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Weekly News Digest

April 7, 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.

Cambridge University Press Rolls Out Cambridge Open Engage

Cambridge University Press unveiled Cambridge Open Engage, a new content and collaboration platform that researchers can use to submit their work, including preprints, presentations, working papers, conference posters, and gray literature. All of the content is free to upload and to read, facilitating easy collaboration and audience-building.

“[T]he platform builds on the state-of-the-art technology behind Cambridge Core, the online home for the Press’s academic books and journals, to publish early and open research outputs. … Research across all disciplines is welcome, excluding content with implications for clinical practice.”

For more information, read the press release.

Freedom to Read Foundation Launches Webinar Series

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is introducing a Zoom-based webinar series on intellectual freedom for library students; librarians; educators; media, publishing, and social media professionals; and anyone interested in the First Amendment, censorship, and copyright. The first webinar is Reaching Students When Access to Technology Is Out of Reach, to be held April 16, 2020, at 4 p.m. EDT.

The other two announced webinars are Intellectual Freedom and the Law: Social Media, First Amendment Audits, and the Library as a Public Forum (April 28) and The Challenge of Challenges: Strategies for Protecting Inclusion and Silencing Censors (May 12).

The webinars are free for FTRF members and $25 for nonmembers.

For more information, read the press release.

COVID-19 NEWS: Internet Archive Defends the Launch of Its National Emergency Library

The Internet Archive posted the following:

Last Tuesday we launched a National Emergency Library—1.4M digitized books available to users without a waitlist—in response to the rolling wave of school and library closures that remain in place to date. We’ve received dozens of messages of thanks from teachers and school librarians, who can now help their students access books while their schools, school libraries, and public libraries are closed. …

As we anticipated, critics including the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers have released statements (here and here) condemning the National Emergency Library and the Internet Archive. Both statements contain falsehoods that are being spread widely online. To counter the misinformation, we are addressing the most egregious points here and have also updated our FAQs. …

The books in the National Emergency Library have been acquired through purchase or donation, just like a traditional library. The Internet Archive preserves and digitizes the books it owns and makes those scans available for users to borrow online, normally one at a time. …

Libraries buy books or get them from donations and lend them out. This has been true and legal for centuries. The idea that this is stealing fundamentally misunderstands the role of libraries in the information ecosystem.

For more information, read the blog post.

COVID-19 NEWS: 'COVID-19 Information Overload Leads to Simple but Unhelpful Choices'

EurekAlert! from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) shares the following:

That the COVID-19 situation has been accompanied by a relentless flood of information is evident from a quick examination of newspaper front pages, top stories on any news channel, or trending topics on Twitter.

The TMI (too much information) effect has led to the danger of information overload[—]a phenomenon studied for over twenty years by Professor David Bawden and Dr Lyn Robinson of City University of London’s Department of Library and Information Science.

Overload occurs when too much relevant information is arriving, particularly when it comes through the ‘homogenising’ lens of the web browser, which makes it difficult to distinguish which information is reliable and helpful. It leads people to feel overwhelmed and powerless, and causes anxiety, fatigue, and paralysis of action; bad enough at any time, dangerous in a pandemic. …

Professor Bawden and Dr Robinson also say that in response, people seek simple, and often unhelpful, ways of choosing which information to focus on; even to the extent of just avoiding information completely.

For more information, read the news item.

RBmedia Buys Audiobook Company to Help It Better Reach Blind and Visually Impaired Readers

RBmedia acquired Potomac Talking Book Services, “an audiobook production organization” with more than 10,000 titles and “specializing in services for the blind and anyone with a disability that prevents them from reading.” It “offers audio recording, editing and fulfillment services.”

“We have long focused on supporting the latest accessibility standards in our products,” says Tom MacIsaac, RBmedia’s CEO. “We are excited to join forces with Potomac Talking Book Services to help us take these efforts to the next level and to make content and information more widely accessible through digital audio.”

For more information, read the press release.

AWS Rolls Out Amazon Detective Security Service

Amazon Web Services (AWS) released Amazon Detective, “a new security service that makes it easy for customers to conduct faster and more efficient investigations into security issues across their AWS workloads.”

Amazon Detective “automatically collects log data from a customer’s resources and uses machine learning, statistical analysis, and graph theory to build interactive visualizations that help customers analyze, investigate, and quickly identify the root cause of potential security issues or suspicious activities.” The service is available at no additional charge (although customers pay for certain ingested data).

For more information, read the press release.

Patron Point Develops an Online Registration Solution

Patron Point introduced its Online Registration solution, which provides “a complete workflow from customized, branded sign up forms which are placed on the library website, to creating the new patron record in the ILS  which triggers a fully automated welcome email sequence from the Patron Point marketing automation platform.”

For more information and a link to download the full press release, read the news item.

BookCon Plans Daylong Read-a-Thon for April 11

Publishers Weekly’s John Maher reports, “BookCon will host a virtual Read-a-Thon on Saturday, April 11, from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, as part of its new BookCon Virtual Author Tour Series, which launched last week. The series will run through the spring.” The April 11 event will feature authors doing 15-minute readings and Q&As on BookCon’s Facebook page.

The planned schedule is as follows:

  • 12pm-12:15pm: Introduction and welcome by BookCon and Binc teams
  • 12:15pm-12:30pm: Lamar Giles
  • 12:30pm-12:45pm: Andrew Eliopulous
  • 12:45pm-1pm: Kacen Callendar
  • 1pm-1:15pm: Justina Ireland
  • 1:15pm-1:30pm: Justin Reynolds
  • 1:30pm-1:45pm: Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
  • 1:45pm-2pm: Tobly McSmith
  • 2pm-2:15pm: Tahereh Mafi
  • 2:15pm-2:30pm: Layton Green
  • 2:30pm-2:45pm: Marie Lu (The Kingdom of Back)
  • 2:45pm-3pm: Zan Romanoff (Look)
  • 3pm-3:15pm: Melissa de la Cruz (The Queen’s Assassin)
  • 3:15pm-3:30pm: Cameron Lund (The Best Laid Plans)
  • 3:30pm-3:45pm: Laurie Halse Anderson (Shout)
  • 3:45pm-4pm: Ransom Riggs (The Conference of the Birds)
  • 4pm-4:15pm: Soman Chainani
  • 4:15pm-4:30pm: Shaun David Hutchinson
  • 4:30pm-4:45pm: Victoria Aveyard
  • 4:45pm-5pm: Kelly Yang
  • 5pm-5:15pm: Julian Winter (The Summer of Everything)
  • 5:15pm-5:30pm: Lilah Suzanne (Tack and Jibe)
  • 5:30pm-5:45pm: Makenzie Campbell (Nineteen)
  • 5:45pm-6pm: Emily Juniper (A Strangely Wrapped Gift)
  • 6pm-6:15pm: Hannah Templer (CosmoknightsGLOW)
  • 6:15pm-6:30pm: Nick Tapalansky and Kate Glasheen (A Radical Shift of Gravity)

For more information, read the article.

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