Gale - Helping Libraries Prepare for the 21st
David Bateson, Gale
Good Afternoon. My name is David Bateson and I am Sales &
Marketing Manager for Gale at Primary Source Media. If the presentations
have run to schedule this afternoon it should be about 4.01pm
and I have about 19 minutes to tell you and show you a bit about
Gale - and how it hopes to help libraries prepare for the 21st
First of all let me explain the relationship between Primary Source
Media and Gale. Primary Source Media - as you have already heard
from my colleague Katri Deißroth is an international publisher
of microfilm and CD-ROM reference titles and is - like Gale -
a part of the Thomson Group of Companies. In fact Gale and Primary
Source Media are both part of the "Reference/Library Group"
at Thomson and as Gale does not have an office outside the US
- Primary Source Media - based in Reading in the UK - is responsible
for the sales marketing and distribution of Gale titles in Europe
and the Middle East.
Gale - also known as Gale Research - is a leading international
reference publisher. To give you an idea of the scale of the
publication list:- in the 1997 catalogue there are over 400 current
titles of which 40 are in CD-ROM format and 15 available online
via the Internet. Approximately 100 of these are new titles either
published or due to publish this year.
Gale was founded in 1954 in Detroit Michigan in the USA by Frederick
Gale RUFFNER who was at the time looking for a listing of voluntary
membership organisations in the United States. He tried a number
of local reference libraries and after an exhaustive search discovered
that no listing actually existed so he decided to produce one.
This title - the Encyclopedia of Associations is now in its
32nd edition - and is available in 5 hardback volumes listing
nearly 23,000 American non-profit membership organisations.
Its companion international edition lists nearly 19,500 similar
organisations around the world.
Since 1954 Gale has grown to an organisation of 600 people based
in the historic Penobscot Building in Detroit - of which over
half are full time editors and researchers of the over 400 current
reference titles. Gale reference titles now span a wide range
of subject areas including - literature - business - biography
& genealogy - science - art & entertainment - information
& publishing to name but a few.
Gale also incorporates a number of imprints which you may be familiar
1) St. James Press. St James Press was founded in 1968 in London
and acquired by Gale in 1988. It has approximately 50 titles
currently in print of which 27 have been named Outstanding Reference
Sources by the American Library Association.
2) Taft. Founded over 20 years ago Taft is a leading provider
of information in the non- profit/voluntary sector.
3) U¡X¡L which is the educational arm of Gale now handled
in Europe by another Thomson company Thomas Nelson UK , and
4) Visible Ink Press which is the "trade" arm of Gale
- publishing lower price mainly paperback reference titles
Gale is still very much a traditional print publisher catering
to the needs of its primary market - the reference librarian
whether in a public academic or business reference library.
Just as that librarian's role has changed over the years Gale
has also endeavoured to provide information to its customers
in a form most suited to the needs of that customer. Gale as
a reference publisher has benefitted perhaps more than other
types of publisher from the development of electronic publishing.
You are all I am sure aware of the great benefits of electronic
information over print information in terms of
Gale is now not only able to put one title - for example the 5
volumes of Encyclopedia of Associations - on to 1 CD-ROM but
also to bundle several previously separate (but related) print
titles on to 1 CD-ROM and allow the user to search all at the
same time. Instead of having say 10 Gale titles all open on
the desk and having to cross reference all the information onesself
this can now be done at the click of a mouse on the computer
screen and then saved or printed out immediately.
Perhaps the best example from Gale of all of the advantages of
the electronic medium is the "Contemporary Authors"
series. In print form this is in 153 volumes with a "new
revision" series in 53 volumes updating the original series
covering about 100,000 contemporary writers. To buy the entire
print collection would at current prices cost in excess of £15,000.
"Contemporary Authors" on CD-ROM costs just over £600
per annum annual subscription and includes the entire print series
on 1 CD. New releases automatically update previous entries and
the entire database is of course searchable from the search engine.
A very important consideration at the design stage of a Gale CD
is useability both for the novice user and the more experienced
information professional. Therefore all Gale databases have
a straightforward interface allowing both simple searching and
the use of more complex searches using Boolean operators and
other search languages.
A few key Gale titles that are now available on CD-ROM include:
1) The Encyclopedia of Associations. The original title that
launched Gale is now available on one CD- ROM called "Associations
Unlimited". The extended search facility allows all approx
42,000 organisations to be selected by several different criteria.
2) Gale Business Resources. Based upon 2 directories listing
companies in the US and around the world this CD lists a staggering
400,000 companies and links in information from about 10 other
Gale titles giving exhaustive details on company histories/brands/rankings/market
share reports and many other vital pieces of business information
3) Biography & Genealogy Master Index. This CD is essentially
an index to 10M biographical sketches of people from the beginning
of recorded history to today's newsmakers. It refers the user
to more than 2200 volumes of 780 biographical dictionaries and
who's whos. An internal tagging system allows a library to mark
up which sources it has in its collection and aid the user in
tracking down the information he or she needs
4) SuperLCCS. Is a comprehensive guide to the Library of Congress
Classification System. One CD contains the equivalent of 42
bound volumes that are a guide to this system. Ideal for the
classification librarian the CD not only consolidates all additions
to the schedules published by the Library of Congress it also
includes guides to users in the form of "Gale notes"
that are compiled by a specialist team of expert classification
librarians. Again a powerful search engine allows all of the
schedules to be searched for the most appropriate and consistent
There are of course several more CDs I could mention but I thought
I would quickly refer also to one more:
5) Gale's Quotations:Who Said What? which collects together 117,000 quotations from the "famous and the infamous"!. In all cases it gives a brief career description for the person quoted - for example Jesus Christ is listed as follows:
Roman. Religious Leader. Background of Author/Speaker Born:
4? B.C. in Bethlehem, Judea. Died: 29? A.D. in Jerusalem, Judea.
Career Highlights: Founded Christianity which became one of
world's largest, most influential religions; Christians believe
him to be the "Son of God. Also known as: Son of Man; Messiah;
Anointed One; King of the Jews; Son of God.
I was also able to find the following quote from W. J. Prowse:
Though the latitude's rather uncertain, And the longitude also
is vague, The persons I pity who know not the City, The beautiful
City of Prague. - The City of Prague
So far I have only spoken about CD-ROMs. No presentation of Gale
would be complete without reference to GaleNet - the new Internet
based delivery mechanism for information from Gale. In time
undoubtedly all of Gale's major reference works will be accessible
in this way. Currently 15 Gale databases are on GaleNet including
all of the CD-ROMs I have just mentioned. A few Gale databases
may indeed jump straight from print to online by-passing CD-ROM
(this is likely to be the case for example with the Dictionary
of Literary Biography - a currently 173 volume guide to literature
from around the world). Gale's main concern is to make sure that
information is available in formats most suited to customers'
needs - Gale is therefore likely to remain a print publisher
for many years to come as well as a major provider of information
in electronic form.
Access to Gale databases whether on CD-ROM or via GaleNet is currently
on an annual subscription basis. This ensures that during the
12 month subscription period (which can start at any time) you
are guaranteed to have the most up to date information. Information
is updated on most titles twice a year but in due course online
databases will of course be updateable on a real time basis.
Gale recognises that it is important to be able to evaluate each
product beofr making a buying decision and so all titles are
available on a 30 day trial basis. With CD-ROMs this is normally
built in to the set up routine - a trial CD is valid for 30 days
and allows access to all data but does not permit saving or printing.
At any time the CD can be bought and unlocked by telephoning
and being allocated an "unlock code". Similarly the
GaleNet service can be trialed - once IP addresses have been taken
for the relevant PCs a 30 day password code is allocated.
What developments can we look forward to from Gale in the future?
Obviously digitisation of all information held in analogue/print
format will continue and in due course all or almost all information
will be available in electronic form. Gale are also looking into
the possibility of transaction based access where a user can
pay just for the information that they need. In addition there
are already plans to establish hyperlinks on the Internet from
the listing of a particular association in say Associations Unlimited
direct to that organisation's homepage. Gale already has its
own web search engine called "Cyberhound Online" which
helps you to search the World Wide Web and evaluate sites.
If you have Internet access why not have a look at the various
Gale sites - the general page is gale.com from where you can
visit the cyberhound site and also GaleNet.
I hope you have found this brief presentation useful and interesting - of course in the short time available I have been able to concentrate only on a few key electronic titles but if you would like further information on any of the titles discussed or other titles please come and get a 1997 catalogue from me and of course you can always browse the catalogue on the Internet at gale.com.