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Weekly News Digest

March 1, 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.

World Economic Forum Researchers Call for Better Engagement Between Policymakers and Scientists posted the following:

Scientists from the World Economic Forum’s [WEF] Young Scientists community want to see the social value of scientific research better recognised and acknowledged. Published ... by Frontiers Policy Labs, a call has been signed by 52 scholars from some of the world’s foremost academic institutions. The signatories say that for science to become rooted in decision-making, a new culture of engagement between policymakers and scientists needs to be established.

The initiative, spearheaded by University College London’s Professor and WEF Young Scientist Ruth Morgan, urges institutions to do more to support researchers in policy engagement. Professor Morgan says we must change the way this crucial work of researchers is recognised if we are to allow for a more meaningful and impactful dialogue between policymakers and scientists.

For more information, read the news item.

APA Releases Statement Condemning Anti-Trans Directive in Texas

The president of the American Psychological Association, Frank C. Worrell, issued a statement against a directive from the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, that urges people to report the parents of transgender minors if they seem to be providing their children with gender-affirming medical care.

Worrell says, in part, that the “ill-conceived directive … will put at-risk children at even higher risk of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide. Gender-affirming care promotes the health and well-being of transgender youth and is provided by medical and mental health professionals, based on well-established scientific research. The peer-reviewed research suggests that transgender children and youth who are treated with affirmation and receive evidence-based treatments tend to see improvements in their psychological well-being.”

For more information, read the press release.

ALA Offers Support of Ukrainian Library Community

ALA announced that it and its divisions “support our Ukrainian colleagues and will work with the global library community to answer the appeal from the Ukrainian Library Association to provide accurate information as a means to support democracy and freedom of expression.”

The organization is encouraging its members “to help raise public consciousness regarding the many ways in which disinformation and media manipulation are used to mislead public opinion in all spheres of life, and further encourages librarians to facilitate this awareness with collection development, library programming and public outreach that draws the public's attention to those alternative sources of information dedicated to countering and revealing the disinformation.”

For more information, read the press release.

'ProQuest Merges Into Clarivate: An Update on Business Integration' by Marshall Breeding

Marshall Breeding writes the following in his Library Technology Newsletter:

The acquisition of ProQuest by Clarivate rattled the library industry, in a bold move that further deepens consolidation. … By acquiring ProQuest, Clarivate extends its product strategy to include core library technologies as well as a major portfolio of database and content products. This acquisition moves ProQuest into the ranks of publicly traded companies (NYSE:CLVT). …

It’s important to keep in mind that Clarivate made a substantial investment to acquire ProQuest and has a strong interest in its continued success. … At this early point in the merger, it would be unrealistic to expect organizational and business plans to be fully formed. An optimistic view would anticipate that the strategies, including an emphasis on technology development and community engagement, that have been an important ingredient in the success of Ex Libris and ProQuest, will percolate into Clarivate as it integrates the ProQuest businesses. A less optimistic outcome would take the form of painful reductions that detract from development and support efforts. As the business integration proceeds and the operations of the new organization take shape, time will tell whether optimistic or pessimistic scenarios prevail.

For more information, read the article.

AASL Backs Effort to Stop Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation

ALA announced that the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has signed an open letter to state legislatures across the U.S., “calling on them to halt the advance of discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. AASL is one of twenty signatory associations, collectively representing more than seven million youth-serving professionals, calling on lawmakers to reconsider moving forward with policies that will endanger vulnerable, marginalized populations.”

The letter states, in part, “As organizations committed to serving the best interests of all youth, we are deeply alarmed at the torrent of bills introduced in state legislatures around the country this year that would directly harm LGBTQ+ youth, particularly transgender youth. These appalling proposals would compromise the safety and well-being of the young people we all have the duty and obligation to support and protect.”

For more information, read the press release.

Nature to Hold Free Virtual Conference for International Women's Day

Nature is hosting its first dedicated gender equality conference to mark International Women’s Day. Breaking Barriers for Gender Equity Through Research will be a free virtual event held March 9–10, 2022. Featuring panel discussions, “fireside chats,” keynote speeches, and a new mentorship program, it “will highlight the role of research towards achieving gender equality, and create new opportunities for networking and mentoring. … The conference will also highlight some of the challenges on the road to gender equity and the role of allies, partnerships and institutions in this effort.”

Those interested in attending can register as a mentor or a mentee, and they’ll be able to participate in group discussions along with one-on-one mentor-mentee chats.

For more information, read the press release.

Library Organizations Issue a Call for Ebook Vendors to Remove Fascist Propaganda

Library Freedom Project and Library Futures are demanding “accountability from Hoopla Digital and OverDrive regarding the platforming of fascist propaganda in their digital library collections.” They state, “Without appropriate quality-control and source-vetting, these vendors are platforming propaganda, including Holocaust denial materials and other false rhetoric, and making them available to patrons as nonfiction ebooks. We demand full accountability for how these materials were selected for inclusion on the platforms and more transparency in the companies’ material selection processes going forward. These materials do not belong in a popular public library collection. We call upon our fellow library workers to join us in this demand in holding our vendors accountable.”

The organizations share that as of Feb. 17, “Hoopla removed many of these titles, but the company must answer for the content policies that led to the inclusion of these titles in the first place. As of the writing of this statement [on Feb. 22], OverDrive still offers these titles on their marketplace.”

For more information and a sample letter to send to the OverDrive and hoopla CEOs, read the news item.

Quipu Group and TLC Join Forces to Integrate eCARD Into Library-Solution

The Quipu Group, LLC is partnering with The Library Corp. (TLC) “to develop new patron registration and update APIs. TLC’s newly created Library•Solution APIs support seamless integration with Quipu Group’s eCARD online registration services, providing verified online card registration for Library•Solution customers” in the U.S. and Canada. “Once verified, a patron record is created in the Library•Solution integrated library system and available for immediate use,” the Quipu Group notes.

The two companies had previously teamed up to create full-featured APIs allowing for seamless integration between eCARD and TLC’s CARL•Solution.

For more information, read the press release (via the Quipu Group’s Newsletter Archives).

Research Square Adds More Springer Nature Journals to Its Preprint Service

Research Square announced that 530-plus Springer Nature journals are now integrated with its In Review service. “The milestone was surpassed this week after 48 additional Springer Nature journals were integrated into the service,” the company notes. “In Review, a journal-integrated service that allows researchers to post preprints of their manuscripts during article submission, supports journals across the Nature and BMC portfolios, as well as a host of other journals covering physics, engineering, plant and animal sciences, and more.” Authors who post preprints via In Review get a DOI for their accepted work, “thereby protecting the primacy of their work long before peer-reviewed publication. Once submitted, authors can track editorial decisions as their papers advance through the stages of the peer review process.”

“We want to help accelerate the uptake of preprints. By offering an easier way to preprint to authors across more disciplines, we can create that sea change that is needed in sharing research early in order to drive the pace of discovery in all disciplines,” says Amye Kenall, VP of product and publishing at Research Square Co., which owns Research Square.

For more information, read the press release.

Library of Congress Shares Information About Its By the People Initiative

The Library of Congress’ blog The Signal posted the following:

In today’s guest post, Abby Shelton interviews a By the People volunteer, Kathleen, who has gone above and beyond! By the People is a crowdsourced transcription program launched in 2018 at the Library of Congress. Volunteer-created transcriptions are used to make digitized collections more accessible and discoverable on …

Abby: What motivates you to volunteer on the crowdsourced transcription program, By the People?

Kathleen: I love contributing to the group effort of preserving these important documents and making them accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live. The project feels especially urgent since some of the original documents are fragile and fading, and future generations may have difficulty reading cursive writing. And—bonus!—I get to learn about the history and lives of fascinating, diverse people.

For the rest of the interview, read the blog post.

'The Appeal of the Ukrainian Library Association to IFLA President and Governing Board and IFLA Members'

The Ukrainian Library Association issued the following statement on its Facebook page on Feb. 28. It reads, in part:

The fifth day of the full-scale Russia’s invasion to Ukraine is ongoing, air bombing of a large number of cities and villages of whole Ukraine, Russian tanks are on approaches to Kyiv, Kharkiv, Russian subversive groups are on our land. The occupiers are firing not only on the military infrastructure, but also on schools, museums, libraries, hospitals, civilian residences. In Chernihiv the municipal library for children has been destroyed. Our brave defenders, civil people including children are dying. ...

In these challenging times Ukrainian librarians are together with all the people. There where it is possible, libraries continue to provide their services to users, including online services. Libraries are working in cyberspace against disinformation. Libraries are holding classes in emergency medical assistance. Hostels, care units for displaced persons are accommodated in libraries.

Ukraine is supported by the whole civilized world. We have received a lot of letters of support from library associations (including IFLA members) and librarians from different countries. We are receiving media help in spreading true information about Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. We are being offered help in accommodating Ukrainian refugees.

We are grateful to everyone who is with us in these difficult times for our country and our people. ...

We therefore appeal to IFLA President and Governing Board to support Ukrainian librarians and exclude the Russian Library Association and all institutions of the aggressor country Russia from IFLA members, and their representatives from all IFLA governing bodies.

We appeal to IFLA members to support our appeal and address their appeals to IFLA President and Governing Board.

Read the rest of the statement here.

IFLA posted a statement on March 1, available here.

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