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Weekly News Digest

August 4, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

COVID-19 NEWS: Libraries Take Different Approaches to Reopening

The Bennington Banner reports that Wardsboro (Vt.) Public Library’s staff “resigned after being at odds with the board of trustees over whether to open for in-person service during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The article continues:

‘In a nutshell, the three of us (staff) would not work in an “open” library and would have liked to stay with “curbside pickup” for the safety of patrons and staff,’ Jill Dean, director of the Wardsboro Public Library, wrote on the library’s Facebook page on Monday. ‘Unfortunately, the trustees (Carol Fay, Sheri Lewis, Mark Fernandes and Bob Stupp) demand the library be open. So the library trustees will have to find someone who will work in an OPEN library.’

Read more here.

In other news, WGBH in Boston reports the following:

[T]he underlying theme for re-opening libraries in Massachusetts reads more like a novel than a non-fiction book, with varying timelines and twists and turns on what people hope is a path back to normalcy.

Nora Blake, president of the Massachusetts Library Association, said one big concern is ensuring libraries are safely disinfecting and sanitizing books. With so much uncertainty around how long the virus remains on surfaces, people aren’t the only ones facing quarantine.

‘I think what 100 percent of libraries are doing is quarantining materials,’ Blake said. ‘So, we’ll put gloves on. We’ll take all the materials out of our book return, and we will set them down somewhere and then we won’t go near them again for at least three days.’ …

Milton Public Library Director William Adamczyk said technology has allowed some library services in his community to continue uninterrupted.

‘Even with our doors closed for the last quarter of the fiscal year, March through June,’ Adamczyk said, ‘we still had our Milton library users have over 53,000 digital checkouts, whether they’re e-books or language learning or videos.’

Milton Public Library has kept many of its programs going during the pandemic. Things like children’s story hours and summer reading programs have continued virtually. But Adamczyk said one area most libraries are staying away from is public computers.

‘We’re not using computers, copiers or scanners at this point—anything that’s really high-touch,’ he said.

Read more here.

Updates on the Internet Archive Lawsuit

Matthew Gault writes the following for VICE:

In a brief filed in a New York district court on [July 28], the Internet Archive fired back in response to a lawsuit brought against it by five of the world’s largest publishers. The lawsuit seeks to shut down an online National Emergency Library started by the Internet Archive during the Covid-19 pandemic and levy millions of dollars in fines against the organization.

‘The Internet Archive does what libraries have always done: buy, collect, preserve, and share our common culture,’ the brief said. ‘Contrary to the publishers’ accusations, the Internet Archive and the hundreds of libraries and archives that support it are not pirates or thieves. They are librarians, striving to serve their patrons online just as they have done for centuries in the brick-and-mortar world.’

Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Internet Archive in June, claiming the site was a hub of piracy that had cost authors untold millions. Worried that the lawsuit could destroy the Internet Archive entirely, some have taken it upon themselves to archive the archive.

At the heart of the lawsuit is the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library, an initiative it began in March as a response to Covid-19. The idea was to use a controlled lending system to make almost 1.4 million books temporarily available to anyone who wanted them until the end of June or the end of the pandemic, without a wait list. Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is a new system of lending e-books as if they were printed that makes it so readers can’t freely redistribute digital books they’ve borrowed.

The publisher’s lawsuit claims the emergency library infringed its copyrights and is seeking $150,000 per infringement for each of the 1.4 million copyrighted works.

For more information, read the article. In addition, read Publishing Perspectives’ take here and Publishers Weekly’s take here.

COVID-19 NEWS: SirsiDynix Webinar Covers Coping With Isolation

SirsiDynix is hosting a webinar on Aug. 5, 2020, at 1 p.m. EDT, called COVID-19: How to Cope With Ongoing Isolation. The company writes the following:

Join Brigham Young University psychology and neuroscience professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad as she shares her insight into how social distancing practices are affecting our minds, why relationships are important, and helpful habits we can implement to cope. Professor Holt-Lunstad has been researching the long-term health effects of social connection for over a decade. …

Topics will include isolation versus loneliness, the benefits of positive relationships, signs of loneliness within ourselves, and strategies for maintaining positive mental health.

For more information, visit the website.

SAGE Releases 5-Year Impact Factors for SBS Journals

SAGE published 5-year Journal Impact Factors (JIFs) for all of its social and behavioral science (SBS) journals. The press release states, “This is the second year that SAGE has published JIF data from a five-year period in a move to widen the conversation about alternative measurements of research articles that better demonstrate their impact. SAGE believes that while citation data cannot reflect this impact in its entirety, it provides a longer-term and more balanced picture than the standard two-year measure. This conversation is particularly pertinent in SBS, where citations are often slower to accrue and the true measure of impact resonates far beyond the academy.”

“Social and behavioral science has the power to shape public understanding, bring about policy change, and drive collective action around the most pressing social issues of our time—something we have witnessed now more than ever as society navigates the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and works toward racial equality,” says Ziyad Marar, SAGE’s president of global publishing. “However, this is not always reflected in well-established research metrics. Our five-year JIFs are just one step toward achieving a broader perspective on research impact that truly recognizes the wide-reaching value of the social and behavioral sciences.” 

For more information, read the press release.

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