Internet Resources: January 2021 Edition

Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the January issue of Choice.

Academic Video Online
Academic Video Online,

Academic Video Online. Alexander Street, 2020. Contact publisher for pricing.

Academic Video Online (AVON), from Alexander Street, houses an extensive collection of approximately 67,000 streaming videos covering a wide variety of topics, including American history, anthropology, Black studies, counseling and therapy, and science and engineering, as Thomas J. Beck noted for ccAdvisor. Videos are derived from such sources as BBC Landmark, CNN, PBS, and Sony Classic Pictures. 

The homepage “is bright and engaging but can be somewhat confusing to use,” Beck wrote, adding that “there is a single search bar” for keyword searching and that searches can be narrowed to Current Channel, All Videos, or All Channels. Alternatively, users can also browse by Channel or Collection. Notably, there is no advanced search option. Once a film is selected, Beck emphasized that the visual and audio quality is excellent. Users even have the option to “make clips from the film (and/or view those already made); share via social media, a permalink, or embed code; embed the film in an LMS or other website (by copying a permalink or an embed code); or generate a full citation of the video (in APA, MLA, or Chicago).” Keyword-searchable transcripts are also available for each film, along with pertinent details like release date, director, genre, discipline, and more. Beck concluded that basic searching is relatively effective overall, though results can vary greatly depending on whether users search by Current Channel, All Videos, or All Channels. Despite these idiosyncrasies, however, Beck affirmed that “[AVON] often produces helpful results and can potentially be of use to students and faculty … in a wide variety of subject areas.”

There are countless other video streaming services and platforms available to institutions. Two that stand out are Films on Demand from Infobase and Kanopy (though it is expensive).

This review is a summary of a longer review by Thomas J. Beck, University of Colorado, Denver, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2020 by The Charleston Company.–Abstracted from, ccAdvisor
Summing Up: Recommended. General readers through faculty.

Lascar EL-WIFI-TH Data Logger. Lascar Electronics, 2020. Contact publisher for pricing.

The Lascar Data Logger system is intended “to monitor and record the temperature, humidity, and dew point of the space surrounding the data logger to aid in achieving optimal environmental conditions for [collections],” wrote Heather Parks for ccAdvisor. It consists of three components: the data loggers, EasyLog WiFi Software, and the EasyLog Cloud service. First launched by Lascar Electronics in 1994, the data loggers measure from -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and between 0 and 100% humidity, once they are set up in the library, with an accuracy of ±0.6°F and ±2% humidity.

The EasyLog Cloud, which can be accessed as a website or app for Android or iOS, allows users to find and track the collected data. Users can receive alerts via text or email for high/low temperature and humidity, and administrators can even set temperature and humidity thresholds for their respective institutions. The website also incorporates three displays—graph, summary, and table—that exhibit relevant data with each view, allowing users to view or download reports for a selected period of time; the reports are helpful for tracking trends. 

Noting that “searching for reports in the three-part system is fairly straightforward as long as users are clear on the function of each [part],” Parks determined that the Lascar Data Logger system is best for “those wishing to monitor their collection space or those wanting to upgrade their older models.” She further observed that, “while it is a strong unit, there are competitors that might be a better fit for an institution,” including TandD and Onset HOBO. “Both offer similar products and services using WiFi devices and automatic alerts for temperature, humidity, and dew point,” she commented, though TandD, while more expensive, “has an edge, as it offers a device that also checks light and UV data.”

This review is a summary of a longer review by Heather Parks, Binghamton University Libraries, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2020 by The Charleston Company.–Abstracted from, ccAdvisor
Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty.