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Weekly News Digest

December 10, 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.

'How NIH Is Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Operations' by Patti Brennan

Patti Brennan, director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), writes, “The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been using AI to improve science and health … but it’s also using AI in other ways.” She provides two major examples in detail: assigning grant applications to the proper review group and improving the way PubMed presents search results.

For more information on each example, read the article.

EBSCO Reaffirms Its Commitment to Open Source

EBSCO Information Services issued a statement to the library community. It reads, in part: 

Further consolidation in the ILS space was not unexpected. The collective of the library community from this point forward will shape the future of library technology.

For EBSCO, our position has never wavered. We believe that innovation is rooted in choice and open systems. We continue to work to ensure that our various services [GOBI, EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), EBSCONET, etc.] interoperate with any other open system that may be used in the libraries that we support. As it relates to the recent acquisition news, our desire to support mutual customers of EBSCO and Innovative has not changed.

EBSCO is dedicated to the principles and technical approaches that define FOLIO. This means open source code, open system philosophies, microservices architecture, and above all, an international community approach to sharing ideas and developing modern systems.

For more information, read the blog post.

W3C Makes Support for International Writing Modes an Official Web Standard

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) shared that CSS Writing Modes Level 3 is now an official web standard, which enables text on the web to be laid out horizontally or vertically and sets the direction in which lines are stacked. This allows multiple languages to be supported—horizontal right-to-left text such as Hebrew or Arabic as well as horizontal left-to-right text such as English or Hindi, along with vertically set text such as Japanese or Mongolian. It also allows for a mixture of horizontal and vertical text regions on the same page, among other features.

For more information, read the press release.

Perspectives on Ex Libris' Acquisition of Innovative

Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, signed an agreement to acquire Innovative. Innovative will become a business unit within Ex Libris, with its products continuing to be supported. Bar Veinstein, Ex Libris’ president, writes in a blog post, “We have been hearing from many of you how important it is for your institution to collaborate more closely with your community and the public for the common good. Innovative’s investment in the public library sector will enable us to proactively drive new forms of partnerships and collaboration, helping you expand your contribution to your community.”

One industry reaction so far came from Roger Schonfeld, director of Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums program. He writes in a blog post, “The deal, which is expected to close in early 2020, further cements Ex Libris as the leader in the library systems marketplace and can be expected to put added pressure on OCLC. It will also raise concerns about Ex Libris’s dominant market position.”

For more information, read the press release, Veinstein’s blog post, and Schonfeld’s blog post.

Improving Women's Opportunities in STEM Fields

Erica Balch writes for McMaster University Library’s site, “At a recent symposium hosted by McMaster University Library, computer scientist and gender equality trailblazer Rita Orji of Dalhousie University, and other experts, shared their thoughts on how to better support women in STEM fields.” Orji’s highlights include the following:
  • [Y]our first job is to believe in yourself and your capability. The next thing is to look for cheerleaders, people who will celebrate your success and pick you up when you fall. The next thing is to be proactive rather than reactive and learn to speak up. There’s nothing wrong with nominating yourself for anything you think you deserve or with declaring your interest.
  • We need to stop fixing women and start fixing workplaces. We can’t address the barriers that are holding women back if we don’t acknowledge them in the first place. So, the first step is for organizations to acknowledge that there are barriers and then think about how we can actually remove them.
  • You don’t need to be a superhuman to be successful in a STEM career. You do not need to be exceptionally talented to be successful in a STEM career. You do need an opportunity to prove yourself and you need a supportive environment.
  • Always remember that innovation knows no gender and no race. Intelligence knows no gender or race. Productively knows no gender or race. Opportunity is everything.

For more information, read the article.

DPLA and Wikimedia Foundation Join Forces to Expand Access to Cultural Artifacts

Thanks to a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is partnering with the Wikimedia Foundation to bring cultural artifacts such as books, maps, government documents, and photos to Wikipedia and other foundation projects. One of the first collections to be integrated is DPLA’s Black Women and the Suffragette Movement. Its content will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons so it becomes widely available.

For more information, read the news item.

Pinterest's Top Trends for 2020

Pinterest issued its top trends list for 2020. With more than 320 million users from around the world, Pinterest provides “unique insight into emerging trends” from categories such as food, home, style, beauty, health, travel, and family.

Pinterest notes, “This year, we organized the trends into ten themes that show broader cultural shifts and changes in consumer behavior. … These insights tell us that more than ever, people are thinking and acting globally and sustainably. They’re staying home to work, entertain or be entertained, and then heading outdoors to be reacquainted with nature, look for adventure, and travel responsibly. All while lowering stress and elevating different areas of their lives, from pet care to scrunchies.”

To view the themes and trends, read the article.

TLC Upgrades Its Library Management Platform

The Library Corp. (TLC) updated its Library•Solution to version 5.5.2. According to the press release, “The most significant update … is the development of new inventory workflows. Users will immediately notice improvements due to the integration of inventory workflows into LS2 Cataloging, TLC’s award-winning cataloging tool. Users will no longer need to utilize a separate module to access inventory. Other workflow improvements include the ability for users to see which staff members scanned specific items, expected remaining item counts and to check shelf order in real-time.” In addition, this version features customizable automatic item renewals.

For more information, read the press release.

TOME Rolls Out New Website for Its OA Efforts

The Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of University Presses (AUPresses) introduced OpenMonographs.org, a new website for the TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) initiative, which was designed to “change the landscape of scholarly book publishing in the humanities and social sciences.”

Institutions can join TOME by committing to “providing baseline grants of $15,000 to support the publication of average-length open access monographs. … Twenty-eight TOME-funded books have been published to date, with over thirty more in progress. The site draws attention to individual TOME books while providing a wealth of information and resources for authors and publishers who may be interested in publishing a book under the auspices of TOME. There is also information for university administrators and librarians who may be considering TOME for their institutions.”

For more information, read the news.

ALA Unveils Winners of I Love My Librarian Award

ALA announced the 10 winners of its I Love My Librarian Award for outstanding service. According to American Libraries, “Recipients were nominated by patrons nationwide for their profound impact on the lives of families, students, teachers, and information seekers in their communities.” There are three academic, three public, and four school librarian winners.

Each winner gets $5,000 in cash, a plaque, and a travel stipend for attending the award ceremony during the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits. The ceremony will be live streamed on Facebook Live (via ALA’s Facebook page).

For more information, read the blog post.



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