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Weekly News Digest

January 25, 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.

Gale Digital Scholar Lab Gets Updated Features

Gale added new and improved features to its Gale Digital Scholar Lab, giving digital humanities researchers a better user experience. It has a new interface and redesigned analysis tools based on user feedback, including an analysis dashboard that “provides researchers with an at-a-glance view of their work. Users can see the most recent runs of each tool and begin new analysis jobs with less scrolling and clicking.” There is also the addition of inspect panels, which allow “users to move seamlessly from distant reading to close reading—from visualization of a content set to inspection at the individual document level, encouraging deeper interaction with texts.”

The updated features have expanded search capabilities, including options that are aligned with Gale Primary Sources, such as an optical character recognition (OCR) confidence filter. The updated learning center has new content and multimedia, along with redesigned sample projects to help with digital literacy.

For more information, read the press release.

GPO Task Force Studies the Possibility of an All-Digital FDLP

The director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), Hugh Nathaniel Halpern, has appointed a task force to look into the feasibility of making the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) all digital. The press release notes that 97% of all federal publications are now born digital. The task force will determine whether it will be possible to proceed with an all-digital FDLP, and if so, it will make recommendations for how to implement and operate the new program.

On the task force are 23 members who come from the Depository Library Council, the Depository Library Community, federal agencies, and library associations. The task force will deliver a final report to Halpern by December 2022.

For more information, read the press release.

Access Partnership Releases a Report on Current Tech Policy Trends

Access Partnership published “Tech Policy Trends 2022” (registration required), a report sharing forecasts and predictions for the top trends of this year. The company states, “Our team of experts explore the most important subjects affecting the technology sector, providing guidance on how to manage the ever-changing landscape and capitalise on the new opportunities it presents.”

The report includes the following sections:

  • Technology in the Age of Fragility
  • Digital Trade: Asia Leading the World
  • AI Regulation: Is This GDPR Again or Will the World Ignore Europe This Time?
  • Post-COP26: Enforcing Accountability Through Standards
  • Internet Governance: Towards a Less Divisive Future?

For more information, read the news item.

SAGE Digs Into New Streaming Video Study

SAGE shared that an experiment by researchers at the University of Toronto–Scarborough’s Advanced Learning Technologies Lab confirms the value of streaming video resources for learning and shows that it can increase academic performance. SAGE and Mitacs (a Canada-based international research and development consultant) backed the project.

“In this study, students in a sizable online class … were split into different experimental groups. Learning outcomes were measured for students with access to video ‘primers’ compared to students who received the standard instruction without video support,” SAGE notes, “One key early finding is that students with access to the video explanations showed at least a 12 percent advantage on a knowledge and understanding quiz. Principal investigator Adam Frost … explains that this difference is substantial, providing statistically significant evidence that the videos enhanced learning meaningfully.”

In addition, students “eagerly watched” the videos: 90% of students viewed “most or all of [a video], suggesting that they found it useful and/or engaging,” SAGE reports. “The study provides early evidence that video can elevate scientific literacy in undergraduate students.”

For more information, read the press release.

CCC and CeMPro Provide Avenue for Rights to Spanish-Language Titles in Schools

CCC joined forces with CeMPro, a Mexico-based organization that protects and represents the rights of authors and publishers, to provide “educators and intermediaries [with] access to reuse rights from tens of thousands of Spanish-language titles as part of CCC’s Annual Copyright License for Curriculum & Instruction (ACLCI).”

“We are delighted to extend our long-standing collaboration with CCC,” says Gerardo Gally, chairperson of CeMPro’s board of directors. “Participating in the ACLCI will make it easier for U.S. schools and EdTech solutions providers to use excerpts of Spanish-language content and meet their goals to support millions of Spanish-speaking students.”

For more information, read the press release.

Minnow Tank Project Gives Minnesota Students a Chance to Help Their Community

Corinne Stremmel for White Bear Press writes:

The fourth graders of Willow Lane Elementary School in White Bear Lake [in Minnesota] are taking the premise of reality show ‘Shark Tank’ and making it bite-sized.

Willow Lane reading teacher Leigh Anderson and her students are preparing to pitch a charity of their choice to five ‘sharks’ in the hope that a $2,000 donation will be awarded to their winning charity. …

The Minnow Tank’s pilot began in 2018 and various iterations of the project followed in 2019 and 2020, but 2021 is the first year Anderson has officially had the project down pat with her fourth graders. …

Anderson wanted to give these students a chance to feel empowered while looking for an opportunity to close the achievement gap that students of color face.

For more information, read the article.

UC–Davis Gets Archive of Chef Martin Yan's Materials

Sarah Colwell writes the following for the University of California (UC)–Davis:

World-renowned celebrity chef Martin Yan’s collection of nearly 3,000 cookbooks, his first wok, thousands of photographs and other media will be the main ingredients in an archive to be established in his name at [UC–Davis].

Yan and his wife, Susan, both UC Davis graduates, recently gifted the items and funds to create the Chef Martin Yan Legacy Archive in the UC Davis Library Archives and Special Collections. …

‘The Martin Yan archive provides valuable insight into an important era of Asian cultural and culinary history and of one of UC Davis’ most celebrated alumni,’ said MacKenzie Smith, university librarian and vice provost of digital scholarship. ‘Once this collection is digitized, it will allow scholars around the world to learn more about Asian food and Martin’s amazing career.’

For more information, read the news item.

TLC Shares Its Company Accomplishments From 2021

The Library Corp. (TLC) did a year in review for 2021, in which the company reported its achievements. The stats include the following:
  • The Library Corporation welcomed the return of four former TLC customers, migrating back from the following competing vendors: Innovative, Koha & Bywater, and Follett. Additional customers in 2021 also joined TLC from SirsiDynix.
  • Across all databases from new and returning customers, TLC completed the transfer of 1,191,684 bibliographic records, 1,649,365 item records, and 299,222 borrower records.
  • 54 library customers in 1,139 locations migrated into TLC’s third-generation hosting model, TLC•Cloud Services[,] provided via Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. As of 2022, TLC now manages 61 customers across four time zones and two continents using TLC•Cloud Services.

For more information, read the press release.

OCLC's 'New Model Library: Plan for Positive Change in the Midst of Challenges'

Ixchel M. Faniel, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Brittany Brannon, Brooke Doyle, and Brian Lavoie write the following for OCLC’s Next blog:

When we did the research for the New Model Library: Pandemic Effects and Library Directions briefing, a term that came up often was ‘normal’ (Is this change part of a new normal? When will this activity get back to normal?). While interesting, these questions don’t acknowledge that libraries are incredibly diverse in terms of culture, size, type, goals, and locations. And the term ‘normal’ isn’t really helpful without additional context. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic is a singular, global upheaval that affects everyone who works at and uses libraries.

So how do we discuss the impact this global upheaval is having on a set of very different institutions and individuals and their plans for the future?

That was the major challenge we faced when considering how to best collect and analyze data about the effects of the pandemic on libraries. …

While many of the ‘not normal’ things you’ve been doing are new, challenging, or overwhelming, some are strengthening your library in ways you want to maintain and others are truly temporary. …

Conversations with stakeholders in your library and community about what you’ve collectively experienced through the pandemic will no doubt help develop the shared context needed to find common ground and identify new ideas and possible directions. We’ve developed a learner guide with this objective in mind.

For more information, read the blog post.

ACS Lays Out Its 5-Year Strategic Initiatives

The American Chemical Society (ACS) shared its portfolio of strategic initiatives that are “designed to have a transformational impact on the chemistry enterprise. During the coming five years, ACS will invest up to $50 million in four initiatives, each of which embodies ACS’ commitment to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people.” They are:
  • The ACS Campaign for a Sustainable Future Initiative will position ACS as a leader in advancing chemistry innovations to address the challenges articulated in the [United Nations’] Sustainable Development Goals. …
  • The Strategic Initiative on Fostering a Skilled Technical Workforce focuses on recruitment and development of a diverse group of students and potential employees in the chemical sciences to help build capacity to address workforce needs. …
  • The Accelerating Digital Research Data Products Initiative will design and build the infrastructure to enhance the reusability of primary research data associated with journal articles, including improving text and data mining capabilities. …
  • The CAS Accelerating Life Sciences Growth Initiative empowers [ACS’] CAS [division] to attract and serve global scientific innovators by adding content/capabilities specifically targeting molecular biologists and medicinal chemists. …

For more information, read the press release.



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