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Weekly News Digest

April 26, 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. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Starts Lending Phones to Help Bridge the Digital Divide

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District unveiled a new pilot initiative that “provides smart phones to low-income residents, and those experiencing homelessness. Each phone comes pre-loaded with Library District apps that provide life-enriching and educational resources as well as critical social and community services.” The Cell Phone Lending Program was started in partnership with the Nevada Homeless Alliance (NHA) and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY).

The press release shares, “The Library District purchased 380 Moto G Pure phones, with cases, from T-Mobile through a $200,000 grant [awarded through IMLS] and the Nevada State Library. The Library District worked with NHA and NPHY, who selected individuals to participate in the 18-month Cell Phone Lending Program, which launched April 21, 2022. Premier Wireless pre-configured the phones for unlimited calls and 5G hotspots in the U.S., and programmed them with library apps for education and workforce services, contact information for employment and social service agencies, and job skills training.”

For more information, read the press release.

Sciety Adds Two GigaScience Press Journals

Sciety announced that it has added the GigaScience and GigaByte journals to its platform, explaining that as “part of GigaScience Press … they aim to revolutionise publishing by promoting reproducibility of analyses and data dissemination, organisation, understanding, and use. As open-access and open-data journals, they publish all research objects (publishing data, software and workflows) from ‘big data’ studies across the life and biomedical sciences.”

Sciety continues, “Joining Sciety furthers the journals’ aims and increases their and our opportunities to share their evaluations with a broader audience. For Sciety, GigaScience and GigaByte increase value for users, with the potential to provide multiple reviews, and therefore more enriching activities, on preprints. This can help amplify trust in scientific outputs by offering clear reference points to judge the quality of a preprint.”

For more information, read the blog post.

SAGE Launches Journal Focused on the Environment and Security Issues

SAGE partnered with the Environmental Peacebuilding Association “to launch a new peer-reviewed journal, Environment and Security—the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated to understanding environment, climate, security, conflict, and peace linkages.” “Security” in the journal’s name refers to international security, national security, human security, ontological security, securitization, and other relevant types of security.

The journal is interdisciplinary, aiming to share “innovative research on the intersections between environmental and security issues, and to inspire debates by decision makers and practitioners.” Researchers in anthropology, environmental studies, economics, geography, law, peace and conflict, political science, and sociology are welcome to contribute. The first issue is planned for publication in the second half of 2023.

For more information, read the press release.

ACS Joins National Academy of Sciences in Protecting Ukrainian Scientists

The American Chemical Society (ACS) announced that it has made a $500,000 donation to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS), whose Engineers in Exile or Displaced (SEED) program is currently helping researchers who have been forced to flee Ukraine. SEED helps “scientists and engineers relocate and continue their work in Poland and other neighboring countries.” It is estimated that 20,000 researchers have been displaced. NAS aims to expand the program and partner with other scientific societies.

ACS’s press release states, “Under agreements with the Ukrainian and Polish academies of sciences, NAS support for researchers and their families includes providing the displaced researchers with grants and placements in appropriate research institutions for up to six months. The funding from ACS will be prioritized to assist Ukrainian chemical scientists to the extent possible.”

SEED is looking to the future, taking steps to “ensure that Ukrainian science will be better positioned to be restored after the war ends. Keeping the affected researchers engaged in their work and connected to the international science community allows the world to continue to benefit from their ideas and discoveries.”

For more information, read the press release.

New ALA Report Looks at Library Broadband Services

Government Technology posted about ALA’s new report, stating the following:

The report, titled Keeping Communities Connected: Library Broadband Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic, explores the efforts of libraries to understand and combat the digital divide. While libraries have provided Wi-Fi connectivity outside of operating hours prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in many cases—81 percent of libraries surveyed by the Public Library Association in March 2020 reported doing so—12 percent expanded on this practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ALA report highlights specific examples of libraries expanding Internet access. …

The ALA report also underlines that challenges remain in this space. Most prominently, tight budgets limit libraries from expanding broadband access as widely as demand requires. A secondary challenge is overall access to Internet connections, as some libraries are in areas without broadband, which make solutions like hot spots less effective.

For more information, read the news item.

ASERL Is Expanding Its Oral History Collection

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) announced that it is planning to expand its oral history collection by restarting its partnership with the University of Kentucky’s Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. ASERL has a collection of “interviews with leaders who played key roles in ASERL’s growth and development over the years. ASERL first collaborated with the Nunn Center in 2016 to collect ten interviews with its earliest leaders. This new project seeks to grow that history, reflecting ASERL’s growth from a social organization to one of the leading voices in American research library cooperation.”

Jennifer A. Bartlett, oral history librarian at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, is leading the project. ASERL notes that the two organizations “are currently compiling contact information for past ASERL leaders who will be invited for interviews. The interview sessions will each be 60–90 minutes in length, and are expected to begin in early Summer 2022. The new collection will be released to the public in coordination with ASERL’s Fall 2022 Membership Meeting, set for December 1–2, 2022 in Raleigh, NC.”

For more information, read the press release (download required).

GOBI Library Solutions Adopts the Knowledge Unlatched Funding Model

EBSCO Information Services announced the following:

GOBI Library Solutions … now supports the Knowledge Unlatched (KU) Open Access (OA) e-books funding model, providing the opportunity for academic libraries to support OA funding initiatives within their GOBI workflow. The addition of the Knowledge Unlatched Open Research Library E-Book platform will make the complete collection of Knowledge Unlatched OA crowdfunding products available to GOBI customers worldwide. …

Beginning in May 2022, GOBI customers will be able to pledge toward more than 20 OA eCollections on KU’s Open Research Library platform. Once the eCollection has reached a set pledge threshold determined by Knowledge Unlatched, it will become freely available to all readers worldwide starting January 2023. By participating in this model, libraries can support investment in OA content and workflows, helping to make quality OA e-books easily available to libraries around the world. Libraries who participate in this model will benefit from de-duplication, visibility of OA e-books in GOBI and a single point of invoicing and customer service.    

For more information, read the press release.

'No, Actually, Book Bans Don't Sell Books' by Andrew Karre

Andrew Karre, executive editor at Dutton Books, shared thoughts on book bans that were published in the Arizona Mirror. He writes:

‘Bans sell books.’ … [I]n my two decades in book publishing, I’ve repeated variations on the theme many times. ‘Bans lead to publicity. Publicity leads to sales. LOL, banners. Thanks for the money.’

The problem is that the actual experience of book bans at national scale is not so simple, and it’s rarely positive. The present national wave of book banning—where hundreds of titles are challenged en masse in schools—is by some measures unprecedented. I suspect it has given many of us who work in the book industry a crash course in the realities of book bans. I know I’ll never again shrug and say ‘bans sell books.’

For more information, read the article.

IFLA Shares Reassurances After Its Leadership Shakeup

In the April 2022 IFLA newsletter, IFLA president Barbara Lison addressed the organization’s recent upheaval, stating that “many [IFLA members] have expressed a sense of uncertainty or desire for more information. I acknowledge this, and agree that those who have put so much of themselves into IFLA only deserve to receive accurate and timely information about their—your—our—Federation. I am working with my colleagues in the Governing Board to provide this effectively, without making the process of healing in future more difficult.”

Lison continues, “In short, I assure you that we are working towards rebuilding trust in the management of our Federation, and more information will be shared with you as the situation develops.”

For more information, read the rest of the letter.

Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Is Going to Underserved Schools

The Library of Congress announced the following:

Jason Reynolds continues his work to empower students in rural and underserved communities in 2022—his third year as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. In May, Reynolds will kick off the first in-person leg of his “GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story” tour in Montana. Participating schools have never hosted an author visit and were selected from more than 200 proposals.

As National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Reynolds has connected virtually with thousands of students across the country during the pandemic, inviting young people to share and celebrate their own personal stories. Now in the third year of his ambassadorship, Reynolds looks forward to meeting with students in person. …

This year, Reynolds will also partner with the digital publisher and education platform Short Edition to bring their innovative short story devices to participating schools.

For more information, read the press release.

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