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Weekly News Digest

March 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 Makes Statement on Federal Funding for Libraries

ALA shared the following after President Joe Biden signed a reconciled budget for FY2022:

The Library Services and Technology Act, the only source of federal funding dedicated for America’s libraries, received flat funding at $197.4 million. The Innovative Approaches to Literacy program, the only source of federal funding dedicated to school libraries, received a modest $1 million increase, raising the program to $29 million.

ALA President Patty Wong said, ‘Like many other educational and public service institutions, ALA is disheartened by the final FY 2022 funding levels, especially compared with the increases proposed in both chambers earlier in the appropriations process. With inflation rising above seven percent, level funding is not enough for libraries to maintain current programming and facilities, let alone meet the ever-increasing demand for library services. … We hope to hear good news from President Biden when he releases his FY 2023 budget. … This disappointment is a wake-up call for library advocates: we can’t rest on past success, and we will have to work even harder to make our case in this competitive political climate.’

For more information, read the press release.

Research Square Stands in Solidarity With Ukraine

STM Publishing News shared the following statement from Research Square, which reads, in part:

Research Square Company stands united in solidarity with the world’s scientists, academic organizations, companies, and nations condemning horrific actions conducted by Russia in its invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, including attacks on innocent Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure, which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, as defined by the International Criminal Court.

In order to help support Ukrainians during this dire time, we have made a donation to the UN refugee agency’s (UNHCR) Ukraine appeal to support the more than 2.5 million refugees displaced by this war. We are also offering free digital and professional editing services to all Ukrainian researchers affiliated with Ukrainian institutions, as well as those Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the exception of those in Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk.

For more information, read the statement.

Guides for Helping Ukraine and for Learning Its History and Culture

Pennsylvania’s Centre Daily Times published an article about how locals in Centre County can help, but the advice is applicable to any community. It includes a list of places to donate.

The New York Public Library has a webpage describing charities in need of donations and another page of recommended reading on Ukraine.

Exact Editions has launched a free nonfiction book collection on the history and culture of Ukraine, available until April 15. It features 18 titles from university presses and other academic publishers, and any publisher is still welcome to add content to the collection (see the press release for instructions).

NPR published a piece on Ukraine’s libraries, noting, “Libraries are playing vital roles in supporting Ukraine's war effort from giving families shelters during Russian bombing raids to making camouflage nets for the military and countering disinformation.”

'Clarivate to Cease All Commercial Activity in Russia'

Clarivate issued the following statement, which reads, in part:

Clarivate respects and supports the rule of international law and joins the global community in condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Given the continued aggression against Ukraine by Russian forces, Clarivate has made the decision to close its office in Russia effective immediately and we will work to cease commercial activity in Russia in the coming weeks. Clarivate will work closely with our customers to manage the impact of our actions to their business and provide them more information as our process moves forward.

For more information, read the company statement.

REALM Project Findings Get Published in Microbiology Journal

OCLC issued an update on the REALM (REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) project—conducted jointly with IMLS and research firm Battelle—stating the following:

Results of that [REALM] work have now been published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. … As part of the REALM project, researchers at Battelle studied effects of ambient or altered environmental conditions on the inactivation the SARS-CoV-2 virus applied to materials, including books, DVDs, file folders, glass, and plastic. The research found that the attenuation rate for materials held at colder temperatures was significantly slower compared to the attenuation rate at warmer and ambient temperatures. … While contamination through materials is not considered the primary route of exposure for SARS-CoV-2, certain populations such as persons with compromised immune systems or children may be at increased risk from this mode of transmission.

Scott Carey, COO at IMLS, says, “Within a few months after the start of the pandemic, this research began to help museums and libraries pave the way forward. … So much was unknown. As it turns out, the project tested virus load rates similar to the Delta variant before Delta even existed. As we pass the two-year mark and move into the next phases of the pandemic, I’m proud that these test results are being formally recognized within the scientific community and will contribute to a better understanding of COVID-19 and its potential impacts to the society we live in.”

For more information, read the press release.

Amazon Gets More Signatories for Its Climate Pledge

Amazon shared the following:

Today, Amazon and Global Optimism announced that more than 300 companies have now signed The Climate Pledge, a nearly 600% growth in signatories over the past year. Among the nearly 100 new signatories joining today are the world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk; the leading enterprise software developer SAP; the North American timberland company Weyerhaeuser; the largest residential solar company in the U.S., Sunrun; and the leading brand in connected car and audio services, HARMAN. Pledge signatories in total generate over $3.5 trillion in global annual revenues and have more than 8 million employees across 51 industries in 29 countries.

Signatories to The Climate Pledge must agree to:

  • Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.
  • Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.
  • Neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

For more information, read the press release.

'People Are Sharing Heartwarming Stories of Libraries Being Safe Spaces and It's So Wholesome'

Annie Reneau writes the following for Upworthy:

The public library is one of the greatest inventions humankind has ever imagined and actually made happen. Libraries are perfect in concept and exceptional in practice. The idea that we ought to plop a building full of books to borrow wherever groups of people live is beautiful in its simplicity and the fact that we’ve actually succeeded in doing it is somewhat miraculous. Libraries are something humans have created that has stood the test of time and that we can be truly, universally proud of. There is nothing but upside to a calm, quiet place where any and all people can hang out and read, without having to pay anyone anything.

A thread on Twitter celebrating the wonderfulness of libraries illustrates this point perfectly. … [I]t’s enough to warm even the hardest of hearts.

For more information, read the article.

eLife Issues a Call for Peer Review Trainers in Africa

eLife announced the following:

AfricArXiv, Eider Africa, eLife, PREreview, and TCC Africa have collaborated to develop a peer-review training workshop, Open Peer Reviewers in Africa, tailored to the region-specific context of African researchers. They co-created tools and strategies for scholarly literature evaluation, and are now ready to pilot the new workshop series with researchers who would be interested in sharing their knowledge by training others, and helping co-develop the resources further.

The partners invite nominations for the pilot cohort of trainees for the Open Peer Reviewers in Africa workshop, who will then become the first trainers for researchers in their communities. Our training will be delivered as four tutored online sessions carried out virtually and in real-time. We are looking to recruit 10 trainees in the fields of life sciences and medicine, as this project is funded by Wellcome to help improve diversity and inclusion in those domains. The Trainer-of-Trainers (ToT) model will create a multiplier effect, as trainees will be encouraged and empowered to mobilise, recruit and train colleagues in their respective scholarly communities.

Nominations are due March 28, 2022.

For more information, read the news item.

IMLS Rolls Out a New Strategic Plan

IMLS announced its new 5-year strategic plan, stating:

The IMLS FY 2022–2026 Strategic Plan, encompassing the current year and culminating in the celebration of the U.S. Semiquincentinnal, frames how IMLS will advance, support, and empower America’s libraries, museums, and the communities they serve. …

The new plan outlines four strategic goals that will underpin the agency’s programs and services:

  1. Champion Lifelong Learning: Museums, libraries, and archives are unparalleled sources of educational, information, health, job, and cultural resources. IMLS supports these institutions’ work to open themselves up to all community members and visitors, bridging the gaps of distance, resources, or experience.
  2. Strengthen Community Engagement: Museums, libraries, and archives can connect community members to develop or enhance a collective sense of place where everyone can feel respected and included. IMLS enables these institutions and their partners to foster dialogue that addresses and incorporates diverse community needs and experiences.
  3. Advance Collections Stewardship and Access: Museums and libraries are responsible for preserving, managing, and providing the broadest possible access to the cultural, artistic, historical, natural, and scientific collections entrusted to their care.
  4. Demonstrate Excellence in Public Service: IMLS recognizes the importance of reflective practice and continual improvement in our commitment to the agency’s mission to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations.

For more information, read the press release.



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