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Gale Aims To Transform Online Library Experience With 'Gateways'

FARMINGTON HILLS -- Gale, the publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, announced Gale Gateways, an innovative program for public libraries.

Designed to represent the unique way in which a community interacts with its public library, Gale Gateways bring together thematic products and services to provide an organized approach to help patrons find and use information. Unlike anything else on the market, Gale Gateways will help libraries demonstrate their value and worth to their community.

"With Gale Gateways we wanted to recreate a patron's in-library browsing experience 'virtually,' while also helping library staff better serve their patrons," said Nader Qaimari, senior vice president, marketing, Cengage Learning. "Gale Gateways does this by bringing library users to an environment where resources can easily be discovered, providing relevance, meaning and transformative power. With Gateways, customers not only receive special pricing on a thematic grouping of online resources and eReference, but also value-add services including Gateway Web, marketing, and training-programming support."

Web support includes the customizable Gateway web portal tool and search engine optimization. The Gateway portals can be linked from the library's main Web site, are easy to configure, and can link directly to any library resource -- whether it be a Gale resource or not. Customization is a key feature of the portal tool, from content to logos, colors and text, librarians have full control of the Gateway look, as they are the ones that serve the community and know them best. Customers can give their Gateways any name, allowing them to tap into their current library branding if they choose, along with localizing their site with relevant community information.

Customized marketing materials, along with a new type of training/programming from Gale's Customer Education Specialists, will extend the Gateway brand deep within a library community. Library staff training, direct to the public training, as well as templates and tools, will help staff create their own relevant community workshops around Gateway themes.

The themes of the first Gateways to be released include Business; Jobs & Career; Health & Wellness; Homework Help; and Home, Hobbies & Entertainment. Gale is working closely with customers to further explore all the possibilities within these first Gateways, as well as other themes to come. Feedback from current customers has been positive.

"We purchased the Homework Help Gateway from Gale as it will be of invaluable assistance to our younger patrons as they complete assignments, do homework and research projects," said Peggy Murphy, Interim Collection Services Manager at Los Angeles Public Library. "The Homework Help Gateway optimizes all our resources with the goal of helping students succeed."

For more information on Gale Gateways, visit Gale is also demonstrating the technology at this week's Public Library Association meeting in Philadelphia, Pa.

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