|Weekly News Digest
April 13, 2009 — 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.
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ALA and Book Groups Push for PATRIOT Act Revision
Organizations representing booksellers, librarians, publishers, and writers have launched the latest phase in their 5-year campaign to restore the reader privacy safeguards that they say were stripped away by the USA PATRIOT Act. The Campaign for Reader Privacy (www.readerprivacy.org), which includes the American Library Association (ALA), American Booksellers Association, Association of American Publishers, and PEN American Center, has sent a memo (www.readerprivacy.org/news.jsp?id=33) asking Congress to exempt library and bookstore records from the provisions of Section 215 of the act, which is scheduled to be renewed this year.
Since 2003, the Department of Justice has used its expanded power under the PATRIOT Act to issue more than 200 secret search orders under Section 215 and more than 190,000 National Security Letters (NSLs). Despite several efforts to reform the PATRIOT Act, the FBI can still search any records it believes are "relevant" to a terrorism investigation, including the records of people who are not suspected of criminal conduct. Because PATRIOT Act orders bar recipients from revealing their existence, it is impossible to know how many have been served on bookstores and libraries. However, the Campaign for Reader Privacy says there have been at least three significant and disturbing attempts to obtain records from libraries since 2003.
The Campaign for Reader Privacy does not oppose the extension of Section 215, per se, but seeks to exempt bookstore and library records from its provisions. Without Section 215, the government would be required to seek a grand jury subpoena for such records.
The Campaign also supports legislation that would restrict the use of Section 215 orders and NSLs to searches targeting suspected terrorists or people who are known to them. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., introduced this legislation in the previous Congress. Nadler reintroduced the National Security Letters Reform Act (H.R. 1800) on March 31, and Feingold is expected to introduce a bill later.
Source: Campaign for Reader Privacy
Baker & Taylor Teams With LibreDigital to Provide Publisher Services
Baker & Taylor, Inc. (www.btol.com), the distributor of books and entertainment products, announced a long-term agreement with LibreDigital (www.libredigital.com) to empower publishers to manage content distribution in multiple formats to numerous digital devices and merchandising channels worldwide. LibreDigital is a provider of conversion, storage, and secure distribution for digital content through digital stores and eBook devices.
This partnership creates a Baker & Taylor digital warehouse, from which the company will offer publisher services to include asset management, format transformation, marketing services, and customized channel distribution.
Baker & Taylor also launched its new Digital Media Services group to better support the escalating demand from its publishers and clients for bundled physical and digital media distribution services.
"The Digital Media Services group will help publishers execute an integrated merchandising strategy to deliver their content in multiple formats to multiple devices worldwide," said Bob Nelson, EVP global business development, who will lead the group. "Baker & Taylor is uniquely positioned to monetize publishers' physical and digital content through its extensive client base and other distribution channels."
Source: Baker & Taylor, Inc.
Celebrate National Library Week April 12Ė18
National Library Week is an observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. First observed in 1958, it is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's libraries, librarians, and library workers.
Online materials and products are available to help libraries reach out to their communities from the ALA Public Information Office and the Campaign for America's Libraries. Materials are available in English and Spanish focusing on the 2009 theme, Worlds Connect @ your library. They include a proclamation, a sample press release, and a letter to the editor, as well as scripts for use in radio public service announcements. Libraries can download materials at www.ala.org/nlw.
The Campaign for America's Libraries (www.ala.org/@yourlibrary), ALA's public awareness campaign, promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types, across the country and around the globe, use the Campaign's "@ your library" brand.
ALA is also hosting a series of Worlds Connect @ your library events in Second Life. Specific attractions are listed in the announcement (www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2009/april2009/campaignworldsconnectsl.cfm). The ALA Island/ALA Main Stage is located at 128, 107, 29. In Second Life, teleport there directly: http://slurl.com/secondlife/ALA%20Island/128/107/29. To learn more about Second Life, visit ALA's Second Life wiki at http://wikis.ala.org/professionaltips/index.php/Second_Life.
Patrons are also encouraged to visit ilovelibraries.org, ALA's website for the public, designed to keep America informed about what's happening in today's libraries in public, school, academic, corporate, and institutional settings.
Source: American Library Association (ALA)
FCC Launches Development of National Broadband Plan
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC; www.fcc.gov) has begun the process of developing a national broadband plan that will seek to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009-informally known as "the stimulus package"-Congress charged the FCC with creating a national broadband plan. In a Notice of Inquiry adopted April 8, the Commission began a proceeding to create that national broadband plan, seeking input from all stakeholders: consumers; industry; large and small businesses; nonprofits; the disabilities community; governments at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels; and all other interested parties.
The FCC must deliver the plan to Congress by Feb. 17, 2010. It will provide a road map to achieving the goal of ensuring that all Americans reap the benefits of broadband. The Recovery Act requires the plan to explore several key elements of broadband deployment and use, and the FCC now seeks comment on these elements, including the following:
- The most effective and efficient ways to ensure broadband access for all Americans
- Strategies for achieving affordability and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and services
- Evaluation of the status of broadband deployment, including the progress of related grant programs
- How to use broadband to advance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, healthcare delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation, and economic growth, and other national purposes
Comments may be filed using 1) the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS; www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs), 2) the federal government's e-rulemaking portal (www.regulations.gov/search/index.jsp), or 3) by filing paper copies. All filings related to this Notice of Inquiry should refer to GN Docket No. 09-51.
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
National Academies Reports Now Available in Open Access
The National Academies (www.nationalacademies.org) announced the completion of the first phase of a partnership with Google to digitize the library's collection of reports from 1863 to 1997, making them available-free, searchable, and in full text-through Google Book Search (http://books.google.com). The Academies plan to have their entire collection of nearly 11,000 reports digitized by 2011.
Prior to this project, the Academies digitized more than 4,000 books and made them available online through the National Academies Press (www.nap.edu); most of those can also be found in Google Book Search. However, researchers who needed to gain access to hard copies of older reports, part of a legacy collection in the library, could not always find what they wanted. Many of these reports exist as single copies, and the library feared potential damage or loss of this important collection. These older reports have been digitized and are now accessible through Google. The Academies hope that wider availability of its reports will be of use to scientists in developing countries, who often rely on the internet to gather information.
The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter. The Research Council is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
Source: The National Academies
Summon Service Adds New Content Providers and Beta Partner
Serials Solutions (www.serialssolutions.com), a business unit of ProQuest, has added several new content providers and a new library beta development partner for its Summon unified discovery service. The service is being developed in close cooperation with library beta partners, with a goal of not only bringing the researcher back to the library but providing a channel for greater return on the library's content investment. The new partner, Western Michigan University, which will use the Summon service with its VuFind next-generation catalog, joins Dartmouth College, Oklahoma State University, University of Sydney, and University of Liverpool in providing feedback that will refine all aspects of the service.
New content providers include IEEE, the pre-eminent engineering society, information technology publisher IGI Global, international scholarly publishing leader Brill, and a pair of Australian presses that expand the service's local coverage. The Summon service's contributors, which include the content resources of ProQuest and Gale, have expanded to more than 80. Harvested content now exceeds 400 million records in preparation for the service's July launch.
Summon bypasses federated search in favor of a single search against preharvested content enabling fast results, in true relevancy-ranked order. Publishers have embraced the service for this ability to surface content in the right context at the right time for the right user. The Summon unified discovery service creates a library-branded search box that eliminates the confusion users have in finding a starting point for library research, making collections simple to use. The hosted service is built with an open API that will allow it to integrate with existing library websites or campus systems with low impact on staff. To learn more about the Summon unified discovery service, visit www.serialssolutions.com/summon.
Source: Serials Solutions
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