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Weekly News Digest

October 15, 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 ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Philadelphia Libraries May Go Fine-Free

Becca Glasser-Baker writes the following for Metro:

The Free Library of Philadelphia and City Council are planning on exploring the option of getting rid of late fees.

Phillymag.com reports they might do away with late fees because it could hurt the low-income residents of the city. They are also considering doing away with outstanding debt.

The City Council passed a non-binding resolution by throwing together a committee to explore if this is feasible or not. …

Although it was reportedly on library officials’ minds for about a year, some officials are expected to testify during a city council hearing. …

In 2013, the system added a fine-free library card for kids who are under 12. 

For more information, read the article.

AdvaMed Develops an Online Hub for Digital Health Resources

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) introduced the AdvaMed Center for Digital Health, “a new advocacy platform designed to advance digital health and the contributions of the medical technology industry to data-driven health care,” according to the press release.

It “is focused on ensuring that regulatory, payment and delivery system reforms will accelerate and expand access to innovative digital health technologies and solutions,” says Andy Fish, AdvaMed’s chief strategy officer. AdvaMed member companies can use the center to explore trends in digital health, network, advocate for public policy positions, and hold discussions with stakeholders and policymakers. Policy documents and information on key issues—such as information privacy, AI, and cybersecurity—are available on the platform.

The center “will help bridge the gap between patients and the latest in health care innovation,” says Scott Whitaker, AdvaMed’s president and CEO. “Our aim is to be the resource and gathering place for all stakeholders in this exciting—yet challenging—new frontier of digital health, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care.”

For more information, read the press release.

RBmedia to Publish Princeton University Press Content as Audiobooks

RBmedia signed an exclusive licensing agreement to offer 120-plus titles from Princeton University Press as audiobooks over the next 3 years. RBmedia will publish a selection of frontlist titles in various subject areas (history, arts, business, science, etc.), along with some backlist titles that have not yet been released as audiobooks. They will be available via Audible, iTunes, Google Play, and other digital audio platforms, as well as to public libraries via RBdigital.

“As the world’s largest independent publisher of audiobooks and leader in the educational audio market, RBmedia is building on our established relationship with Princeton University Press to publish new titles in audiobook format, making the content accessible to more people,” says Troy Juliar, RBmedia’s chief content officer. “We are exploring additional opportunities with Princeton University Press, with a goal of publishing audio versions of their textbooks in the future.”

For more information, read the press release.

Howard University and Amazon Studios Bring Students to Hollywood

Howard University partnered with Amazon Studios to launch Howard Entertainment. This 2-semester program, held in Los Angeles, aims to “diversify the entertainment industry by creating a pipeline for African-American students and other marginalized populations to train and study alongside entertainment executives. The experience will offer students a unique interdisciplinary curriculum, coupled with hands-on work experiences and networking with Amazon’s industry partners. The program will begin in January 2020.”

To be considered for the program, Howard students must be upperclassmen or graduate students and complete an application and interview. The coursework will count toward graduation requirements.

For more information, read the press release.

A New Adam Matthew Digital Collection Explores the History of Food and Drink

Adam Matthew Digital rolled out Food and Drink in History, a new digital collection that covers the “evolution of food and drink within every day and domestic life, charting key issues around agriculture and food production, and looking into advertising histories of key food and drink brands such as Heinz and J S Fry and Sons.” Materials—cookbooks, company records, etc.—come from archives in the U.S., the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, and France.

“The study of food is such an interesting way to view world-changing events from a different perspective,” says Martha Fogg, Adam Matthew Digital’s publishing director. “Whether it’s the growth of the British Empire aligned with the business interests of the spice trade, or even the cultural and social impact of the microwave, this collection offers scholars, students, and researchers an exciting way to explore these themes.”

For more information, read the press release.

New AncestryHealth Services Use Genetics to Help With Health Decisions

Ancestry rolled out AncestryHealth, an initiative to provide actionable insights so that people can “take proactive steps—in collaboration with their healthcare provider—to address potential health risks identified in their genes and family health history.”

It is composed of two services at launch: AncestryHealth Core (“a one-time, array-based service” that “covers a set of curated, common ‘need to know’ health conditions and includes printable family health history and lab reports people can share with their healthcare provider”) and AncestryHealth Plus (“a membership service using next generation sequencing” tech to offer “more comprehensive screening data, providing both greater coverage of DNA differences for each condition and more risk categories”).

The services, available thanks to Ancestry’s partnership with PWNHealth, offer educational information, such as genetic counseling resources; reports detailing next steps that individuals and their healthcare providers can take; physician-ordered tests; and more.

For more information, read the press release.

Lean Library and OpenAthens Partner to Improve Single-Sign-On

Lean Library, a SAGE company, joined forces with OpenAthens “to support libraries accessing content using single-sign on authentication. This partnership expands Lean Library’s current program of supporting libraries with user-focused access to digital content.”

“It’s Lean Library’s mission to support as many users as possible and with this partnership, we are one step closer,” says Johan Tilstra, Lean Library’s founder.

“We’d both spotted aspects of single sign-on that can be improved and working together, we’ve taken a step forward in creating a superior experience. We have removed the hoops and hurdles users sometimes need to jump through and over,” says Jon Bentley, OpenAthens’ commercial director.

For more information, read the press release.

Iraqi Students Translate Internet Content Into Arabic

Olivia Cuthbert writes the following for The Guardian:

When [the] Islamic State [group] overran the Iraqi city of Mosul, human life was not the only thing in peril. Knowledge was, too.

Fortunately, Ameen al-Jaleeli understood this. He used a friend’s wifi to transfer a vast batch of Wikipedia files for offline usage. When the militants cut the cables in July 2016, he was ready. …

Jaleeli downloaded files in English because Arabic is severely underrepresented on the internet. Now that the city has been liberated from Isis, he and a team of student translators at the University of Mosul are setting about redressing that imbalance.

Together, they are making Wikipedia pages, academic articles and seminal works covering science, literature and philosophy available to Arabic speakers in attempt to confront lies with logic and pit critical thinking against propaganda and fake news.

Just 0.6% of internet content is available in Arabic, despite it being the fourth most common language among internet users. Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB), the organisation behind the House of Wisdom 2.0 translation project, plans to narrow this chasm and democratise access to knowledge for the Arab world. …

So far the organisation has added more than 2.1 million words to Arabic Wikipedia, including entries on female scientists, civil rights, religious diversity, evolution and conspiracy theories. …

For more information, read the article.

Library of Congress Publishes the Digital Collections Management Compendium

Jesse Johnston writes for the Library of Congress’ blog, The Signal, that “the Digital Content Management section [staffers] have been working with experts from across many divisions of the Library of Congress to collate and assemble guidance and policy that guide or reflect the practices that the Library uses to manage digital collections. I am excited to share that today the results of that work have launched as the Digital Collections Management Compendium (DCMC).”

There is a new DCMC section of the library’s website presenting “general policies and practices for digital content management. This resource is primarily a policy resource for staff at the Library of Congress, but we are also sharing it openly and publicly as a resource for colleagues at other institutions.” The DCMC elements are organized into three main areas: Digital FormatsInventory and Custody, and Access.

For more information, read the blog post.

ScienceOpen Indexes Books and Book Chapters

ScienceOpen can now promote books and book chapters. According to the press release, “Embedded within an interactive discovery environment of nearly 60 million article records, this new feature highlights books and chapters within search results and ScienceOpen’s unique Collection infrastructure. Publishers will be able to promote and sell their open access and copyrighted works within a broad, interdisciplinary research context.”

Researchers can use ScienceOpen’s interface to share and review books and chapters and create collections for them. Books are connected to other content in the discovery environment by their tables of contents, linked citations, references, authors, and keywords. Each chapter and book has a Buy button that links to the publisher’s store.

For more information, read the press release.



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