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Weekly News Digest

January 6, 2022 — 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.

ALA President Reacts to New York Governor's Veto of Ebook Legislation

ALA announced that “[o]n Dec. 29, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed legislation that would require publishers to offer licenses for electronic books to libraries under reasonable terms (S2890B / A5837B). The bills had passed the New York state senate and assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support in June 2021.” ALA president Patty Wong says the following:

Governor Hochul’s decision to veto S2890B / A5837B is unfortunate and disappointing. Protecting New Yorkers’ access to digital books through the library is critical to ensuring equitable access to information for all. We are grateful to the New York Library Association and New York library workers, advocates, and partners in the legislature who helped develop and champion this bill, and we will continue to work toward a solution that puts equitable access first.

For more information, read the press release.

What Has Entered the Public Domain in 2022

The Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School shared the list of works that came into the public domain in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2022, stating, “The line-up this year is stunning. It includes books such as A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, Felix Salten’s Bambi, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Langston Hughes’ The Weary Blues, and Dorothy Parker’s Enough Rope. There are scores of silent films—including titles featuring Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and Greta Garbo, famous Broadway songs, and well-known jazz standards. But that’s not all. In 2022 we get a bonus: an estimated 400,000 sound recordings from before 1923 will be entering the public domain too!” (emphasis in original). Also included are a title each from Agatha Christie, William Faulkner, and Willa Cather, as well as Edna Ferber’s Show Boat.

For more information, visit the webpage.

Wiley's OA Updates

Throughout December 2021, Wiley was busy expanding its OA initiatives.

On Dec. 2, Wiley acquired Knowledge Unlatched, an OA solutions company that “helps libraries and publishers reduce complexity through seamless online services to approve, pay, and manage their open access transactions and maximize the impact of library budgets to make more content open access.”

On Dec. 6, Wiley launched Public Health Challenges, a new OA journal that “aims to publish original research, reviews, and perspectives that represent the full spectrum of global public health research, policy and practice.”

On Dec. 16, Wiley signed a 3-year OA agreement with Carnegie Mellon University, which enables the university’s researchers “to publish all accepted articles open access in Wiley's journals, meaning that they are freely available to read and share upon publication.” This will expand the university’s reach in disseminating its research, especially in the areas of AI, machine learning, and automation.

On Dec. 30, Wiley signed a 3-year OA agreement with MALMAD, the Israeli Inter-University Center for Digital Information Services, which allows “researchers at 24 participating institutions to publish accepted articles open access in all of Wiley’s hybrid open access journals, as well as provide access to all subscription content. The agreement aims to make all articles published by participating Israeli researchers in Wiley journals open access during the agreement period.”

ByWater Solutions' The Library Is Open Podcast Releases New Episode

ByWater Solutions announced that the newest episode of its podcast, The Library Is Open, is now available. It features Mitchell Davis, senior director at BiblioLabs, in conversation with host Jessie Zairo “about the power of creativity, innovation, and of course our love for libraries.” Davis “is a believer in the power of reading and the power of creativity and brings a love for both to his current role partnering with libraries.” Additional podcast episodes feature Jessamyn West, R. David Lankes, JP Porcaro, and Justin Hoenke, among others.

For more information, read the news item.

hoopla Introduces BingePass for Unlimited Access to New Streaming Platforms

hoopla rolled out BingePass, “a new type of hoopla Instant Borrow that provides patrons of participating public libraries with unlimited access to popular streaming platforms for 7 days.” BingePass is automatically available to hoopla libraries and directly integrates into hoopla’s existing interface. “Upon borrowing a BingePass, patrons are seamlessly connected directly into the feature partner’s website or app,” hoopla notes. “With BingePass, patrons can access 7 days of unlimited usage of the titles in each BingePass collection and only use one of their monthly hoopla Instant Borrows provided by their library. For libraries, it’s easy to leverage BingePass for their patrons, as they will not need to manage separate budgets, purchase specific subscriptions, or pay any platform fees.”

BingePass launches with hoopla Magazines—a partnership with eMagazines that offers 50-plus popular titles, including Cosmopolitan, Fast Company, and Men’s Health—and hoopla’s The Great Courses Library Collection—more than 300 popular courses curated for libraries, covering history, philosophy, science, math, and more. hoopla states, “In early 2022, Curiosity Stream will also be added as a hoopla BingePass, which will give patrons unlimited access to countless high-quality and engaging documentaries and nonfiction series. … hoopla has plans to add many more BingePass partners throughout 2022 and beyond, significantly expanding the types of content library patrons can access.”

For more information, read the press release.

Fast Company Shares Tech Trends to Watch in 2022

Fast Company’s Mark Sullivan (with help from Alex Pasternack) compiled a list of tech trends for 2022 based on input from 40-plus experts. Sullivan writes:

Tech that will be very important to the future will begin graduating from R&D labs and enter the marketplace. More self-driving automobiles will traverse the roadways. Augmented reality glasses may even start showing up in public. The U.S. government is likely to begin regulating Big Tech in such areas as antitrust and privacy. The industry will continue talking about, and in some cases even building for, the metaverse. And some of the foundational technologies underpinning Web3 may begin to take hold.

But those are just the broad strokes.

For the full list of trends, read the article.

'The Internet Is Tricking Our Brains' by David Ingram

David Ingram writes the following for NBC News:

People who lean on a search engine such as Google may get the right answers but they can also end up with a wrong idea of how strong their own memory is, according to a study that [University of Texas–Austin’s Adrian] Ward published in August. That’s because online search is so seamless and always available that people often don’t have the chance to experience their own failure to remember things, the study found.

The findings are part of a wave of new research in recent years examining the intersection of the internet and human memory. The implications could be far-reaching, including for the spread of political misinformation, Ward said. He cited years of research into how people make decisions, showing that people who are overconfident in their knowledge become more entrenched in their views about politics and science and also can make questionable financial and medical decisions. …

A cadre of cognitive scientists, psychologists and other researchers are trying to understand what it means to remember when memories have been shaped by technology sometimes in many different ways. It amounts to a rethinking of how memory is going to work with each new iteration of digital devices—blurring the line between mind and the internet into something that one day might be thought of as an ‘Intermind,’ Ward said.

For more information, read the article.

OCLC Shares What a New Model Library Would Look Like

The Scholarly Kitchen blog published a guest post, “What’s Your Vision for a New Model Library?”, by OCLC staffers Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ixchel M. Faniel, Brittany Brannon, Brooke Doyle, and Brian Lavoie. They write:

The pandemic has created a ripple effect—a stone thrown into the library pond—that is re-shaping the work, collections, and engagement experiences in libraries. In turn, changes to these experiences have been rippling out to communities and organizations that libraries have relationships with, like publishers, other agencies, institutions, community members and groups, and system providers. But of course, the ripples work both ways. As these communities and organizations make their own changes and adaptations, new ripple effects have developed that must also be absorbed by all.

The pandemic initiated or accelerated changes that often were executed in haste and with acknowledged and understandable imperfections. While we all continue to manage life with the pandemic, it is time to reflect on the changes that were made and assess which ones were effective. For library leaders, that means strategically transforming the library to adapt to evolving staff and community needs and expectations—moving toward a New Model Library.

Twenty-nine leaders representing academic (community college, technical, baccalaureate, and research) and public libraries located in urban, suburban, and rural areas across the globe were interviewed by the OCLC Research team from April to July 2020. These leaders discussed the changes to library work, collections, and engagement experiences that they believe will continue and what their visions are for the future of libraries.

For more information, read the blog post.

Zendy Partners With Universities to Keep Alumni in the Research Loop

Zendy announced in November 2021 that it partnered with American University of Sharjah to provide “its 18,000 alumni with discounted access to Zendy Plus” through the end of March 2022. The company adds, “For many alumni and graduates worldwide, obtaining access to scholarly content after graduation has remained a challenge. Often, access to multiple databases is still available for individuals to use on-campus; however, off-campus access to academic resources and research is scarcely provided by universities after graduation.”

Zendy, a subscription-based digital library, “offers access to millions of scholarly publications. Zendy’s mission is to build a world without scholarly barriers and help individuals gain easy and affordable access to all types of content, from academic literature and research to journals, magazines, and news articles.”

“We are pleased and proud to be assisting the American University of Sharjah in promoting and advancing knowledge in the region, and look forward to more long-term collaborations with universities whose educational values … continuously place their students’ development at the heart of their institutional efforts,” says Kamran Kardan, Zendy’s CEO and founder.

For more information, read the press release.

OverDrive Gives Libby Accessibility Updates

OverDrive is working to make its reading app Libby “more accessible for all readers, including users with a diverse range of visual, motor, and cognitive needs” and has partnered with Fable, “an accessibility platform powered by people with disabilities[,] to interview blind and low vision users directly and hear their feedback on Libby’s user experience.”

Recent improvements include the following:

  • Low-vision and blind users can use screen readers to browse, borrow, read ebooks and magazines, and listen to audiobooks in Libby. …
  • When using a screen reader, low-vision and blind users can enter ‘Read From Here’ mode to have the text of an ebook or magazine read aloud.
  • Shortcuts in Libby’s ebook reader and audiobook player supplement the keyboard navigation.

Upcoming improvements—along with new accessibility features that will be found in the Settings menu—will include the following:

  • We are refining the labels and descriptions of all interactive elements, making it easier for users of assistive technologies to understand and interact with the app.
  • The in-app menu will no longer open from the side of the app. Instead, it will open full screen. This makes keyboard and screen reader navigation more consistent and helps all users concentrate on the task they are trying to perform in the menu.

For more information, read the blog post.



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