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Weekly News Digest

June 29, 2017 — 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Library of Congress Announces Legislative Data App Challenge

The Library of Congress (LC) plans to launch its Legislative Data App Challenge in late summer 2017. Enthusiasts and professionals are encouraged to flex their app-building muscles “to create enhanced access and interpretation of legislative data,” according to a post in The Signal, the LC’s blog. The challenge’s themes are innovate, integrate, and legislate.

For more information, read the blog post.

Companies Band Together to End Gender Stereotyping in Ads

The Independent reports that Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and other companies are working with the United Nations (UN) to remove gender stereotypes from global advertising. The Unstereotype Alliance will “combat ‘the widespread prevalence of stereotypes that are often perpetuated through advertising’” and “affect positive cultural change by using advertising to spread ‘realistic, non-biased portrayals of women and men.’”

The Independent quotes Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women: “Negative, diminished conceptions of women and girls are one of the greatest barriers for gender equality and we need to tackle and change those images wherever they appear. Advertising is a particularly powerful driver to change perceptions and impact social norms.”

For more information, read the article.

Bloomberg Businessweek Changes Its Access Model

According to Digiday, Bloomberg Businessweek “is introducing a two-tiered membership model … joining other publishers that are trying to offset declining print advertising by pushing subscriptions and other reader benefits.” Readers will now have free access to only four articles each month. “After two articles, they’ll be asked to provide an email address to continue, in line with other publishers that are asking readers to pay in the form of an email address in addition to a subscription fee.”

The digital-only subscription costs $50–$60 per year, depending on acquisition models. The all-access subscription costs $87 per year in the U.S.

For more information, read the article.

Knight Foundation Combats Fake News

The Knight Prototype Fund awarded 20 projects up to $50,000 each to work on reducing the spread of misinformation and building trust in journalism, for a total of $1 million. “Several of the projects focus on involving the public in news gathering and developing tools to better reach diverse and politically disparate communities. Some focus on media literacy, providing ways to help people become responsible consumers of digital content. Others offer tools that advance deeper, and more thoughtful methods of fact-checking including better ways to track misinformation, understand its sources and channels and more effectively communicate the credibility of information,” according to the Knight Foundation. The winning project teams will spend the next 9 months refining their ideas and possibly creating prototypes.

“It is vitally important to our democracy that we battle misinformation and improve the flow of accurate news and information so the public can make informed decisions. These experiments aim to help move us closer to this goal,” says Jennifer Preston (the Knight Foundation’s VP of journalism) in a press release.

For more information and to view the list of projects, read the press release.

ACS Files Suit Against Sci-Hub

The American Chemical Society (ACS) “filed suit in the United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia against unnamed confederates of Sci-Hub, a self-proclaimed web pirate organization that steals and then illegally reproduces and disseminates copyrighted scientific research articles on the internet. The suit asserts infringement of the professional Society’s copyrights, as well as counterfeiting and infringement of its trademarks.” Among other things, the ACS is seeking damages.

For more information, read the press release.

OCLC Prepares Librarians for Wikipedia Editing

On Sept. 13, 2017, OCLC’s WebJunction will launch a free, 10-week online training program for public library staffers who want to learn about Wikipedia editing, designed to help them become comfortable with contributing to the site. A July 19 webinar, Wikipedia for Libraries: Preview the Possibilities, Discover the Opportunities, will preview the program and describe how librarians can use Wikipedia to bolster usage of their collections and encourage community engagement. Library staffers can begin registering for the program on that date.

For more information, read the press release.

OverDrive Rolls Out New App for Streamlined Reading Experience

OverDrive launched Libby, a one-tap reading app that is designed to help users easily start reading and discovering digital library content from around the world. Its intuitive and simple interface makes bringing in new patrons easy, and its reading experience allows users to be a single tap away from the library, their bookshelf, and the books they’re reading. They can download books to read offline, and Libby keeps track of notes and bookmarks across devices.

For more information, read the blog post.

Tech Companies Commit to Fighting Terrorism

According to ZDNet, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube have joined the new Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. They will work together to keep terrorist content and propoganda off of their sites and share “best practices for content detection and classification techniques using machine learning. The group will also work to define standard transparency reporting methods for terrorist content removals. … The counter-terror effort comes as governments seek new regulations to ensure tech firms assist law enforcement to deal with encrypted communications in criminal and national security investigations.”

For more information, read the article.

Reuters and NAMLE Plan Media Literacy Event

Reuters joined forces with the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to host a kick-off event for Media Literacy Week, held Nov. 6–10, 2017. The venue is the Thomson Reuters building in New York. Journalists, pre-K–12 educators, higher education professors, and researchers will discuss teaching media literacy and how to provide the tools people need to develop critical thinking skills around news and the media.

For more information, read the press release.

SAGE and EBSCO Provide Broader Journal Availability

SAGE expanded its partnership with EBSCO Information Services to make SAGE’s humanities, social sciences, and science journals available to more North American public, corporate, medical, and other special libraries, as well as to schools, hospitals, nonprofits, government entities, and other organizations. EBSCO will sell SAGE’s journal packages and collections that are on the SAGE Journals platform.

For more information, read the press release.

ALA and Google Help Study Coding Activities in Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) and Google launched Libraries Ready to Code, a project designed “to investigate the current nature of coding activities in public and school libraries for youth and broaden the reach and scope of this work,” according to ALA. “The project will explore coding activities starting at the earliest ages through high school, with particular attention paid to understanding the opportunities through libraries for underrepresented groups in Computer Science (CS) and related fields. The work consists of an environmental scan, practitioner interviews, focus groups, and site visits. Findings will be used to further intervention and engagement, as well as to inform a policy agenda related to CS as part of ALA Office for Information Technology Policy’s Youth & Technology program.”

For more information, read the press release.

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