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Weekly News Digest

October 2, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Google Announces New Features for Its 20th Birthday

Gerrit De Vynck and Nico Grant write for Bloomberg that Google is celebrating its 20th birthday by implementing a new feature: “A Facebook-like newsfeed populated with videos and articles the company thinks an individual user would find interesting will now show up on the Google home page just below the search bar on all mobile web browsers.”

The article continues:

The company also unveiled a feature to let people save searches in a collection and pick them up again later, and said it would present more information directly in search results, ostensibly helping people find what they’re looking for without having to click through to a different website.

The Alphabet Inc. unit wants to expand its presence on the web and get people to spend more time directly on Google rather than on independent websites. In its drive to help people find information they’re looking for, the company is taking on tasks that were previously left to others. At the same time, politicians, activists and competitors are calling for greater scrutiny of Google’s ever-growing power over data.

For more information, read the article, “Google Wants to Answer the Questions You Haven’t Even Asked Yet.”

EveryLibrary Designates October as Vote Libraries Month

EveryLibrary announced the launch of Vote Libraries 2018, a month-long national marketing campaign “to highlight the importance of voting Yes for libraries on the ballot and for candidates who care about library funding.” It asks people “who believe in libraries” to sign a pledge to “Vote for Libraries” before the November elections. They can use #votelibraries on social media to share why they support libraries and add a badge to their profile pictures on social media. EveryLibrary’s Flickr account has 100-plus free images people can use to encourage others to Vote Libraries.

For more information, visit the website.

OCLC and PLA Study Responses to the Opioid Crisis

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded OCLC a nearly $250,000 National Leadership Grant “to collect and share knowledge and resources to support public libraries and their community partners [as they] address the opioid crisis,” according to the press release. Through December 2019, OCLC Research and the Public Library Association (PLA) will partner on a project to publish eight case studies of libraries that are already responding to the crisis.

“The project team will glean additional perspectives and insights from government agencies, public health and human services organizations, community organizations, library leaders, and people directly affected by the epidemic.” The team will also write a call-to-action white paper, host a webinar series, and curate other content and resources for library staffers.

For more information, read the press release.

Arguments for Keeping the U.S. Copyright Office Part of the Library of Congress

Joshua Lamel writes for The Hill that the Library of Congress is “the rightful home of the U.S. Copyright Office.” However, “powerful entertainment lobbyists from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are trying to overhaul the entire system in their own self-interest. Legislation being debated … would remove the Copyright Office from the library, instead making the Register of Copyrights another presidential appointment, subject to the whims of special interests.”

He continues, “The Copyright Office’s weak past performance and technology struggles should not be rewarded with more autonomy, but instead answered with continued oversight from the library. MPAA and RIAA’s attempt to create an independent register is a legislative solution in search of an actual problem. It won’t fix anything, just the opposite. It will result in more costs for taxpayers, more disruptions for content creators and delays in the implementation of technological upgrades already in the works.”

For more information, read the article, “Copyright Office Continues to Be an Integral Part of the Broader Library of Congress.”

Credo Revamps Its Information Literacy Product Offerings

Credo developed Learning Tools, a product suite that offers librarians new and updated resources for teaching foundational skills such as information literacy, critical thinking, and communication. Credo’s InfoLit Modules are now named Instruct “to best reflect the growing range of possibilities opened up by the revamped platform,” according to Credo. Instruct has videos, tutorials, and quizzes to measure student performance. There is a new instructional video collection called View that offers more than 60 videos on information literacy, communication, quantitative literacy, and more. All Learning Tools products are aligned with current standards and compliant with the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act).

“With our new Learning Tools suite, we’re giving libraries more choice in tailoring the content and platform exactly to their institutional needs so as to maximize the reach and effectiveness of foundation skill instruction programs,” says Ian Singer, Credo’s general manager.

For more information, read the news.

ProQuest Adds Content on the Well-Being of College Students to Academic Video Online

ProQuest created a new video series, Student Success, for Alexander Street’s Academic Video Online subscription product that is based on the Cognella Series on Student Success books. It is designed to help students adjust to college life, including dealing with time and stress management, career planning, and changing relationships.

“The Student Success video series is a crucial resource for new students, as well as anyone who works with students—including residential life, orientation staff, counseling centers, faculty and librarians,” says David Parker, senior director of product management at Alexander Street, a ProQuest Co. “We’re thrilled to work with Cognella on the content for these videos, and to make them available on the ever-growing Academic Video Online, the most comprehensive video subscription available to libraries.”

For more information, read the press release.

Kobo Introduces New E-Reader

On Oct. 23, Rakuten Kobo will roll out a new e-reader, Kobo Forma, which has page-turn buttons, a lightweight design for one-handed reading, and choices for reading in portrait or landscape orientation on the 8" screen. The device is waterproof, and the screen is lit to facilitate reading in the dark. It comes with 8GB of storage and costs $279.99.

According to the press release, “Kobo Forma is the most durable eReader available with the introduction of Mobius® technology, which uses a flexible plastic layer within its display. This allows for an ultra-thin and light-weight device that provides a high degree of durability to withstand the pressures of daily use. Through impact testing, Kobo Forma has been shown to withstand drops of more than 2 meters, as well as more bends, twists, full handbags, and overloaded backpacks than any previous eReader.”

For more information, read the press release.

Libraries Can Now Order Alexander Street Movies Through OASIS

ProQuest’s Alexander Street and OASIS (Online Acquisitions and Selection Information System) are teaming up for more streaming video access: 36,000 videos from Alexander Street are now available via OASIS, meaning that academic librarians can acquire videos using the same workflow they do when they are ordering books. Video publishers include Sony Pictures Classics, BroadwayHD, the Royal Shakespeare Co., the BBC, and PBS.

For more information, read the press release.

Library of Congress Debuts Virtual Screening Room for Historical Films

The Library of Congress introduced National Screening Room, a free collection of hundreds of hours of (mostly public domain) motion pictures dating from 1890. The public domain movies are downloadable, while those that are copyrighted are streaming-only. The initial launch features 281 titles, with more added every month going forward.

The collection has content such as:

For more information, read the news.            

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