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Weekly News Digest

October 30, 2018 — 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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EBSCO Databases Return to Utah Schools

A guest post on ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Blog from Peter Bromberg, executive director of the Salt Lake City Public Library, covers the recent Utah Education Network/EBSCO Information Services dispute:

On October 19, the board of the Utah Education Network (UEN) voted unanimously to immediately reinstate access to EBSCO K12 databases for over 650,000 students in Utah. As earlier reported by James LaRue, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, in his October 12 blog post ‘Education is not Pornography,’ the UEN Board had previously suspended access to EBSCO content for Utah schools. The board took initial action on September 21 to remove access to the database based on a single unsubstantiated claim from a self-described concerned parent that pornography was available in the database. … It is important to note that the initial decision by the UEN Board to pull the plug on access to EBSCO K12, a vital database that supports information literacy, research, and digital citizenship curricula for students across the state, was taken with no official action by the board, and in the absence of any specific policy or process for responding to constituent complaints. The decision was made after a local news source reported the complaint under the headline, ‘Utah mom finds pornographic pics on Utah Education Network database.’ The article lead with the line, ‘A Utah mom says she found some pretty “raunchy” pictures on a website that is supposed to protect kids from questionable material.’ It is not clear precisely who at UEN, and on what authority, made the decision to take EBSCO K12 offline. 

For more information, read the post. Additionally, the Indiana Library Federation issued a fact sheet, Information and Background on Questions About Database Content in Libraries.

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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