generate automatic email notification.
* Expanded Asset Value Report: The Asset Value report has been expanded with an itemized reporting function which displays all items for a chosen asset type.
* Automated Transfer of Data to Purchasing Systems: Asset Manager now lets users automate and schedule the export of information from Asset Manager to district purchasing systems.
All modules in the Destiny Resource Management Solution have received common improvements in version 8.5:
* Enhanced District-Level Control: A number of new features in Destiny Library Manager make it easier to coordinate the library management district-wide. For instance, a district-level administrator can now configure and edit the open/closed days on the district calendar and have those changes take effect at individual sites or site types. The district now also has the ability to set up and control library policies and define patron and circulation types at the site. District users can be allowed the ability to log directly into school sites with only one user name and password.
* Automatic Email Transfer Notification: When a textbook or asset is being transferred from one site to another, Destiny will automatically generate an email to the receiving location, notifying them that a transfer needs processing.
* Microsoft Vista Compatible: Destiny 8.5 can be now accessed from computers running Microsoft VISTA and Microsoft Windows 98.
Source: Follett Software Company, www.follettsoftware.com/