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Weekly News Digest

April 14, 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.

Springer Nature and Figshare Launch Data-Sharing Pilot

Springer Nature announced the following:

Springer Nature and Figshare have launched a free pilot to better support authors in making their data openly available. Authors submitting to a number of Nature research journals and Academic Journals will now be able to easily opt into data sharing, via Figshare, as part of one integrated submission process. …

This pilot builds on a longstanding commitment from Springer Nature to open data—including automatic deposition of supplementary Information for BMC and SpringerOpen journals, enhanced curation support for authors and integration at our flagship data journal Scientific Data. …

The pilot will initially include Nature research journals and Academic Journals portfolios, across the fields of neuroscience, ecology and evolution, chemistry, energy, cancer and transplantation. Working closely with researchers throughout, the pilot will explore and test out more integrated ways for data sharing.

For more information, read the press release.

ALA Helps Give Libraries Shareable COVID-19 Vaccine Information

ALA joined forces with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ We Can Do This campaign to provide libraries with expert-verified information about COVID-19 vaccines that they can share with parents and guardians of children younger than 12 years old. ALA notes, “COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11 were recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in November 2021. Currently, vaccination rates for ages 5-11 are significantly lower than older age groups: just 35 percent of people ages 5-11 have received at least one dose, compared to 87 percent of people ages 12 and older.”

For more information, read the press release.

IFLA Governing Board Announces Leadership Changes

IFLA revealed the results of its latest Governing Board meeting, stating that the board “has released the Secretary General Gerald Leitner from his duties with immediate effect. This solution was found after legal clarification and is in the opinion of the Governing Board, the only possible solution to the current situation” of a formal complaint being filed, followed by two independent investigations. (See Biblioteksbladet for context.) To replace Leitner for the time being, the board tapped Halo Locher of Switzerland (a board member) “to take over some of the duties of the Secretary General with immediate effect until the recruitment of a new Secretary General.”

Other leadership shake-ups were discussed: President-elect Antonia Arahova of Greece is stepping away due to family matters and will be temporarily replaced by Nthabiseng Kotsokoane of South Africa, while treasurer Perry Moree of the Netherlands will be temporarily replaced by Kirsten Boelt of Denmark.

For more information, read the news item.

CCC Plans April 13 Town Hall on Data Management

CCC is hosting a live town hall on LinkedIn on April 13, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. EDT to address the question, “Is your data management program state-of-the-art?” The presenters will provide “data directions” forecasts for research and publishing.

“Today, research-forward organizations everywhere turn to AI to accelerate discovery and decision-making,” said Tracey Armstrong, CCC’s president and CEO. “We look forward to hearing how mindful use of proprietary and published data can be the key to open new doors to innovation in the Town Hall forum.”

For more information and the link to register, read the press release.

OCLC and Google Are Making Book Searches Link to Libraries

OCLC announced the following:

OCLC and Google are working together to link directly from books discovered through Google Search to print book records in the catalogs of hundreds of U.S. libraries. This feature is part of Google’s ongoing effort to connect people to their local libraries through Google Search.

The initial phase of this new program connects people using Google Search to the catalogs of hundreds of U.S. libraries whose books are cataloged in WorldCat, a worldwide database of information about library collections, and made available for discovery on the web. The program is expected to expand to more libraries and connect to more library resources in the future. …

These links to library catalogs can be found in several different displays of Google Search results for specific books, including under ‘Get’ or ‘Borrow’ the book options in the knowledge panel, or within Google Books previews.

For more information, read the press release.

U.S. Copyright Office Introduces New CCB Website

The U.S. Copyright Office rolled out, which is the new website for the Copyright Claims Board (CCB). The Copyright Office calls it “a major milestone toward the full opening of the CCB to creators and users of copyrighted materials later this spring.” The site is designed to help people “understand the mission and the processes of the CCB. Once the CCB starts hearing claims later this spring, will become the primary location for information about filing and responding to claims, opting out of a proceeding, accessing the CCB’s Handbook, and contacting the CCB with questions.”

For more information about what’s on the site, read the news item.

Amazon Hands Out College Scholarships to 250 Students From Underserved Communities

Amazon announced that it has awarded “$10 million in college scholarships to 250 high school seniors from underserved and historically underrepresented communities. Each Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship recipient will receive $40,000 over four years to study computer science at a college of their choice starting this fall. Recipients will also receive a paid internship at Amazon after their freshman year of college to gain hands-on, practical work experience with mentorship from Amazon leaders.” 

Amazon shares, “Recipients were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals, and financial need.” The “recipients come from more than 30 states and U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico and, for the first time, an American military base in Europe. More than 70% of scholarship recipients identify as Black, Latinx, and Native American (BLNA) and 50% identify as women, groups that are currently underrepresented in STEM.”

For more information, read the press release.

'Meet the 1,300 Librarians Racing to Back Up Ukraine's Digital Archives' by Pranshu Verma

Pranshu Verma writes the following for The Washington Post:

In early March, two weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Carrie Pirmann stumbled upon a website dedicated to Ivan Mazepa, a 16th century Ukrainian politician and patron of the arts. A 44-year-old librarian at Bucknell University, Pirmann had joined an international effort of fellow archivists to preserve the digital history of a country under siege, and the contents of Mazepa’s website, though obscure, seemed worth saving. …

Now, the original website is lost, its server space likely gone to cyberattacks, power outages or Russian shelling. But thanks to her, it still remains intact on server space rented by an international group of librarians and archivists. …

Over the past month, a motley group of more than 1,300 librarians, historians, teachers and young children have banded together to save Ukraine’s Internet archives, using technology to back up everything from census data to children’s poems and Ukrainian basket weaving techniques.

The efforts, dubbed Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online, have resulted in over 2,500 of the country’s museums, libraries, and archives being preserved on servers they’ve rented, eliminating the risk they’ll be lost forever.

For more information, read the article.

NEH Grants Back 245 U.S. Humanities Projects

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is providing “$33.17 million in grants for 245 humanities projects across the country. These grants include support for work on a new museum at the University of Buffalo to house the world’s largest collection of materials by and about James Joyce, and enable production by the Center for Independent Documentary of a documentary examining the history and legacy of the landmark Eyes on the Prize public television series on the civil rights movement, first broadcast in 1987.”

For more information about the grant awardees, read the press release.

'Texas Leads Among 26 States With Book Bans, Free Speech Group Says' by Nicole Chavez

Nicole Chavez writes the following for CNN:

More than … 1,000 books have been banned in 86 school districts in 26 states across the United States, a new PEN America analysis shows.

PEN America, a literary and free expression advocacy organization, released a detailed analysis on Thursday of challenges to and bans on school library books and class curriculums. The group said it documented media reports, consulted school district websites, and spoke with librarians, authors and teachers from July 31, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

According to PEN America, in that period, there were 1,586 books banned. Texas led the country with the most book bans—713—affecting 16 school districts, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida with 456 and 204 bans, respectively. …

Politicians and school board members have played a significant role in book banning, PEN America says. At least 41% of book bans were linked to directives from state officials or elected lawmakers. …

The trend, PEN America says, is a departure from past book removal practices, which were usually initiated by community members.

For more information, read the article.

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