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Weekly News Digest

October 24, 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Europeana Records Are Now Available via OCLC's WorldCat

OCLC teamed up with Europeana to add records for millions of digitized items to WorldCat so they can be easily discoverable and freely accessible for library patrons. “Funded by the European Commission, Europeana provides free access to more than 50 million records of books, recordings, artwork and more, in a wide range of subject areas. Over 24 million of these are openly licensed and freely available for work, research and learning,” according to the press release.

“We are thrilled to add rich, valuable resources from the Europeana Collections to WorldCat,” says Suzanne Kemperman, OCLC’s director of business development and publisher relations. “Libraries and library users want access to free and open content. With Europeana records in WorldCat, researchers can find and access this content by searching libraries’ collections.”

For more information, read the press release.

The Harvard Crimson Shares Its Vision for the Modern Academic Library

The Harvard Crimson’s editorial board published an editorial stating the following:

The advent of the digital age has transformed our relationships with our common spaces, and the way those common spaces are constructed. One of the spaces most ubiquitous in the life of a college student—the campus library—is hardly immune from this trend. But the merits of updating libraries for the 21st century are questionable. …

The future of Harvard libraries must strike a balance between preserving its historic character and functions and the modernization that has been the hallmark of recent years. …

To be certain, we believe providing free technological resources and makerspaces to students, as well as designing libraries for collaborative use, can be incredibly enriching to the Harvard experience. However, students should still learn how to search the archives and navigate Harvard libraries’ resources for research purposes. …

The world is changing, and the way we access media and information continues to evolve. Harvard Library has certainly changed in some regards to accommodate this evolution, but it has not yet and never should abdicate its goal of providing the University and the world as a whole with the knowledge we need to understand our past and move towards a better future.

For more information, read the article.

ProQuest One Literature Facilitates Broader Literary Research

ProQuest introduced ProQuest One Literature, a solution that supports all facets of literature study by bringing together a large and inclusive collection that has multimedia and multiformat resources (more than 3 million literary criticism citations; 14,000 dissertations; 1,300 videos, etc.), along with works by authors from marginalized communities as well as traditional Western writings dating from the eighth century.

“There’s a crying need for convenient access to texts representing a range of ethnicities and experiences from around the globe, as well as for tools to critically analyze those texts,” says Nick Okrent, a librarian at the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library. “A platform with high-quality search functionality and extensive content—including relevant primary and secondary sources—will go a long way towards meeting this need. The idea of a product that synthesizes extensive literature content and leverages metadata to organize it rationally is an idea whose time has come.”

For more information, read the press release.

PLA Plans Webinars on Millennial Book Clubs and the Trauma-Informed Approach

The Public Library Association (PLA) will host two upcoming webinars: Millennials Haven’t Ruined Book Club: Hosting a Book Club for Millennials (Nov. 14, 2019, at 2 p.m. EST) and Why Trauma-Informed?: A PLA Social Worker Task Force Webinar (Nov. 18, 2019, at 2 p.m. EST).

In Millennials Haven’t Ruined Book Club, representatives from West Palm Beach Public Library in Florida “will discuss how to start a book club for millennials, how to get them through the door, and how to keep them coming back. It will cover all stages of book club management, including planning, marketing, facilitating and sustainability.”

Why Trauma-Informed? will feature members of PLA’s Social Worker Task Force, who are social workers in public libraries. “The trauma-informed approach to library service presumes that every person who walks through your library's doors has experienced some degree of trauma or stress in their lifetime. … [F]ollowing a trauma-informed approach can relieve the pressure that results from managing difficult situations while creating an environment of collaboration and trust at the library.”

For more information, including pricing, read the press release.

Diversifying Academic Library Collections

Jos Damen writes the following for the LSE (The London School of Economics and Political Science) Impact Blog:

Leiden University is strong in Asian and African studies and so its library therefore buys books from China, Indonesia, South Africa, Ethiopia and other countries. Yet more than 90 per cent of the library collection still originates from ‘Northern’ sources.

Such a reliance on ‘Northern’ books and publishing houses means that we are missing out on important information and perspectives. Brokers and book suppliers often offer similar collections to many libraries because it’s cheaper. This cost-cutting means that libraries miss new and surprising developments, because other books don’t fit into current profiles or are published by small or new publishers. … To give an example: if you study Indonesian society without reading books from Indonesia or by Indonesian writers, you’ll miss a lot of information.

Damen shares three suggestions for building a more diverse collection:

  • “Go South!” (“In the last two decades, staff from the Library of the African Studies Centre in Leiden have undertaken annual book acquisition trips to, amongst other places, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Tanzania.”)
  • “Reconsider the collection policy” (“Is African Studies a key subject at your university? If so, how many books do you have that are printed in Rwanda or Kenya?”)
  • “Open Access” (“Open Access can also help to diversify. And it works both ways. The library has a task to ensure that publications by all researchers are available as open access online.”)

For more information, read the blog post.

PragerU Takes Google to Court Over Restricted YouTube Videos

PragerU, “an online video resource promoting knowledge and clarity on life’s biggest and most interesting topics,” according to its YouTube page, announced the following:

Lawyers will present opening oral arguments Friday, Oct. 25, in Prager University v. Google LLC before the Superior Court of the State of California in Santa Clara. …

Similar to PragerU’s federal case currently awaiting decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California state lawsuit asserts that Google continues to ‘unlawfully restrict and restrain speech and expression.’ YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, has restricted over 200 PragerU videos, more than 10% of PragerU’s video library, labeling them as ‘dangerous’ or ‘derogatory.’ …

The lawsuit maintains that PragerU’s videos have been restricted, not because they are explicit, vulgar or obscene in nature, or inappropriate for children in any way, but because they promote conservative ideas. …

For more information, read the press release.

SAGE and UNC–Chapel Hill Enter Into OA Pilot Program

SAGE is starting an OA pilot program with the University of North Carolina (UNC)–Chapel Hill Libraries. In 2020, UNC–Chapel Hill researchers will get access to SAGE Journals. In addition, UNC–Chapel Hill faculty members, staffers, and students will get article-processing charge (APC) funding from SAGE and the university libraries “for a number of articles accepted for publication in a SAGE subscription journal under an open access option. For articles that derive from funded research, the APC will be charged at a discounted rate,” according to the press release.

“SAGE is committed to paving new paths as we pursue the goal of disseminating vital research to the broadest community in a way that maximizes output while minimizing the cost to the research community. We look forward to learning from this pilot in order to better assess how we can support the growth of open access in the U.S. for the future,” says David Ross, VP of open research at SAGE.

For more information, read the press release.

GPO and the Law Library of Congress Embark on a Massive Digitization Effort

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is working with the Law Library of Congress to “digitize and make [freely] accessible volumes of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set back to the first volume, which was published in 1817.” The U.S. Congressional Serial Set “is a compilation of all numbered House and Senate reports and documents, including executive reports and treaty documents, issued for each session of Congress.”

The Serial Set features information such as maps related to exploring the West, surveys for the Pacific Railroad, presidential papers, and Boy Scouts of America annual reports. The digitization is expected to take at least 10 years to complete.

For more information, read the press release.

U.S. Copyright Office Issues New Fee Schedule and Analysis for Congressional Approval

Register of Copyrights Karyn A. Temple writes the following for the Library of Congress’ Copyright: Creativity at Work blog:

[On Oct. 16], the Copyright Office delivered our Fee Schedule and Analysis to Congress. Every three to five years, the Office engages in an in-depth study of our fees to determine whether to adjust them. To be clear, this fee study does not cover every fee that the Office charges, but it does cover those for services most used by the public, such as registration of claims and recordation of documents. Now that the fee study has been submitted, Congress has 120 days in which to either approve the fees by doing nothing, or pass a law stating that it does not approve of the new fees.

Part of the Office’s analysis of our fees concerns cost recovery, or what percentage of the cost of a particular service (such as processing a claim for registration) the Office should recover through fees. Recovery is not our only concern, however; we also consider fairness, equity, and the objectives of the copyright system. Thus, as a matter of practice, most of the Office’s fees only recover a percentage of costs (the exact percentage varies by fee). This is to encourage as much participation in the copyright system as possible by pricing our services so that they remain in reach of users. …

Overall, a number of important fees have been kept the same, such as group registration for photographs, a few have been reduced, and some have increased slightly. Regarding the services most used by the public, the Office is now proposing raising the fee for the Standard Application from $55 to $65. …

The Copyright Office strives to make sure that our fees are both fiscally responsible and provide a good value for our customers.

For more information, read the blog post.

An Argument Against the CASE Act

Katharine Trendacosta writes the following for Boing Boing:

Every year, for a couple of years now, Congress has debated passing some version of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act). It’s supposed to be the answer to artists’ prayers: a quicker, cheaper way to deal with infringement than going to court. But the way this bill is written (and re-written, and re-written, and re-written) doesn’t do that. It just makes it easy to bankrupt people for sharing memes. …

What the CASE Act actually creates is a Copyright Claims Board staffed by Copyright Claims Officers in the Copyright Office. That means your case won’t be heard by a real judge (much less a jury), and many of the hard-won protections you get in court—like a growing understanding of the importance of fair use—may not apply.

So what actually will happen is that a board you’ve likely never heard of will send you a notice that there has been a claim against you. If you ignore it, you’re bound by whatever decision they make, since the CASE Act also makes appealing decisions very difficult.

For more information, read the article.

Gale Unveils New Product for Teachers

Gale rolled out Gale In Context: For Educators, “a new product that gives educators a more effective approach to curriculum development and classroom instruction. Fueled by content from the Gale In Context suite of student databases, For Educators provides standards-aligned lesson plans and instructional materials. A specialized toolkit helps educators collect, personalize and share resources quickly and easily with colleagues and students across their district,” according to the press release.

Teachers get a single point of access to the resources they need, including instructional support (digital materials that supplement curricula), customization (tools and features that personalize instruction for diverse classroom needs), workflow tools (in a single interface that integrates with other workflow tools and platforms), and collaboration (to connect library resources with the classroom curriculum and make sharing resources easier).

For more information, read the press release.

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