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Weekly News Digest

March 16, 2023 — 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.

Library of Congress Unveils Book Series That Will Showcase Its Collections

The Library of Congress is publishing a new book series, Collection Close-Up, that “invites readers to experience the Library’s treasures in compact, accessible books that curate a unique collection of objects and bring them to life with color reproductions, historical context and fascinating anecdotes.” The first two titles are American Feast: Cookbooks and Cocktails From the Library of Congress by Zach Klitzman and Susan Reyburn and The Joy of Looking: Great Photographs From the Library of Congress by Aimee Hess and Hannah Freece. Both are available in the Library of Congress shop and from other book retailers.

For more information, read the press release.

IFLA Posts Webinar on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Loida Garcia-Febo, information coordinator for IFLA’s Management of Library Associations Section (among other IFLA roles), sent a message to the IFLA-L email list sharing the recording of the recent webinar, Sustainable Development Goals and Library Associations: North America. “This is the first event from a webinar series featuring different regions of the world presented by IFLA’s Management of Library Associations Section (MLAS) in collaboration with the New Professionals Special Interest Group (NPSIG), the Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section (ENSULIB), and the IFLA Regional Divisions,” she writes.

The speakers are Julius C. Jefferson (section head of the Foreign Affairs Defense & Trade Section of the Congressional Research Service), Thanos Giannakopoulos (chief of the Information Management Section in the United Nations’ Department of Global Communications), John Szabo (city librarian of Los Angeles and chief executive of the Los Angeles Public Library), Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (president of the Sustainable Libraries Initiative), Robin Kear (member of the ALA United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Subcommittee), and Garcia-Febo (as chairperson of the ALA United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Subcommittee).

Merged Companies Rebrand as Circana

Information Resources, Inc. and The NPD Group merged in August 2022, and they just announced a new combined company name and brand identity called Circana, “the leading advisor on the complexity of consumer behavior. Through unparalleled technology, advanced analytics, cross-industry data and deep expertise, Circana provides clarity that helps clients take action and unlock business growth.” The company, using the Liquid Data technology platform, tracks millions of products in 2,000-plus categories across more than 500,000 stores in 20 countries.

For more information, read the press release.

SAGE: A Recent Investment and an Acquisition

Technology From SAGE, a division of SAGE, invested in Skilltype, a talent management platform. SAGE notes, “Using a controlled vocabulary of information science competencies, interests, and trainings, Skilltype identifies and closes skill gaps across the library while simultaneously enabling librarians—regardless of their degree or job title—to manage their personal learning and career development.” By investing in Skilltype, Technology From SAGE can help libraries with recruitment and with filling vacancies.

In addition, SAGE acquired Epigeum, a provider of peer-reviewed online courses for higher education, from Oxford University Press. SAGE states, “Epigeum’s in-house team collaborates with experts from around the world to develop courses that help institutions transform their core activities in research, studying, student support and wellbeing. Used by over 200 institutions globally, Epigeum’s courses allow universities to supplement in-person instruction with engaging and effective digital resources.” The acquisition helps expand SAGE’s portfolio of online courses and is a complement to SAGE Campus.

The End of the Sony E-Reading Platform

Andrew Liszewski writes the following in “RIP to the OG as Sony Prepares the Final Nail in the Coffin of its E-Reader Business” for Gizmodo:

Pop quiz: which big company was the first to popularize electronic paper e-readers with consumers by making it easy to find and load ebooks and other digital documents? If you answered Amazon, we’ll see you in summer school, because Sony’s e-readers outdated the Kindle by years. Unfortunately, the company will soon be out of that business entirely as it plans to finally shut down its Reader desktop software as well.

For more information, read the article.

Read Papers From NISO Plus 2022 for Free at IOS Press

Elliot R. Siegel, editor-in-chief of IOS Press, shared via a NISO (National Information Standards Organization) email that 11 papers from the 2022 NISO Plus conference—including the 2022 Miles Conrad Lecture—are openly available to read. (For an interview with the 2022 Miles Conrad Award winner, Patricia Flatley Brennan, see the NewsBreak.) IOS Press also offers an overview summary of the conference.

“IOS Press, a NISO member and conference sponsor, publishes the international journal, Information Services and Use (ISU). For many years ISU enabled NFAIS conference presenters to publish full text papers based on their talks. We are the permanent archive of the Miles Conrad Award lectures given by our community’s luminaries. This tradition continued with the first NISO Plus conference in 2020,” Siegel writes. “If you are a presenter [from the 2023 conference], please consider contributing a paper so that others who did not attend the conference might discover it and benefit.”

Siegel continues, “I also welcome your comments and suggestions on how ISU can provide added value for you as consumers and originators of NISO content and help promote the objectives of NISO Plus conferences in the future.” Contact him at siegel.consulting@gmail.com.

WorldCat Shares Resources About and by Women for Women's History Month

OCLC’s WorldCat released a collection of resources for Women’s History Month. This effort is the result of a collaboration with women’s organizations and scholars—including the National Women’s History Alliance, the National Women’s Studies Association, and the Karson Institute for Race, Peace, and Social Justice—to share lists of works about, by, and for women. “These materials are intended to provide educators, parents, students, and the general public with an understanding of the most important and meaningful resources for Women’s History Month and for women’s studies throughout the year,” OCLC notes. The materials include books, documentaries, films, and videos.

For more information, read the press release.

'Is ChatGPT the New iPhone in Terms of Technological Innovation?' by William Webb

William Webb, CTO of Access Partnership, writes the following for GovInsider:

At first glance, ChatGPT appears almost scarily capable. It generally returns sensible text in a well written form. It can pass exams. Initially, it is hard to tell its output from that of a human. 

But having looked at about a dozen more open-ended searches, I think I can tell. It is the lack of insight and the lack of opinion that tends to set it apart, and the lack of nuance of its response. As one commentator said, ‘darned thing refused to state a thesis and support it. It couldn’t analyse or take a stand.’

For more information, read the article.

Helper Systems Releases Results of Survey on AI in Higher Education

Helper Systems conducted a survey of 125-plus U.S. academic librarians and is releasing the results. Key findings include that 8% of respondents said students using AI products is not cheating, 12% said it is unethical for professors to use AI products for research, and it is a major concern that AI products could eliminate or reduce critical thinking and originality in higher education.

For more information, read the press release.

New Analytics Solution From OCLC Available to North American Libraries

OCLC announced the following:

OCLC’s new Choreo Insights library analytics solution is now available to libraries in North America that are seeking to better align academic library collections with institutional priorities, new and emerging curriculum needs, and future trends. …

Using WorldCat holdings data, Choreo Insights is a flexible solution that enables confident collection development decisions by comparing detailed subject breakdowns of local collections with overlap and gap analysis of any other library or group in WorldCat.

Libraries can map collections directly to academic programs using CIP (Classification of Institutional Programs) mapping. They can also use Library of Congress classifications, FAST subject headings, simple title text searches, and more to see how collections stack up.

Analysis can take only seconds to perform and is not limited to one-time reports and static snapshots. Libraries can try a variety of analysis scenarios, such as comparing institutions with programs they hold in high esteem, or trim results based on years of publication and other facets.

For more information, read the press release.



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