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Weekly News Digest

January 9, 2020 — 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.

EBSCO and PTFS Europe Drive Adoption of FOLIO in the U.K.

EBSCO Information Services joined forces with PTFS Europe to help libraries in the U.K. adopt the open source FOLIO library services platform. They will provide interested libraries with hosting and local support services. PTFS Europe also works with libraries that use Koha and other open source resources.

“Working with EBSCO to implement FOLIO adds a new open source solution to the list of products we can support for our customers and shows our commitment to both open source and to the needs of all library sectors,” says Andrew Auld, PTFS Europe’s head of marketing and business administration.

For more information, read the press release.

OverDrive Celebrates the Recent Lending Numbers for Digital Materials

OverDrive announced, “Due to their creative efforts in curation, managing multiple lending models and engaging patrons, librarians helped drive public library circulation of digital books to record highs in 2019. Libraries and schools around the world enabled their patrons and students to check out 326 million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines in the past 12 months, a 20% increase over the previous year.”

The company also noted that “73 public library systems in five countries loaned over 1 million digital books to readers in 2019. Achieving this unprecedented level of reader engagement: 45 city or county library systems and 28 regional or state consortiums. Eight libraries reached this million book milestone for the first time.”

For more information, read the press release.

Fine-Free in the New Year

More and more public libraries are announcing that they are going fine-free.

According to Colorado Public Radio (CPR), Mesa County Libraries in Colorado went fine-free as of Jan. 1, 2020. “While researching whether to make this change, library employees found that the county zip codes with the most overdue fees also had the lowest incomes. … 10,000 [library accounts] are blocked because of a combination of overdue fines and bills for unreturned items. After $10 accrues, people aren’t allowed to check out materials. With this change, 3,000 of those users will immediately have their borrowing rights restored.”

The Denver Post reports that since Denver Public Library went fine-free in January 2019, 35% of patrons with fines who had stopped using the library have returned. “Fines were a penalty, and they were our approach to be good stewards and get materials back, but what we found was they did not result in getting materials back. They penalized the person after they did the right thing and returned their items,” Jennifer Hoffman, manager of the library’s Books and Borrowing department, told the newspaper.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 3 years ago, the Los Angeles Public Library “gave amnesty to patrons with overdue materials, which led to the return of 64,633 overdue items and the issuance of nearly 8,000 new library cards. During that campaign, around 13,700 delinquent library users had their cards unblocked, allowing them to begin borrowing again. … Getting rid of the late fees systemwide was the logical next step, said library commission president Bich Ngoc Cao. …”

For more information, read the article about Mesa County Libraries, the article about Denver Public Library, and the article about Los Angeles Public Library.

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled to Digitize Historical Music Content

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) received a major endowment that will allow it to digitize its Braille music scores and instructional materials, which is the largest collection of this content in the world. Some items date back to the late 19th century. The funding will also allow NLS to develop a Braille digitization tool that uses 3D laser technology.

For more information, read the press release.

DCL Discusses the Audiobook Publishing Market

Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) posted the following about the continuing success of the audiobook industry:

The audiobook publishing market continues to experience massive growth. As we get ready for a new decade the outlook remains bright for audiobook publishing sales and industry support. …

Deloitte predicts that UK audiobook sales are expected to generate £115 million [about $151 million] in 2020. That translates to a 30% increase since 2018! This summer the Audio Publishers Association conducted a survey of US publishers and reported audiobook sales in 2018 totaled $940 million, a revenue figure that has grown a full 24.5% year-over-year since 2017. Unit sales are up even more, rising 27.3% over 2017.

With sales and profits surging northward, production processes that support such growth and volume will become more important than ever to streamline and manage.

For more information, read the blog post.

The Digital Reader Explores the Ebook Revolution

Nate Hoffelder writes the following for The Digital Reader:

Have you read the ten-year retrospective on the ebook revolution that Vox published a few weeks back? Go read it, and then come back here [to The Digital Reader post] so I can point out what they missed.

The thing about that piece is that it said that the ebook revolution didn't happen, which both is and isn't true.

Vox reached this conclusion based on a glaring but quite common error: They looked at industry-wide stats, and drew conclusions based on the assumption that any change would affect all parts of the book publishing industry equally. This was a mistake first because the industry is not a homogeneous whole, and also because focusing on sales stats keeps you from seeing the more radical changes.

The thing is, ebooks did revolutionize parts of the industry: Non-fiction in particular has been changed radically, but you might not be able to see that from sales stats.

For more information, read the blog post.

'The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade' by Audrey Watters

Audrey Watters writes for Hack Education, “For the past ten years, I have written a lengthy year-end series, documenting some of the dominant narratives and trends in education technology. I think it is worthwhile, as the decade draws to a close, to review those stories and to see how much (or how little) things have changed.” Watters choses to concentrate on the decade’s top 100 failures, including “the promise of ‘free’” (#99), “Alexa at school” (#64), and “the gentrification of Sesame Street” (#31).

For more information, read the article.

CCC Rolls Out RightFind Navigate

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) introduced RightFind Navigate, a solution that helps researchers “find relevant content more quickly and easily through contextualized discovery, machine learning, and smart data.” It brings together licensed content sources, publicly available data, and internal proprietary content that leads researchers to draw new connections. This “flexible, scalable, open ecosystem” is “designed to maximize organizations’ return on their content and data investments.”

For more information, read the press release.

Matrix Integration Helps Businesses Create Better Cybersecurity Plans

Matrix Integration published predictions for solutions that will become more prevalent in business cybersecurity frameworks, including the following:
  • More companies will employ network access control (NAC) solutions. NAC solutions help IT administrators gain immediate access and visibility to quickly see who is on the system and what they’re doing.
  • AI isn’t just for big businesses anymore. In 2020, more organizations will have access to AI tools that continuously monitor activity within networks and rapidly detect anomalies.
  • Businesses often use multifactor authentication (MFA) in high-security industries like finance, but now it’s even easier for companies to employ the same technology to verify employees and guests who are using the network while keeping out unauthorized visitors.
  • Single sign-on solutions continue to gain traction. These tools often work alongside MFA solutions to allow users to gain access to applications they’re authorized to use with just one login and password. This helps system administrators control access to the network while reducing the amount of information users need to remember.

For more information, read the article.

Cengage Shares Higher Education Predictions for 2020

Cengage published a selection of predictions for the coming year from college students, faculty members, and company leaders. They discuss “what challenges and opportunities will take center stage for higher education in 2020 and beyond. … Broadly, the predictions focus on the need to address affordability to make learning more accessible for all. …”

For more information and to see the predictions, read the press release.

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