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Weekly News Digest

February 17, 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 Chooses Libraries for NEH Humanities Grant Funding

ALA awarded $2 million in humanities funding to U.S. libraries (200 libraries, getting $10,000 each) as part of the American Rescue Plan for pandemic relief. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), these grants will help the libraries “anchor themselves as strong humanities institutions and vibrant centers of learning, conversation and connection.” Specifically, they will use the funding to create or keep jobs, support or maintain general operations, create or prop up humanities programs, and implement or continue humanities activities. The grantees are a mix of public, academic, K–12, tribal, special, and prison libraries.

For more information, read the press release.

The Library Data Platform Joins the Open Library Foundation's Project Incubation Program

The Open Library Foundation recruited the Library Data Platform (LDP) as the first open source project to participate in its Project Incubation Program. This program supports early-stage open source projects and communities that are working on becoming self-sustaining. LDP is a reporting platform for the FOLIO open source library services platform; it also supports Project ReShare and provides software that serves as an open analytics infrastructure for various applications.

Projects that are part of the Project Incubation Program get access to the Open Library Foundation’s infrastructure services, including banking and accounting and website and communications. They can seek help with governance, resource planning, creating road maps, and searching for funding.

For more information, read the press release.

ProQuest Unveils Comprehensive Black Studies Collection

ProQuest introduced ProQuest Black Studies, “a browsable collection of curated sources on the history and lives of Black Americans, for use in classrooms and research.” It has resources dating from the colonial era to recent times, including 10 major historical Black newspapers, 120 archival collections, and 120 full-text journals, videos, and faculty essays. It was designed as a subscription option for academic libraries and is suitable for all research levels, from undergraduate to Ph.D. programs. Special features include topic pages and a comprehensive timeline, which “allow faculty and students to pinpoint a person or event and then quickly retrieve newspaper articles, primary sources, and journal articles on the subject.”

For more information, read the press release.

Elsevier and Cassyni Launch Virtual Seminar Series Focused on Journals

Elsevier teamed up with Cassyni to create a virtual seminar series across the Elsevier Physics journal portfolio. The seminars will feature “recent journal papers, selected by editors as being particularly innovative and impactful.” The series will launch with Journal of Computational Physics and Computer Physics Communications. Researchers from around the world can attend the live seminars, which will feature Q&As, and then recordings—that are augmented with AI-powered video search—will be hosted on Cassyni. They will each be assigned a DOI so that they can be cited by researchers.

For more information, read the press release.

Survey Results About Usage of the Metaverse

Marc Wojno writes the following for ZDNet:

According to a recent survey conducted by metaverse gaming company Advokate Group, over 77% of respondents who are interested in joining a metaverse are worried about Facebook owning the data.

What's more, 87% said they prefer a metaverse on a decentralized blockchain. This sentiment is more prevalent among Gen Z respondents, who were 10% more likely than Millennials to prefer a blockchain metaverse. …

When asked what types of activities consumers would use the metaverse for, the most popular choice was gaming, followed by hanging out with friends, work and meetings, attending concerts, workouts, and studying with classmates.

For more information, read the article.

NISO Finalizes Recommended Practice on Ebook Metadata

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) published a new NISO Recommended Practice, E-Book Bibliographic Metadata Requirements in the Sale, Publication, Discovery, Delivery, and Preservation Supply Chain. It incorporates feedback given by publishers, retailers, libraries, service providers, preservation agencies, and other stakeholders.

NISO states the following:

The Recommended Practice focuses on several key areas for e-book metadata—defining the minimal requirements for sales, discovery, delivery, electronic holdings management, and preservation purposes; identifying the best way to transmit metadata through the supply chain; updates to titles and holdings; developing rules for e-book metadata deduplication purposes; and sharing a variety of examples of recommended practice implementation. 

The Recommended Practice focuses on key metadata elements—titles, names, dates, book identifiers, and subjects—to enable basic functions of e-book metadata that apply across all stakeholder organizations: identifying a book, matching records for the same book or version, and distinguishing records that refer to different books or versions. The goal is to provide principles and examples that support shared understanding and, where possible, alignment of e-book metadata practices across sectors, complementing existing e-book best practices and guidelines, such as those published by BISG, EDItEUR, and W3C.

For more information, read the press release.

'Librarian's Lament: Digital Books Are Not Fireproof' by Chris Freeland

Chris Freeland, director of the Internet Archive’s Open Libraries program, writes the following for ZDNet:

The disturbing trend of school boards and lawmakers banning books from libraries and public schools is accelerating across the country. In response, Jason Perlow made a strong case … for what he calls a ‘Freedom Archive,’ a digital repository of banned books. Such an archive is the right antidote to book banning because, he contended, ‘You can’t burn a digital book.’ The trouble is, you can.

A few days ago, Penguin Random House, the publisher of Maus, Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, demanded that the Internet Archive remove the book from our lending library. Why? Because, in their words, ‘consumer interest in “Maus” has soared’ as the result of a Tennessee school board’s decision to ban teaching the book. By its own admission, to maximize profits, a Goliath of the publishing industry is forbidding our non-profit library from lending a banned book to our patrons: a real live digital book-burning. …

In the summer of 2020, four of the largest publishers in the U.S.—Penguin Random House among them—sued to force our library to destroy the more than 1.4 million digital books in our collection. In their pending lawsuit, the publishers are using copyright law as a battering ram to assert corporate control over the public good. In this instance, that means destroying freely available books and other materials that people rely on to become productive and discerning participants in the country’s civic, economic, and social life. 

For more information, read the article.

ASERL Publishes Recommendations for Libraries on Negotiating Electronic Resource Agreements

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) rolled out a new booklet, The ASERL Eleven: Recommended Principles and Terms for Electronic Resource Agreements, along with an accompanying Google Drive document. They “summarize 11 key principles and suggested language to assist ASERL libraries and others in securing better terms for content and services they license. Published under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial License, the Google Drive document allows users to easily copy/paste the suggested license language as part of negotiations with service providers.”

“Having ‘The ASERL Eleven’ gives ASERL librarians clear principles to guide their work and helps to forge consensus on key issues in our relationships with publishers and other vendors,” says Tim Pyatt, president of ASERL’s board of directors.

Christopher Cox, ASERL’s incoming president, adds, “Licensing is an evolving topic; we see this new publication as ‘Version 1.0’ and expect to receive feedback and suggestions for future revisions and improvements.”

For more information, read the press release (download required).

ChemRxiv Integration With Frontiers Is Now Live

Authors are now able to submit manuscripts directly to Frontiers’ OA publishing platform directly from the ChemRxiv preprint repository. Frontiers is already partnered with other platforms: Chronos, BioRxiv, and MedRxiv.

The journals involved in the integration are: 

“This is an excellent move towards broader science dissemination, and a precious tool to make science available to all, globally,” says Laurent Mathey, portfolio manager for Frontiers’ chemistry and materials journals.

For more information, read the news item.

UC–Davis and CDL Project Looks at the Future of Ebook Lending

The University of California (UC)–Davis and the California Digital Library (CDL) are working on a project to explore the expansion of digitized book lending. UC–Davis, which is lending more digitized books because of the pandemic, has been working with the HathiTrust Digital Library’s Emergency Temporary Access Service to provide titles. UC–Davis calls the preliminary assessment of this experiment “a resounding success with faculty and student users.” It announces the following:

Under the leadership of the UC Davis Library and the California Digital Library (CDL) and with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UC has begun an investigation of key questions around the future of ebook lending. …

The project’s findings will be presented in a white paper and are expected to lay the foundation for broader work in future years to develop a comprehensive ebook delivery system for the UC.

For more information, read the press release.



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