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Weekly News Digest

August 31, 2021 — 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.

'B&N Rides a Wave of Positive Trends' by Jim Milliot

Jim Milliot writes the following for Publishers Weekly:

While [B&N CEO James] Daunt appeared confident B&N could weather the Covid storm, others in the industry were not so sure how much time the new owners would give Daunt to turn around the bookstore chain at a time when the viability of physical retail was being called into question. However, as bookstore sales have bounced back from the depth of last year’s slump (bookstore sales were up 30% in the first half of 2021 over the comparable period last year), publishers say B&N has been performing well. Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp credited Daunt with ‘revitalizing’ the retailer, while HarperCollins [HC] CEO Brian Murray praised Daunt’s decision to remake the stores during the pandemic and for his ability to convince Elliott to keep investing in the business, adding that HC’s sales with B&N are up. …

The pandemic has continued to hurt B&N’s café and newsstand results, but books and other core areas, such as educational games, puzzles, and workbooks, have done well, Daunt said. …

Daunt gave store employees full credit for getting B&N turned around, acknowledging the difficult conditions they were working under during the depth of the pandemic while also learning a new way of working. He is resolute in his belief that the key for B&N to succeed is to empower store managers. Once the managers have the right tools and support, the best thing to do is ‘to get out [of] the way,’ he said.

For more information, read the article.

HeinOnline Launches a Database for the Open Society Justice Initiative

Lauren Mattiuzzo posted the following on HeinOnline’s blog:

To honor our core value of corporate citizenship, we are pleased to offer our newest database, Open Society Justice Initiative, a collection of materials free of charge to core American and international subscribers, and to the libraries of any other interested organizations or institutions. This is the fourth database added to our Social Justice Suite, a perpetually free research package that also includes Slavery in America and the World, Gun Regulation and Legislation in America, and Civil Rights and Social Justice. …

The Open Society Justice Initiative, part of the Open Society Foundations, was established in 2003 to provide expert legal support for Open Society’s broader mission and values through strategic human rights litigation and other legal work. The Justice Initiative publishes reports, handbooks, briefing papers, legal and policy submissions, and fact sheets exploring and advocating on issues of human rights and justice. Beyond its publications, the Justice Initiative represents individuals before domestic and international human rights tribunals. Its advocacy work targets national and regional policymakers and governments to advance human rights and the rule of law, and it supports local, national, and international efforts to expand access to justice. …

This database, consisting entirely of never-before available titles to HeinOnline, will be updated yearly as new publications are released by the Justice Initiative.

For more information, read the blog post.

EFF Looks at Companies' Tactics for Fighting Copyright Infringement

Katharine Trendacosta writes the following in “Why Companies Keep Folding to Copyright Pressure, Even If They Shouldn’t” for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF):

Online platforms that host user content are not liable for copyright infringement done by those users so long as they fulfill the obligations laid out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). One of those obligations is to give rightsholders an unprecedented ability to have speech removed from the internet, on demand, with a simple notice sent to a platform identifying the offending content. Another is that companies must have some policy to terminate the accounts of ‘repeat infringers.’

Not content with being able to remove content without a court order, the giant companies that hold the most profitable rights want platforms to do more than the law requires. They do not care that their demands result in other people’s speech being suppressed. Mostly, they want two things: automated filters, and to be paid. In fact, the letter sent to Twitter by [members of the U.S. House of Representatives] asks Twitter to add ‘content protection technology’—for free—and heavily implies that the just course is for Twitter to enter into expensive licensing agreements with [music] labels.

Make no mistake, artists deserve to be paid for their work. However, the complaints that the … record labels make about platforms are less about what individual artists make, and more about labels’ control. …

Google set the worst precedent possible in this regard. Trying to avoid a fight with major rightsholders, Google voluntarily created Content ID. Content ID is an automated filter that scans uploads to see if any part—even just a few seconds—of the upload matches the copyrighted material in its database. A match can result in either a user’s video being blocked, or monetized for the claiming rightsholder. … While any creator has the right to use copyrighted material without paying rightsholders in circumstances where fair use applies, Content ID routinely diverts money away from creators like these to rightsholders in the name of policing infringement.

For more information, read the article.

The Scholarly Kitchen: 'Enabling Your Organization to Be Antiracist'

Jocelyn Dawson, Laura Martin, Megan Seyler, and Damita Snow write the following for The Scholarly Kitchen:

To celebrate the launch of [the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications’] Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations, Damita Snow and Jocelyn Dawson sat down with Laura Martin and Megan Seyler to share why they are excited about this toolkit and what they hope it will achieve. …

[W]ritten by a multiracial group of scholarly communications professionals[, it] is intended to help individuals at all levels within our organizations to implement inclusive policies, procedures, and norms, and ultimately transform their workplaces into inclusive and equitable spaces. The toolkit is designed not only to meet organizations wherever they are in their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts, but also to help them improve on these efforts through a transition from more general DE&I training programs to the design and implementation of antiracist policies and procedures.

The Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations is intended for everyone, regardless of the organization’s size or DE&I resources available—particularly those who are interested in driving organizational transformative change. It is meant to spark more thoughtful conversations about how each of us can both learn and apply our learnings, to create fewer barriers for marginalized colleagues, and to create a more supportive and inclusive workplace environment.

For more information, read the blog post.

More Publishers Join OverDrive's New Access Model

OverDrive shared the following:

On April 20, 2021, we announced an ARPA [prorated] model as a new option for collections that are time or circulation-based Metered Access.

Penguin Random House was the first publisher to agree to this ARPA prorated sales model. As of August 25, 2021, Hachette US, Macmillan Publishers and Pottermore now offer the ARPA prorated sales model. This option enables U.S. libraries to acquire digital materials specifically for the 16-month period of June 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 or portions of this term. The price will be prorated based on the month of purchase.

For more information, read the blog post.

OCLC Makes Talis Aspire Available to WorldShare Management Services Customers

OCLC joined forces with Talis to provide the Talis Aspire course resource management system to new and existing WorldShare Management Services customers in the U.S., Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. According to the press release, “Talis Aspire enhances both in-person and online learning experiences by enabling faculty members and instructors to create reading lists of materials from the library collection to support course learning objectives for their students. Through interoperability with the institution's library management system, Talis Aspire ensures students can access materials quickly from the institution's collections in compliance with local copyright requirements.”

The interoperability between Talis Aspire and WorldShare Management Services makes it easier to manage the acquisition, use, and retention of materials for in-person and online learning environments.

For more information, read the press release.

RBmedia Enters Into Exclusive Partnership With Entangled Publishing

RBmedia signed up for an exclusive partnership with Entangled Publishing, a woman-owned independent romance fiction publisher. According to the press release, “Through this agreement, the company will add audio editions of the Entangled titles to its sizable romance catalog over the next three years. … Since its inception in July 2011, Entangled has published more than 2,600 titles [by authors such as] Avery Flynn, Stacy Reid, Eva Devon, Stefanie London, Helen Hardt, Lisa Renee Jones, Amalie Howard, Alyssa Day, [and] Alyson Noël. …”

Entangled audiobooks that RBmedia releases will be produced and distributed under the Recorded Books brand and Tantor imprint. The titles will be available from Audible, iTunes,, and other audiobook retailers.

For more information, read the press release.

IFLA Rolls Out New Website Design

IFLA’s redesigned website,, is now live. Secretary general Gerald Leitner states, “The new site offers a cleaner and fresher welcome, placing IFLA’s vision and mission front and centre. It is also far easier to access the pages of IFLA’s different Sections, Divisions and other committees where the work of IFLA’s volunteers is set out.” The new site has “a dedicated repository for digital objects, with over 1200 objects so far” and is “compatible with international standards for accessibility.”

Next up is “expanding the range of content available in all IFLA official languages” and integrating the IFLA Library into the new repository.

For more information, read the news item.

Udemy Buys CorpU to Provide More Immersive Learning Experiences

Udemy has acquired the CorpU online leadership development platform. According to the press release, “The acquisition deepens Udemy’s learning offerings with CorpU’s immersive experiences to deliver transformational learning that fosters innovation, leadership, and business agility.” Businesses using CorpU’s customizable learning environments include CVS Health, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Rite Aid. The press release notes, “CorpU’s leadership training harnesses the value of group learning, executive and peer coaching, and experiential learning activities that tie back to business results.”

“With Udemy’s real-world expert instructors and CorpU’s experienced professors and peer-to-peer learning capabilities, companies can build agility and resilience in teams to take on today’s toughest challenges, says Udemy CEO Gregg Coccari. “We believe that CorpU will allow Udemy to help companies go further in upskilling initiatives and deepen collaboration and leadership capabilities through immersive learning experiences.”

For more information, read the press release.

McGraw Hill to Acquire Achieve3000 to Complement Its School Offerings

McGraw Hill has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Achieve3000, “a recognized leader in differentiated instruction and learning acceleration for PreK-12 students in all 50 states and 49 countries.” The transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed, is set to close in about 60 days.

According to the press release, “Achieve3000 delivers a comprehensive learning platform that significantly accelerates and deepens learning in literacy, math, science, social studies, and English Language Arts. Teachers in every subject and all 50 states rely on Achieve3000’s solutions to promote equity, increase engagement, and accelerate learning in their classes.”

“This is a great opportunity to further complement our core products in PreK-12 with supplemental and intervention solutions to help students of all ages and abilities, which has become even more important since the pandemic,” says Simon Allen, McGraw Hill’s CEO. “With this acquisition, we will offer a wider array of outstanding digital learning materials that serve teachers, engage students and drive better learning outcomes.”

For more information, read the press release.

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