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Weekly News Digest

January 11, 2022 — 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.

EveryLibrary Institute Publishes Reports on School Librarians

The EveryLibrary Institute has released two free reports that underscore the importance of school librarians. (Registration is required for each.)

The first, “Anticipating the Post-COVID Pivot for School Librarians,” looks at “recent research and data about the role, impact, and importance of school librarians and school library programs to create a detailed, actionable set of recommendations for education policy-makers concerned with sustaining successful schools and turning-around failing ones.”

The secondCould School Librarians Be the Secret to Increasing Literacy Scores?is based on research from Washington, D.C., public schools showing that there’s “a connection between gains in the literacy-based component of standardized tests and [students’] access to school librarians. School librarians in Washington, D.C., Public Schools (DCPS) have worked diligently to increase literacy in every school over the past several years.”

For more information, read the press release.

'Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud: An Interview with Victoria Scheppele'

For the Library of Congress (LC) blog The Signal, Leah Weinryb-Grohsgal interviews Victoria “Tori” Scheppele, a library technician in the Prints & Photographs Division who is temporarily working on the LC’s Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud (CCHC) initiative.

Weinryb-Grohsgal writes, “The CCHC initiative is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Centered in LC Labs, the project aims to explore how the Library can deliver its digital collections at scale, using a cloud computing environment. For decades, the Library has collected and digitized images, audio and video recordings, web sites, texts, and structured metadata. With CCHC, Tori will help us to explore the service models and technical infrastructure that would support researchers’ connection with this digital content in novel ways.” Weinryb-Grohsgal “interviewed Tori about her background, experience, and interests, and what she’ll be doing to help the Library provide enhanced access to digital collections as data.”

For more information, read the blog post.

CES 2022 Roundup

The Consumer Technology Association’s CES 2022 ran Jan. 5­–8. It was held in person in Las Vegas, and the website reports that there were more than 40,000 attendees across 11 indoor and outdoor venues. Media outlets provided coverage of the event, including the following.

CNN Business published “CES 2022: 5 Takeaways From the Giant Tech Trade Show,” stating that it was “a grand experiment in how to hold an in-person event during a pandemic. Covid-19 rapid tests were handed out to attendees, and masks and proof of vaccination were required.” However, some “major tech companies and media outlets pulled out in the lead-up to the show. There were widely shared photos of nearly empty showroom areas. And a number of presentations, including CES’ kickoff event with General Motors CEO Mary Barra, were pre-recorded.”

CNET’s Scott Stein focuses on how the show handled the metaverse (a network of 3D virtual worlds), posting “The AR, VR Future Coming in 2022: What We Learned From CES.” He shares that “one trend that started accelerating in 2021 is already in play: VR and smart glasses are on the rise again, thanks in part to the promises of a metaverse-filled future. … I’ve always seen the idea of the metaverse as an acknowledgement that cross-device and cross-app support need to be figured out to support larger communities across VR, AR and phones and computers. It’ll happen … slowly.”

TechCrunch’s article, “Let’s Talk CES Gadgets,” looks at how the products the event showcases have changed over the years, stating, “Over the past decade, CES has transformed into a major automotive show, as carmakers look to prove to the world that they’re on the bleeding edge of tech, from autonomy to in-car systems to sending robots to the Martian metaverse. … CES continues to be a major event on the consumer hardware side of things, as well, even if there aren’t as many phones as there once were. It’s still a major showcase for PCs, connected health, smart home gadgets, accessories and even robotics. It’s also a fascinating look into how the industry is evolving. Take fitness—the sheer volume of wearables has reduced, though companies are experimenting with newer form factors like rings.”

'IBM Ramps Up Sustainability Offering With Envizi Acquisition'

Aimee Chanthadavong writes the following for ZDNet:

IBM has announced the acquisition of Australian environmental performance management data firm Envizi to help organisations better measure their supply chain’s environmental impact.

While financial details were not disclosed, the deal was finalised on January 11.

The big blue said Envizi will be integrated with its existing package of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) AI-powered software, including IBM Maximo asset management solutions, IBM Sterling supply chain solutions, IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite, and IBM Turbonomic and Red Hat OpenShift capabilities.

‘To drive real progress toward sustainability, companies need the ability to transform data into predictive insights that help them make more intelligent, actionable decisions every day,’ IBM AI applications general manager Kareem Yusuf said. 

For more information, read the article.

BookLife Indie Author Forum Planned for March 19, 2022

Publishers Weekly (PW) announced the following:

BookLife, PW’s subsidiary devoted to helping self-published authors, will hold the first BookLife Indie Author Forum on March 19 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT.

The forum will cover the writing and publishing of adult and children’s books and will feature a variety of panels. Topics include ‘How Can Self-Publishing Work for You?,’ ‘Reading a Book By Its Cover,’ ‘Making Your Mark in Nonfiction,’ ‘Authenticity in Storytelling: Writing It Right’ and ‘Why You Need an Editor.’ Marketing panels take on the hard issues: ‘Amazon Best Practices,’ ‘Achieving Picture Book Success,’ ‘Beyond Amazon’ and ‘Know Your Genre, Know Your Audience.’ …

Cost to attend the show is $149 per person. Registration is available here.

For more information, read the news item.

Patron Point Announces First Library to Launch Its FOLIO Integration

Patron Point announced that Spokane Public Library in Washington launched Patron Point’s integration with the FOLIO library services platform. The company calls this “a market first.”

“From the start, we have been supportive of FOLIO’s mission to bring a modern, open source ILS to public libraries. At the same time, we didn’t want to lose Patron Point’s ability to deliver state-of-the-art patron notices and real-time marketing programs. So, it was a key goal to make sure the FOLIO-Patron Point infrastructure was operational from day one,” says Andrew Chanse, executive director of Spokane Public Library.

“With our partnership with Spokane Public Library and FOLIO we have made an exciting addition to our portfolio of ILS partners. Having a marketing platform that integrates with any ILS is important to a library so that if and when they change their system, they can retain all of their patron engagement data and continue to engage their customers without losing their granular engagement history,” says Ian Downie, VP of growth at Patron Point.

For more information, read the news item.

Publishers Weekly Shares Its Top 10 Library Stories of 2021

Publishers Weekly’s Andrew Albanese shares the publication’s top 10 library stories from 2021, showing what “captivated the publishing world” and what the stories “portend for 2022.” They include “An ‘Organized’ Effort to Ban Books in Schools and Libraries,” “A Potential Watershed Moment for Library Funding,” “DPLA Signs Amazon, Forms Palace Project with LYRASIS,” and “Elsevier Strikes Historic Open Access Deal with the University of California.”

For more information, read the article.

F1000 Announces a Dedicated Open Research Publishing Hub for Latin America

Martha Attard Gialanze writes the following for F1000:

GDC Difusión Científica has partnered with open research publisher F1000 to create a dedicated open research publishing hub, GDC Open Research in Latin America. This Gateway will enable researchers to amplify the impact of their work and promote the principles of open research throughout Latin America and beyond.

GDC Difusión Científica has more than 30 years of experience serving the academic institutions of Latin America, providing software, eBook and journal collections, drug information systems and more. They operate throughout Latin America and have developed a deep knowledge of the needs and interests of the academic communities of the region.

GDC Open Research in Latin America is the first publishing Gateway of its kind in the region, providing the Latin American scholarly community with a dedicated forum to publish research with international impact and visibility. The Gateway is situated on F1000’s own publishing platform F1000Research, and it aims to support and accelerate research by providing rapid, open access publication with links to all underlying data.

For more information, read the article.

NEH Is Funding 208 Humanities Projects Across the U.S.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is offering $24.7 million in grants for 208 humanities projects at various institutions in the U.S. “Among these are grants to support Oakwood University’s creation of a living history museum, based on the life of Dred Scott, and the digitization of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century North American climate and weather data, including daily meteorological observation records kept by Thomas Jefferson from 1776 to 1826,” NEH notes.

More projects include “the preservation and repurposing of seven historic buildings in San Antonio, Texas, for a humanities programming and resources center focusing on the history and cultures of immigrant communities in San Antonio’s Westside neighborhood. Other grants will support digital infrastructure upgrades at the Chapman Center for Rural Studies at Kansas State University to ensure the sustainability of the center’s digital humanities research projects on Great Plains history, and assist with the relocation of the Hamm Archives, documenting the history of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, to a new facility to provide public access to the collection.”

NEH shares, “Several projects apply new technologies and digital methods to innovative humanities research and public programs, such as the development of a digital archive of Cherokee manuscripts and lexical resources to facilitate collective translation and study of the Cherokee language, and the creation of a multimedia civics and history education gaming experience to teach middle and high school students about the history of the Supreme Court and its landmark cases. Other newly awarded grants will underwrite an assessment of the impact of Open Access editions of scholarly books on print sales at university presses and support an interactive storytelling website based around a collection of postcards published and mailed during the 1941–44 Siege of Leningrad.”

For more information, read the press release.

Literary Agent Offers Predictions for Publishing in 2022

Laurie McLean, a literary agent, provides a list of predictions for the publishing industry in 2022 on a blog run by publishing industry veterans Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris.

McLean writes, “Once the streaming binge of Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and other channels grew a bit stale, people rediscovered books and how reading engages the imagination making it a totally different enjoyment experience than passively watching a screen. Books have been selling at a brisk pace ever since. And the profits reaped by the publishing giants has soared. I wish some would make it back to writers and the publishing staff, but that’s another story altogether.”

Predictions include “Hybrid workplaces will deepen and New York will be the center of publishing in name only,” “Supply chain and paper shortage woes will continue,” and “Publishing mergers will take center stage.”

For more information, read the blog post.

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