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Weekly News Digest

November 14, 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.

'Facebook's New Role as News Publisher Brings New Scrutiny' by Marc Tracy

Marc Tracy writes for The New York Times, “A little more than two weeks after Facebook announced a news initiative, the social network was on the defensive, responding to a published report that a website co-founded by the company’s top news executive had displayed bias against Elizabeth Warren. … The flap is the latest sign that Facebook will be susceptible to charges of bias now that it has stepped more boldly into the role of media publisher.”

While many news organizations supported the launch of Facebook News, “because Facebook is able to deliver readers in huge numbers and had agreed to pay for some content,” the company was met with “skepticism, too, some of it resulting from Facebook’s decision to include Breitbart, a far-right news and commentary site, among the publications it had chosen to highlight.”

For more information, read the article.

White Paper Explores AI and the Publishing Industry

Team WNIP (What’s New in Publishing) writes on Medium about a new white paper, “The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Publishing Industry” (registration required), which shares the results of a survey of 233 publishing industry CEOs, editors, and stakeholders from 17 countries. “The paper outlines challenges publishers face while considering AI implementation in their organizations. And [it] presents suggestions on where they should concentrate efforts and attention to realize the most benefits.” Team WNIP shares key highlights from the paper.

For more information, read the article.

ALA Condemns Blockage of Digital New York Times Subscription

ALA made a statement about “the decision by the Citrus County (Florida) Board of Commissioners to not allow the Citrus County libraries to buy a digital subscription to the New York Times after one commissioner labeled the Times as ‘fake news.’ …” In part, ALA says the following:

The core mission of public libraries is to provide access to a wide range of information and ideas that enable each person to become an informed and active member of society. To this end, public libraries create opportunities for each member of the community to learn about current events, ideas, and opinions via a diverse set of perspectives so that members of the community have the opportunity to make informed decisions for themselves. Both the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the ALA Code of Ethics encourage libraries and librarians to ensure that the criteria used to select materials do not discriminate on the basis of factors such as political or religious viewpoint or the background, identity, gender, or beliefs of the publisher or author. …

We stand by our Freedom to Read Statement: we believe that democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative.

For more information, read the press release.

Globant Studies Co-Worker Relationships

Tech services company Globant rolled out a report, “Powering a People-First Culture” (registration required), which notes that 51% of employees in any job title or role say that co-workers are the primary group that inspires them to stay with a company; 62% wish they knew their co-workers better, and 83% think that knowing them better would make them a more engaged employee. In addition, 90% say hiring the best talent is a problem for their company, and 87% say high employee turnover is a problem.

The report is based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. employees across various industries.

For more information, read the press release.

SAGE Explores Technologies Used in Social Science Research

SAGE published a white paper (registration required) on tools and software for social science research. “It addresses the challenges facing those who build and use these tools, and looks to the future of technology in social research.” Topics include the following:
  • Which tools are social researchers currently using?
  • The characteristics of these tools, and trends over time.
  • Who is developing and supporting the development of research software?
  • What are the challenges facing those who build and use these tools?

And findings include the following:

  • Using software tools in the research process is of critical importance to a majority of social science researchers.
  • Academics are at the forefront of innovation in the development of research tools.
  • Only 10% of the people we identified as creators or developers of the tools are women.
  • There is an emerging trend of organisations coming together in consortia to support the development and sustainable management of these tools.

For more information, read the press release.

Public Libraries as Community Leaders Creating Social Capital

Chris Cyr writes on OCLC’s Next blog, “Libraries don’t provide food, water, electricity, or medical services. … Why, then, [do] people so quickly turn to libraries after a disaster? Because of social capital.” Although “we don’t understand all the mechanics of how these bridges within a community are built, we do know that they’re an incredibly powerful part of why people value public libraries.”

Cyr continues, “Libraries are one of the most tangible manifestations of civic engagement, a place that represents a social and community investment in learning and shared culture. In the past decade, there has been an increase in research on how libraries contribute to social capital in their communities. In particular, libraries create social capital through a mechanism known as bridging. This is when people in different subgroups within a community are brought together.”

For more information and suggestions for what libraries can do next, read the blog post.

GPO Makes Congressional Hearing Records Available Online

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) announced that it has digitized 1,300-plus congressional hearings dating from 1958. They are available on govinfo. “Through these digitization efforts, the public can access records of Congressional Hearings for free. These include the transcripts from meetings or sessions of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, in which elected officials obtained information and opinions on proposed legislation, conducted an investigation, or evaluated the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law.”

For more information, read the press release.

Gale Unveils Gale Engage for Public Libraries

Gale Engage launched to give public libraries analysis of library activity so they can more effectively involve themselves in their communities. A cloud-based solution that is ILS-agnostic, staffers can use it to measure impact, personalize marketing outreach, and more.

According to the press release, “Gale Engage was created to improve the ability for public libraries to aggregate data, understand patron lifecycles and keep satisfaction high. By analyzing data synthesized across various library systems, libraries can gain a more comprehensive view into how patrons interact with library resources and services. Ready-to-use data visualizations, aggregate patron groupings (based on transaction history and engagement with library services) and integrated marketing features empower users to personalize outreach and work more efficiently.”

For more information, read the press release.

The Library of Congress Provides an Update on Its Digital Content Initiatives

A Library of Congress’ blog, The Signal, featured a guest post from Joe Puccio, collection development officer in the Collection Development Office. Puccio writes, “In January 2017, the Library of Congress adopted a set of strategic steps related to its acquisition of digital content. ... This five-year plan … is described in Collecting Digital Content at the Library of Congress. … With the program implementation well into its third year, … [t]he remaining work is either awaiting start-up, is already in process or is being adjusted to meet the ever changing landscape of digital collecting.”

He lists the program’s accomplishments, including the following:

  • Registration of newspaper e-prints was established by the Copyright Office, and system development was completed to make the content available onsite to the Library’s users.
  • A first-ever formal assessment of the Library’s purchased and leased electronic resources collection was conducted.
  • The Library developed a model electronic resources license agreement, which it has used with several vendors.
  • Web archiving was piloted as a method to acquire state government documents that were formerly received by the Library in print.
  • Multiple pilots to acquire open access monographs were successfully completed. …

For more information, read the blog post.



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