CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 9, 2014 – Baker & Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of digital and print books and entertainment products, announced today the release of a new and enriched version of its Axis 360 service designed to improve the visual appeal and experience for library users, and to expand site administration and collection management tools for the company's digital media circulation platform.
The improvements in this release include a broad range of enhancements for Axis 360, and reflect feedback and requests received from customers and users of the digital services. Focus group meetings were held at the ALA Midwinter Conference and at the Public Library Association trade show earlier this year to share and help guide development, and instructional webinars have been offered to all customers prior to rollout, to help prepare libraries and their users for the biggest user interface changes since Baker & Taylor introduced Axis 360 three years ago.
The enhancements upgrade the library user experience by providing more intuitive and engaging ways to discover and access digital materials. And, on the service administration side, the changes provide libraries with the opportunity to create customized Staff Picks Magic Wall displays and to create notifications and order parameters for holds and content license expirations to more nimbly manage their ebook and digital audiobook collections.
"Because of Baker & Taylor's decades of experience, we understand the needs of libraries, and the improvements to Axis 360 come from listening closely to our library partners," said George Coe, President and CEO of Baker & Taylor. "Axis 360 users now have an even more engaging and inviting tool to discover digital materials, and libraries have additional control over their library users' experience and added information to be effective managers of their digital collections."
The enhancements include:
- Increased flexibility in the display and navigation of the library's collection via the engaging Magic Wall.
- Design flexibility for the Magic Wall, allowing libraries to create and manage the presentation of collections they would like to showcase to users.
- Enhanced browse-by-subject options for users, with visually appealing graphics and less text.
- A streamlined and intuitive interface for the administration of Axis 360 websites, including new user management options, reports, alerts and cart creation for high-demand items, as well as publisher content licensing tools.
Axis 360 gives library users the ability to borrow and download best-sellers and new release fiction and nonfiction in ebook and digital audiobook formats directly to their devices. It is compatible with PCs and Macintosh computers and dedicated ereading devices, as well as mobile Apple iOS and Android devices, including smartphones and tablets. The Axis 360 service also works with Blio, the multi-function ereader born from the partnership of the National Federation of the Blind and visionary Ray Kurzweil, to provide an ADA-accessible ebook solution for libraries and their users.
About Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor, Inc. is the premier worldwide distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products. The company offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries, schools and retailers worldwide. Baker & Taylor also offers industry-leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions. Charlotte, N.C.-based Baker & Taylor is majority owned by Castle Harlan Partners IV, L.P., an institutional private equity fund managed by Castle Harlan, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm.