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Weekly News Digest

November 2, 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. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

ACRL and PLA Unveil the Benchmark Library Data Resource

ACRL and PLA announced the release of Benchmark: Library Metrics and Trends, a “digital resource [that] can help libraries plan, make informed decisions, and tell the story of their impact.” The press release shares that with this resource, “library professionals have access to a centralized collection of their library data and the ability to compare with peer libraries using a robust set of visualization and reporting tools. Public libraries have access to PLA survey data, Public Libraries Survey data (reported to the Institute of Museum and Library Services), and census data. Academic libraries have access to ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey data. Subscribers will find an intuitive interface that supports analysis and reporting efforts. Virtual data dashboards and customized comparison tools are interactive and user-friendly.”

In addition, “All public and academic libraries have free access to open surveys, their survey responses and select summary data in Benchmark. Libraries and other individuals or organizations interested in library data will subscribe and have access to a full suite of peer data and interactive tools. Subscription discounts will be available to PLA and ACRL organizational members and libraries that participate in Benchmark surveys.”

For more information, read the press release.

Authors Announce and Then Pull NFT-Based Project

Amanda Silberling writes the following for TechCrunch:

‘The Ruin stirs, and the Five Realms rumble,’ a now-archived web announcement read. … ‘You are cordially invited to join New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs, Adam Silvera, David Yoon, and Nicola Yoon in Realms of Ruin, a collaborative fantasy epic filled with dark magic, intrigue, and unique characters—launched online in a thrilling new way.’ …

As the catalyst for this collaborative fantasy epic, these authors would post 12 initial origin stories about their fictional universe, to which they owned the copyright. Then fans would be tasked with writing their own stories, submitting them to the Realms of Ruin universe by minting them as NFTs [non-fungible tokens] on the Solana blockchain. …

Within hours, fans confronted the authors … with their concerns about the project. If the authors are inviting fans to write fan fiction about a universe they created, who owns the derivative works? Does minting those stories as NFTs affect the copyright of those stories? And how are these concerns exacerbated given that these authors’ target audience is too young to buy cryptocurrency on platforms like Coinbase and Gemini? …

In other words, on top of the usual NFT concerns, the team would also be facing copyright questions and confronting the historical hesitancy from fan fiction writers over monetization of their works in a commercial environment.

Along with a team of nine developers, the six young adult authors spent two months working nights and weekends to bring Realms of Ruin to life. Within hours of its announcement, the project garnered so much backlash that they pulled the plug.

For more information, read the article.

IMLS Studies How Libraries and Museums Contribute to Social Well-Being

IMLS partnered with Reinvestment Fund for a study that “examines the role of museums and libraries in promoting social wellbeing in communities across the United States.” The resulting report, “Understanding the Social Wellbeing Impacts of the Nation’s Libraries and Museums,” finds “the presence and usage of public libraries and museums to be positively associated with multiple dimensions of social wellbeing—in particular, community health, school effectiveness, institutional connection, and cultural opportunity.”

Other key findings include the following:

  • Libraries and museums are increasingly critical actors supporting social service provision in the communities they serve. In many places these institutions are stepping into gaps left by depleted, or absent, public sector supports for education, public health, and social services. The roles they are taking on to fill these gaps often stretch their organizational capacity and missions in an effort to address resident needs that have historically been served by the public sector.
  • Libraries and museums are trusted institutions in their communities. They are places people go to get information they know is reliable. They are places people go to meet other people, learn new things, engage with the institutions’ collections, and to enjoy themselves and the company of others. …
  • Libraries and museums can be catalysts in their communities to promote racial equity and inclusion. The reality that these institutions are highly networked in their communities, widely perceived as trusted organizations, and hosts to diverse populations who circulate through their spaces make libraries and museums potential catalysts to advance racial equity and inclusion in their communities.
  • It’s all about the networks. Libraries and museums are critical components of institutional and social networks. In smaller, more remote areas, they are often indispensable resources for local residents. The value these institutions provide flows from the connections they facilitate between individuals, groups, and other organizations. …

For more information, read the press release.

British Museum Children's Magazine Archive Launches on Exact Editions

Exact Editions announced that the British Museum’s magazine for children, Remus, launched institutional subscriptions to its archive of 30-plus issues, published three times a year throughout 14 years. Each subscription also features access to all future issues. The press release notes, “The magazine is packed full of fun facts and activities, perfect for teaching 8-15 [year] olds two million years of human history. Since 1753, the British Museum has showcased the stories of the remarkable people who have come before us, allowing children to explore the extraordinary diverse history of cultures worldwide, from small communities to vast empires.”

Users can search the archive for specific historical figures and events.

For more information, read the press release.

NISO Creates Working Group on Publisher and Repository Workflows

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) is starting a new project, Integrating Publisher and Repository Workflows to Improve Research Data-Article Links. The press release states,With widespread support for open data from many government entities, publishers, funders, and other stakeholders, research data is increasingly being deposited, published, and cited. However, there are still a number of barriers—technical as well as cultural. This new project aims to address some of the technical issues by making linking between data and other research objects with their associated literature both easier and more consistent.” The affiliated working group “will develop a Recommended Practice for how publisher and repository systems should interoperate, so that link creation happens automatically.”

For more information, read the press release.

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