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Weekly News Digest

November 7, 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.

ByWater Solutions to Support Aspen Open Source Discovery System

ByWater Solutions acquired Turning Leaf Technologies so that it can provide “implementation, support, hosting and development services to the Aspen Open Source Discovery system,” ByWater Solutions notes. Turning Leaf Technologies states, “By joining a larger company, Aspen Discovery will have access to the support, systems [administration], and sales teams that make ByWater Solutions the trusted choice for over 2500 libraries using Koha with ByWater support.”

According to ByWater Solutions, “Mark Noble the founder of both the Pika and Aspen Discovery systems, has joined the ByWater family as the Aspen Discovery Team Lead and users will benefit from his 10 plus years of experience in developing, managing and supporting Discovery systems for Public, Academic and School Libraries.”

For more information, read the news from ByWater Solutions and Turning Leaf Technologies.

ALA Update on Macmillan's New Ebook Policy

ALA issued a press release on Nov. 1 that states the following:

Today Macmillan Publishers begins to limit access to e-books through America’s libraries by instituting an eight-week embargo on library e-book purchases. Despite robust public demand to reverse the policy, the publisher is moving ahead with its plan to limit sales to public libraries. …

[‘]On Wednesday, [Oct. 30, ALA], with the Public Library Association (PLA) and other local and national allies, delivered nearly 160,000 petition signatures from all 50 states and Canada demanding fair and equitable access to digital content,’ said ALA President Wanda Brown. …

In response to Macmillan’s decision, ALA will continue to collect signatures of those who oppose the embargo on ebooksforall.org and gather stories about how the e-book embargo is impacting communities. …

On October 24, the ALA released a report responding to an inquiry from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law that denounces embargoes by companies like Macmillan and Amazon, who refuses to sell any of its published content to libraries.

For more information, read the press release.

Mellon Foundation Backs Initiative to Support Media Literacy

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s blog post, “How the Humanities Can Bridge the Political Divide,” discusses (Press)ed, a six-part podcast on The Public’s Radio in Providence, R.I., that started in late 2018. Designed to highlight the importance of journalism and the humanities in democracy, it was produced for Democracy and the Informed Citizen (“a nationwide initiative to promote media literacy and bolster public trust in journalism”) and supported by the Mellon Foundation.

“The humanities can provide historical context that helps make sense of the questions that are raised when we’re thinking about the reliability of news sources,” says Esther Mackintosh, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, which runs Democracy and the Informed Citizen. “Really good journalism does that too, but it’s the specialty of the humanities to set these contexts and to look at the larger world, not just the immediate world.”

For more information, read the blog post.

EBSCO Unveils PsycTHERAPY Database of Psychotherapy Videos

EBSCO Information Services rolled out PsycTHERAPY, a streaming video database for clinical and counseling psychology education. It features more than 500 therapy demonstrations that use the latest psychotherapy techniques and is produced by the American Psychological Association (APA). The videos have accompanying transcripts for easier searching. Topics include addiction anxiety, phobias, relationship issues, and depression.

For more information, read the press release.

The Digital Reader Weighs In on Macmillan Controversy

The Digital Reader’s Nate Hoffelder has been keeping tabs on Macmillan’s new policy for ebook lending in public libraries. The following are two of his most recent blog posts, with links to others.

InJohn Sargent’s Math Just Doesn’t Add Up,” from Oct. 30, he writes, “Today’s letter makes just as little sense as the one Sargent sent out back in July (PDF). Sargent is apparently convinced that library ebooks—but not the print books in a librarys collection—negatively impact retail ebook sales. … I have already previously shown that the idea that only library ebook usage can hurt retail ebook sales doesn't really make sense given what we know about library patron behavior.”

In “Libraries are Boycotting Macmillan eBooks,” from Nov. 3, he writes, “While some libraries are telling patrons that Macmillan's new restrictions are why its ebooks are not available, others are simply opting not to buy any Macmillan ebooks at all. … The embargo isnt going to accomplish anything, obviously, but whats interesting about the latest developments is that at least one library head is disputing one of Sargents claims, that the libraries had agreed to this change in policy.”

For more information, follow the blog.

NISO Asks for Public Comment on Library Systems Recommended Practice

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) published a new draft Recommended Practice that is open for public comment through Nov. 30, 2019. It covers “the modernization of library-vendor technical interoperability using RESTful web service application programming interfaces (APIs) and standard mobile application intent calls. In the interest of streamlining information transfer between vendor and library systems, the scope of the draft FASTEN Recommended Practice touches on areas such as login/authentication, account information, availability, checkout, streaming options, and more.”

For more information, read the press release.

W3C Sets New Accessibility-Related Recommendation

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced that the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group published Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Rules Format 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. “This standard helps developers of automated testing tools and manual testing methodologies to write, share, and implement test rules. The test rules contribute to consistent testing for accessibility standards compliance. … For more information and examples of organizations already using ACT, see the blog post: Calibrate Your Accessibility Evaluation With ACT.”

For more information, read the news item.

Open Access Button Introduces InstantILL in Beta

The Open Access Button announced that InstantILL is being released in beta. It has a new website with a step-by-step demo to share its features. The 300-plus libraries on the waiting list will be able to test InstantILL’s setup process and implement the tool. To participate in the beta testing, join the waiting list.

For more information, read the blog post.

U.S. Copyright Office Debuts Video Series on Copyright Basics

The U.S. Copyright Office introduced the Learning Engine video series on its website and YouTube channel. The series gives viewers primers on the U.S. Copyright Office and copyright concepts. “Through these short videos, viewers will learn about issues like what is copyright, copyright on the internet, what to do when others use your ideas, fair use, and the public domain.” New videos will be added to the series periodically.

For more information, read the news item.

Soar Makes Its Satellite Map Publicly Accessible

Soar announced that it has opened its satellites to the public, “which provide near-real time imagery all across Earth at 10m resolution per pixel.” Site visitors can see high-definition aerial views of various locations, as well as environmental disasters such as wildfires, tsunamis, and hurricanes. “Governments will also be able to monitor activities such as the protests in Hong Kong, illegal mining or deforestation.”

The satellite images come “from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel and NASA’s Landsat feeds and the SuperView and Gaofen satellites.” Soar plans for the map to also integrate imagery from drone pilots around the world.

For more information, read the press release.



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