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Weekly News Digest

October 1, 2019 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

How Oprah's Book Club Fits Into Apple’s New Entertainment Strategy

Apple announced that it is bringing Oprah’s Book Club to its streaming service, Apple TV+, and its e-reading app, Apple Books. Oprah’s “first book selection is ‘The Water Dancer’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available for pre-order now on Apple Books in both ebook and audiobook formats,” according to the press release. Apple Books will provide information about each selection and list previous ones. A new Reading Goals feature helps readers track their progress and “make reading a daily habit more easily.”

Oprah “will interview Coates for the first installment of her new exclusive Apple TV+ series, ‘Oprah’s Book Club,’ premiering November 1. A new episode will be available every two months. For every Oprah’s Book Club selection sold on Apple Books, Apple will make a contribution to the American Library Association to support local libraries, fund programs that give access to everyone and create lifelong readers at an early age.”

For more information, read the press release.

Chicago Public Library Goes Fine-Free

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas and John Byrne write for the Chicago Tribune, “Chicago public libraries will stop fining people for overdue books and wipe away patrons’ outstanding debt, a move that makes the city the largest of more than 200 municipalities across the country to do so.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot made the announcement, saying that “she wants to help low-income people regain access to the system that has blocked them from borrowing materials because they have hit the threshold of $10 in fees.”

Borrowed books will automatically renew up to 15 times, “as long as no one else places a hold on them, according to Patrick Molloy, a spokesman for Chicago’s library system. Emails with due date reminders and fine warnings instead will be sent each time the book is auto-renewed, or if the book has been requested by another patron.”

Overdue materials “will be marked as ‘lost’ and accounts will be charged a replacement fee one week after the last due date, but the charge will be cleared if the item is returned, Molloy said.”

For more information, read the article.

Disinformation Campaigns Are a Global Problem

Davey Alba and Adam Satariano write for The New York Times, “Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs.”

They cite the following examples: “In Vietnam, citizens were enlisted to post pro-government messages on their personal Facebook pages. The Guatemalan government used hacked and stolen social media accounts to silence dissenting opinions. Ethiopia’s ruling party hired people to influence social media conversations in its favor.”

The Oxford report “found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation.”

For more information, read the article.

NISO Plans a New Conference in 2020

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) introduced the NISO Plus Conference, a new event scheduled for Feb. 23–25, 2020, in Baltimore. According to the press release, “The intent behind the new NISO Plus Conference is to integrate the thought-leadership tradition of the well-established NFAIS conference with the hands-on practicality of NISO. Recognizing the value of the NFAIS Conference over 60-plus years, the NISO Plus conference will build on that value in new ways, celebrating the vibrant nature of today’s information community. NISO and NFAIS formally merged in the first half of 2019.”

Jason Griffey, NISO’s director of strategic initiatives, says, “We’re planning discussions that will touch on electronic resource management systems, digital humanities, data management, and analytics. We will also offer attendee-driven segments, lightning talks and other opportunities to spotlight the on-going work and engagement of the community.” 

Registration will be open soon.

For more information, read the press release.

diginomica Provides an Update on GDPR Compliance

Stuart Lauchlan writes for diginomica that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is more than a year old, “but organizations in 2019 are less confident about their compliance capabilities than they were in 2018. And with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) looming on the horizon, will the over-confidence around GDPR preparedness be re-run?”

Lauchlan cites research from Capgemini showing that “only 28% of firms on average around the globe can state they are GDPR compliant. Last year the same study found 78% of respondents confident that they would be ready for the May 2018 enforcement of the new regulation.”

For more information, read the article.

ALA Applauds Net Neutrality's Small Gain

ALA released a statement on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s Mozilla Corp. v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America ruling that “upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to issue its 2018 Order eliminating network neutrality protections while also vacating parts of the order and remanding other parts. Importantly, the court vacated the portion of the Order in which the FCC attempted to preempt state or local efforts to protect an open internet.”

Wanda Brown, ALA’s president, says, “Today’s decision is another chapter in a long effort to ensure an open internet for all. … While today’s decision falls far short of our goal to restore 2015 protections, we are heartened by the court’s ruling that states may fill the gap left by the FCC’s abdication of its broadband authority. … ALA and the nearly 120,000 libraries across the country will not stop until we have restored net neutrality protections—whether in the states, Congress or in the courts.”

For more information, read the press release.

 

EBSCO Unveils Its Serials Price Projections for 2020

EBSCO Information Services rolled out its 2020 Serials Price Projections report, which “projects that the overall effective publisher price increases for academic and academic medical libraries are expected to be (before any currency impact) in the range of five to six percent for individual titles and four to five percent for e-journal packages. EBSCO releases the Serials Price Projections based on surveys of a wide range of publishers and reviews of historical serials pricing data to assist information professionals as they make budgeting decisions for the renewals season.”

It also covers topics that affect the scholarly information marketplace, such as library budget challenges, e-journal packages, OA, government mandates, and country economic conditions.

For more information, read the press release.

 

The Good and Bad Sides of AI

Molly Wood writes the following for WIRED:

I don’t know about you, but every time I figure out a way of sharing less information online, it’s like a personal victory. After all, who have I hurt, advertisers? Oh, boo hoo.

But sharing your information, either willingly or not, is soon going to become a much more difficult moral choice. Companies may have started out hoovering up your personal data so they could deliver that now-iconic shoe ad to you over and over, everywhere you go. And, frankly, you did passively assent to the digital ad ecosystem. …

But now that data is being used to train artificial intelligence, and the insights those future algorithms create could quite literally save lives.

For more information, read the article.

Cengage Unlimited Begins Offering Financial Literacy Resources

Cengage Unlimited now features free financial literacy resources to give subscribers “more confidence in their ability to manage their money,” says Michael E. Hansen, Cengage’s CEO. “With student debt levels at $1.5 trillion and growing, it’s no wonder that students are worried about their finances. … [This is] another way for us to support students beyond their classes and help them be better prepared for the world outside their classrooms.”

The resources include the following six tutorials:

  1. Common Credit Terms: helpful definitions to learn the difference between terms like annual percentage rate and interest rate
  2. Managing Student Loans: information on different loan types
  3. Organizing Financial Paperwork: tips for keeping organized to stay on budget
  4. Saving an Emergency Fund: how many months of expenses should be considered
  5. Spending Less Money: obvious and not-so-obvious ways to save
  6. Taking Control of Your Credit Cards: information about managing cards and avoiding pitfalls

For more information, read the press release.

W3C Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

Coralie Mercier writes for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) blog that Oct. 1 was W3C’s 25th anniversary. Since 1994, “we at the Web Consortium have led the Web to its full potential by convening industry, researchers, and the global community of Web developers to create freely available and open standards that ensure that the Web remains open, accessible, and interoperable for everyone around the globe. Software developers implement these standards in browsers, servers, blogs, graphic editors, search engines, and all the other software that powers the Web experience.”

Mercier shares that W3C has “earned recognition for our global impact: the Boston Globe ranked W3C the most important achievement associated with MIT in its first 150 years. Our organization has won two Emmy Awards: in 2016 for our work to make online videos more accessible with captions and subtitles, and again in 2019 for standardization of a Full TV Experience on the Web. The Web Consortium’s impact even extends beyond this planet: NASA has used W3C standards in both the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers.”

W3C will continue celebrating with history, pictures, web stories, tweets, and videos. Use the hashtag #webstories to share your own web stories.

For more information and a list of W3C’s contributions to the web, read the blog post.



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