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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

In case you missed it ...

"Librarians Can't Be Neutral in the War on Information" by Dave Shumaker (April 12, 2022)

Many of us librarians hold the view that we are supposed to be neutral information providers. That is, we provide exactly the information we are asked to provide, without making judgments about it. If we have judgments, we keep them to ourselves. This neutrality encompasses the process of adding materials to our collections as well as providing services to information seekers. ... [But] librarians do not operate as neutral information providers in practice. Moreover, we can't and shouldn't try to do so. Making good judgments, and helping others to make them, is essential to our professional role.

"The FYI on CRT" by Anthony Aycock (Jan. 25, 2022)

Critical race theory (CRT) is a way of thinking about America's past. Developed by legal scholars in the 1970s and 1980s, it centers on the idea that racism is more than the overt discriminatory acts of select white people; it is baked into the nation's institutions, both public and private. To those scholars, racism is our country's default setting, requiring above-average efforts to eliminate. [This article shares] resources [that] offer more background into the theory's origins and application.

"An Info Pro's Guide to Supply Chain Disruption" by Amy Affelt (Sept. 21, 2021)

As with most complex economic issues, there are myriad factors working in tandem to produce multiple pressures on a global scale. ... [E]xperts [have become] increasingly concerned about the logistics of a fragile global supply chain—and the role it plays in the ability to provide critical nutrition by getting fresh produce out of the fields and onto trucks. ... [T]he prices of gasoline and automobiles, along with increased demand, supply chain glitches, a national labor shortage, and drought in countries such as Argentina and Brazil—which are major figures in the corn, coffee, and soybean markets—all play a role in the surge in the cost of food. It also blames a shipping container shortage, which is causing ships to wait at ports, sometimes for weeks at a time, to unload.

NewsBreaks
The Supreme Court in the Public Crosshairs
by George H. Pike

On Feb. 25, 2022, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. While Justice Breyer had announced his plan to retire in January, his retirement didn't take effect until the end of the term. Judge Jackson was confirmed by the Senate in April and was finally sworn in as the 116th justice to serve on the Supreme Court on June 30, 2022.

The intervening 4 months between Justice Jackson's nomination and swearing in may well prove to be the most monumental and controversial period of time in the Supreme Court's 230-plus year history. From the leaked draft of a proposed opinion on abortion to the actual decision that overruled Roe v. Wade to a series of other decisions cementing the 6-3 conservative majority and raising concerns about other precedents on contraception, privacy, and LGBTQ+ rights, the Supreme Court is in the public crosshairs like at no other time in recent history.


Weekly News Digests
'The OCLC v Clarivate Dilemma' by Karen Coyle
Karen Coyle writes the following on her blog, Coyle's InFormation: "What seems to specifically have OCLC's dander up is that Ex Libris states that it will allow any and all libraries, not just its Alma customers, to use [its new MetaDoor] service for free. As the service does not yet exist it is unknown how it could affect the library metadata sharing environment."
Technology From SAGE Brings Sciwheel Into the Fold
Technology from SAGE, a division of SAGE, acquired Sciwheel, a tool that helps students and researchers discover, read, annotate, write, and share research.
RBmedia Announces Two Acquisitions
RBmedia acquired Upfront Books' audiobook publishing business, along with its full catalog of titles. To enter into the French-language audiobook market, in addition to its presence in the English-, Spanish-, and German-language markets, RBmedia acquired Éditions Thélème, a French audiobook publisher.
'Nice White Librarians' by Miss Julie
Children's librarian Julie, who doesn't provide her last name, runs the Hi, Miss Julie blog. She writes the following: "Much like neutrality, niceness is a quality that I believe causes more harm than good, in almost every situation, but especially in workplaces, and especially libraries."
EFF Facilitates Request to Dismiss Internet Archive Lawsuit
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced the following: "The Internet Archive has asked a federal judge to rule in its favor and end a radical lawsuit, filed by four major publishing companies, that aims to criminalize library lending."

NewsLink Spotlight
What's New From Pew Research Center in 2022
by Brandi Scardilli
NewsBreaks often covers recent surveys and reports from Pew Research Center, "a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world." Its website has 12 main topic sections, each showcasing the latest research, which is collected in reports, fact sheets, or other formats that extrapolate respondents' answers to cover the entire U.S. (or other) population. The following are some of the latest reports from 2022.

Search Algorithms: What You Need to Know video clip

Search Algorithms: What You Need to Know (2:36)

Online Searcher editor-in-chief Marydee Ojala updates viewers on the essentials of the algorithms that govern online search in this clip from Computers in Libraries Connect 2022.

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This newsletter is published by Information Today, Inc.
Editor: Brandi Scardilli
Website: http://www.infotoday.com/NewsLink
Email: bscardilli@infotoday.com