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After launching three digital libraries, Patrick Spain tests First Stop Health

Crain’s – “When it comes to aggregating information, Patrick Spain knows his stuff. The co-founder of business database Hoover’s Inc., Mr. Spain went on to launch HighBeam Research Inc., a repository of news articles, and Newser LLC, a Chicago-based feed of news summaries. Now he is testing another information service. Called First Stop Health, his venture provides members with electronic health records, 24/7 access to physicians for advice and diagnosis and help in navigating insurance to get coverage. Members also have access to thousands of articles on disease and treatment and a database of almost 800,000 physicians and 18,000 urgent care facilities. The cost starts at $250 a year.”

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In a Flood Tide of Digital Data, an Ark Full of Books

NYT – “The Physical Archive of the Internet Archive hopes to eventually collect 10 million items, and it has started taking in films as well.”

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ALA calls on Random House to reconsider major ebook price increase

ALA – ” The American Library Association (ALA) is calling on publisher Random House to reconsider its decision to raise the price of ebooks to the library market starting March 1. ALA President Molly Raphael issued the following statement: “While I appreciate Random House’s engagement with libraries and its commitment to perpetual access,” Raphael said, “I am deeply disappointed in the severe escalation in ebook pricing reported today. Calling on our history together and our hope to satisfy mutual goals moving forward, the American Library Association strongly urges Random House to reconsider its decision. In a time of extreme financial constraint, a major price increase effectively curtails access for many libraries, and especially our communities that are hardest hit economically.”

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Some Advice From the Guy Who Helped Save LA’s Libraries

Torontoist – “This year, Toronto Public Library narrowly avoided a 10 per cent budget cut that would have slashed about $17 million from its budget and forced it to reduce hours at branches citywide—but that was nothing. In 2010, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa handed Los Angeles Public Library a budget so severe that the system’s board couldn’t keep any of the city’s 73 libraries open more than five days a week, whereas in 2009, regional libraries were open all week, branches for six days.”

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Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks Rises as Much as 300 Percent

Digital Shift – “New prices for Random House’s ebooks took effect on Thursday, and as the details emerged a number of librarians across the country expressed dismay at the doubling and tripling in prices they are seeing. “We’re very concerned. These are tough times for libraries. It’s very tough here in Louisville,” said Debbe Oberhausen, manager of collection services, at the Louisville Free Public Library. “We want to provide this service, but this kind of pricing is really going to take a huge chunk of our budget,” she said.”

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