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Weekly News Digest

March 26, 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.

The MIT Press Unveils Free Online Events Connecting Authors and Readers

MIT Press Live! is a free online event series from the MIT Press that will feature experts talking about “timely topics,” including “critical thinking during a time of crisis; concentration in times of distraction; and navigating a pandemic-struck world.” It will be held on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. EDT, with the first event scheduled for March 31, when Alex Berke (an affiliate of the MIT Media Lab and a coloring book author) will host a coloring workshop for all ages. Electronic coloring book pages will be available. Registration is required.

For more information and the list of scheduled events, read the blog post.

COVID-19 NEWS: CCC Helps Educators Use No-Cost Materials

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) introduced the Education Continuity License “to enable creative approaches to remote teaching and distance learning made necessary by the pandemic.”

CCC notes, “Over the past several days, educators across the U.S. have contacted CCC with questions about using copyrighted content and materials in innovative new ways to support distance learning. In response, CCC is coordinating with its community of rightsholders to authorize the use of their materials at no cost by educators as required by the pandemic during this time of emergency. CCC is not delivering educational materials or content to educators; it offers this new license to authorize U.S. school districts, educators, parents and others to make immediate additional uses of materials that they have previously lawfully acquired.”

The authorization is active through midsummer 2020 and will be extended if necessary. Educators can view participating publishers using the form on the license’s webpage.

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: EdSurge's 'How Librarians Continue Their Work Digitally Even as Coronavirus Closes Libraries'

EdSurge shares the following:

To get a sense of what the widespread closure of libraries could mean, and hear some creative ways libraries are reaching out digitally, we talked with Jessamyn West, an educational technologist who runs the blog and is author of ‘Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide.’

Listen to this week’s podcast on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotifyStitcherGoogle Play Music, or wherever you listen to podcasts, or use the player below. Or read the partial transcript, which has been lightly edited for clarity.

For more information and the transcript, read the article.

COVID-19 NEWS: American Libraries' 'Fighting Fake News in the Pandemic'

Sarah Ostman writes the following for American Libraries’ The Scoop blog:

The coronavirus pandemic is rife with misinformation. Use your library’s digital reach to help people sniff out fake news.

Misinformation runs rampant during times of unrest, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Your library may be closed to the public, but you can still help thwart misinformation by sharing media literacy resources via your website or social media channels.

But a word of warning: Try not to overload your social media followers—or yourself—with too much news. …

With that said, [here] are resources that can help you and your patrons as you sort through the coronavirus news.

For more information, read the blog post.

COVID-19 NEWS: ACS's 'Can Soap Really "Kill" the Coronavirus?'

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has a YouTube series, Reactions, that “uncovers the chemistry all around us. We answer the burning questions you’ve always wanted to ask. …” Its latest video is “Can Soap REALLY ‘Kill’ the Coronavirus?” The description states, “Constantly being told to wash your hands? Us too. So we’re diving into the chemistry behind why soap is so effective against viruses like the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.”

For more information, watch the YouTube video.

COVID-19 NEWS: Instructions for 3D-Printed Masks

Various organizations have published instructions for using a 3D printer to create personal protective equipment (PPE) masks. For example, in Montana, a dental office is sharing its knowledge, and the Billings Clinic Foundation notes the following:

To bolster the limited supply of PPE masks, Billings Clinic Neurosurgeon, Dusty Richardson, MD, in collaboration with Billings-area dentist Spencer Zaugg, DDS and his son Colton, have tapped into their ingenuity to create durable, reusable plastic masks using 3D printer technology.

The 3D-printed mask has a snap-in section for filtration material that can be changed out as needed. The Flowmark/Hitech Filters company headquartered in Billings is partnering with us to provide 20,000 pieces of filter materials in support of this project. These masks will supplement existing mask supplies.

Our next effort is to activate every 3D printer in our community to produce these masks. Billings Public Schools, Rocky Mountain College, and Montana State University-Billings have all offered to help. We are asking others in our community with access to 3D printers and related supplies to assist in this effort.

COVID-19 NEWS: Internet Archive Creates a National Emergency Library of Non-Waitlisted Titles

The Internet Archive announced that it is “suspend[ing] waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.” This will give students “access to assigned readings and library materials that the Internet Archive has digitized for the remainder of the US academic calendar, and that people who cannot physically access their local libraries because of closure or self-quarantine can continue to read and thrive during this time of crisis, keeping themselves and others safe.”

For more information, read the blog post.

COVID-19 NEWS: IFLA's 'COVID-19 and the Global Library Field'

IFLA published a resource for tracking library closures and restrictions, as well as related news. It states the following:

Libraries around the world are facing hard choices around which services to offer and how, ranging from minimal restrictions to full closure. We are aware that governments themselves are taking different approaches, sometimes ordering the closure of all institutions, others indicating that life should continue as usual, and others simply leaving decisions up to library directors.

Clearly any decision to restrict services or close a library is a difficult one and needs to be taken following an assessment of the relative risks.

For more information, read the article.

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