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Weekly News Digest

October 10, 2019 — 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 and OverDrive Start a Digital Reading Program

OverDrive, ALA’s Libraries Transform initiative, and ALA’s Booklist magazine collaborated to introduce a digital reading program, the Libraries Transform Book Pick. From Oct. 7 to 21, 2019, readers with a library card can borrow, via OverDrive’s Libby, an ebook copy of After the Flood, by Kassandra Montag, from their public library without waitlists or holds.

According to the press release, “The Libraries Transform Book Pick program is designed to connect readers across the U.S. with the selected ebook simultaneously through their public libraries to generate conversation across communities. A book guide and other materials to help book clubs and readers foster conversation are also available.”

Use #LTBookPick on social media.

For more information, read the press release.

NAMLE Promotes Upcoming Media Literacy Week

The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) is hosting the 5th annual Media Literacy Week (Oct. 21–25, 2019) “to raise awareness about the need for media literacy education and its essential role in education today. Organizations, schools, educators and Media Literacy Week partners from all over the country will work with NAMLE to participate in events including #MediaLitWk classroom lessons, virtual events, online chats, screenings, PSA’s, panel discussions and more.” The event’s webpage offers tools, tips, and materials for educators and other community partners who are conducting lessons or holding events throughout the week.

For more information, visit the announcement website.

ALA Gets $2 Million for Library Entrepreneurship Initiatives has given ALA a $2 million grant “to develop library entrepreneurship centers and enable libraries across the country to double down on their support for people looking to start a new business.” ALA will use the funds to support 10 libraries in increasing the number of low-income and underrepresented business creators they serve. “Participating libraries will work to establish new partnerships with community-based organizations and further develop innovative models to bring their library’s resources out in the community.”

The grant will also go toward the development of a playbook “accessible to all libraries on what makes a successful library entrepreneurship program. The playbook will contain a set of recommendations to better serve entrepreneurs from diverse communities and common metrics to evaluate success. ALA also plans to build a peer-learning network for librarians interested in developing entrepreneurship programs of their own.” 

For more information, read the press release.

Jisc Helps Students in the U.K. Register to Vote

Jisc shared that its college and university student voter registration service has reached 1,000-plus sign-ups. The press release notes, “As the government gears up for a general election, it is hoped that the student voter registration service will help to increase democratic engagement from a voting cohort that is under-represented in elections.”

Once it gets a student’s consent, the service collects information from the university, including the student’s full name and date of birth, “and automatically transfers it to the relevant, participating electoral registrars at local authorities, reducing the effort and expense it would take for universities and colleges to work with multiple electoral registrars across the UK.”

Seventeen universities have signed up for the service so far.

For more information, read the press release.

RBdigital Gives Libraries Unlimited Newspaper Access

Recorded Books, an RBmedia company, now offers unlimited access to newspapers on its RBdigital app and platform. Thanks to a partnership with PressReader, libraries can provide more than 2,500 newspapers from around the world, with 90 days of back issues. There are translations of original-language content in up to 16 languages, and the content is searchable by topic, report, and contributor.

“Library patrons can now go to one place—the RBdigital app—to get unlimited access to newspapers and 15 different types of content including audiobooks, magazines, eBooks, videos, educational courses, and more,” says John Shea, chief product and marketing officer for RBmedia.

For more information, read the press release.

Library of Congress Gets $1 Million for Cloud-Based Digital Collections Project

The Library of Congress (LC) received a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to work on its Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud (CCHC) project, “which will pilot ways to combine cutting edge technology and the collections of the largest library in the world, to support digital research at scale.” 

The LC Labs team will use grant funds to “test a cloud-based approach for interacting with digital collections as data. In collaboration with subject matter experts and IT specialists at the Library, LC Labs will invite a cohort of research experts to experiment with solutions to problems that can only be explored at scale. This effort will help produce models for supporting cloud-based research computing, and will make the costs and possibilities of this work more transparent to the broader cultural heritage community.”

For more information, read the press release.

Nature Studies the Necessity of Collaboration Skills in Research

Springer Nature shared that a Nature Research survey of 600-plus “senior academics, mid-tier researchers and postgraduate students in the physical, natural and social sciences has revealed that many feel they do not have the skills needed for successful collaborative research projects. Only 20 percent of participants said that they had accessed training on collaboration through their institution or externally. At the same time, collaborative research is becoming increasingly common in almost every discipline.”

“One step we can take to ensure that academics are equipped for collaborative research is to offer suitable training on the skills collaboration requires, like teamwork, project and people management, communication across cultures and disciplines, big data management, administrative and negotiation skills,” says Victoria Pavry, head of publishing, researcher, and conference services at Springer Nature.

A Nature Masterclass, Effective Collaboration in Research, “has been developed based on these survey results. The three-part online course has been designed with busy researchers in mind and is self-paced, bite-sized, and on demand.”

For more information, read the press release.

CCC Unveils RightsLink for Scientific Communications

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) rolled out RightsLink for Scientific Communications, which was previously RightsLink Author. It helps “publishers quickly model and support a wide variety of transformative agreements. Moreover, CCC offers professional services that help organizations address the ever-evolving user expectations, promote a data-driven culture, and drive business model innovation.”

RightsLink for Scientific Communications offers workflow tools for enabling the funding, payment, management, and reporting of OA and related publication charges. It “is designed to support the unique needs of institutions and funders. This may include granting approvals one transaction at a time or delivering fully automated workflows and detailed reporting of authors and, when manuscripts are published as Open Access, through Read and Publish or other transformative agreements.”

For more information, read the press release.

'Want to Know What Your End Users Are Thinking?' by Lauren Hays

Lauren Hays writes for the Lucidea blog, “As you think about the needs of your users, you may be wondering how best to obtain data that will inform changes in your special library, museum, or archive. There are many types of data collection methods including: interviews, observations, focus groups, and surveys.” This post focuses on surveys. She discusses their benefits and challenges, tips for designing them, and tips for analyzing their data.

For more information, read the blog post.

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