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Weekly News Digest

May 4, 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.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Goes on Tour

Meg Medina, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is kicking off her national tour this spring and summer. The first two stops will be free-to-attend public events at Calcasieu Parish Public Library in Lake Charles Louisiana, on May 9, and at Newburgh Free Library in Newburgh, New York, on June 13. Medina will also visit the local school in those communities.

She “aims to emphasize books and stories as a part of everyday life, encourage story sharing and conversation among friends and within families, and to highlight libraries as a welcoming place for families to explore, learn and connect,” the Library of Congress states. “Medina’s tour will engage readers through her initiative Cuéntame!: Let’s talk books. Inspired by the Spanish phrase that friends and families use when catching up with one another, Cuéntame! builds connection in classrooms, libraries, communities and within families.”

The fall tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, read the press release.

Some Good News for Libraries

Here is a roundup of a few of the good-news stories that came out of last week’s National Library Week.

On April 30, KOMO News reported that “Seattle Public Library is the second library to join ‘Books Unbanned,’ an initiative to fight for the rights of teens nationwide to read what they like, discover themselves, and form their own opinions.”

On April 27, Publishers Weekly posted that “Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03) have once again introduced the Right to Read Act, which would, among its provisions, ensure all U.S. students have access to a school library staffed by a certified school librarian. The bill was first introduced in October 2022, but failed to advance through a lame-duck Congress.” ALA issued a press release about the news.

Also on April 27, the Idaho Capital Sun announced the 2023 winner of ALA’s Lemony Snicket Prize: Denise Neujahr, a district teen librarian at the Community Library Network, “for her work providing safe spaces for LGBTQ+ teens amid community backlash.”

On April 26, The New York Times reported that “Mayor Eric Adams announced … that he would exempt New York City’s public libraries from his latest round of threatened budget cuts, sparing them from closing many of their branches on weekends.”

Also on April 26, Burlington Free Press proclaimed, “The new Vermont State University will not be laying off the library staff across the university’s three schools located on four campuses across the state as was announced earlier this year. … [T]he school will continue its work to streamline its library collections ‘consistent with normal and progressive library best practices.’”

Additionally on April 26, BBC News shared, “Ireland’s oldest university has decided that its library will no longer be called after the philosopher George Berkeley, due to his links to slavery. … The decision comes after [Trinity College Dublin] began a two-year investigation into its links with slavery and the British Empire.”

On April 25, ALA issued a press release stating that the association “praised the Prison Libraries Act, introduced today by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO-5th), along with co-leads Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18th) and Rep. Shontel Brown (D-OH-11th), and 25 cosponsors. The bill would establish a grant program within the Department of Justice to provide library services to incarcerated individuals to advance reintegration efforts, reduce recidivism and increase educational opportunities.”

ALA Plans Banned Books Week 2023

ALA unveiled the theme for Banned Books Week (Oct. 1–7, 2023): Let Freedom Read!

“As we’ve seen throughout National Library Week, as long as there are libraries, Americans’ right to read will not be overcome by censorship,” says ALA president Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. “Our 2023 Banned Books Week theme—‘Let Freedom Read’—captures what’s at stake for our democracy: that the safety of our right to speak and think freely is directly in proportion to our right to read. ALA encourages libraries in every context to mark Banned Books Week by inviting other groups within their communities to celebrate and take action to protect our freedom to read all year long.”

To learn about prepping for the week and for more information, read the press release.

Sage Buys the Chicago Business Press Catalog

Sage announced that it “acquired the catalog of Chicago Business Press, an independent textbook publisher focusing on mid- to upper-level business, management, marketing, and sales courses. With this purchase, Sage adds more than 20 textbook titles to its business offerings.”

“The Chicago Business Press authors bring exceptional writing talent and teaching and research expertise to our growing business portfolio,” says Michele Sordi, Sage’s EVP. “As an independent company, Sage has the freedom to take a long-term approach to our investments, centered on the changing needs of instructors and students. This acquisition furthers our reach into the business curriculum and accelerates our efforts to build a marketing and sales list.”  

For more information, read the press release.

'The Book Business Needs to Be a Better LGBTQ Ally' by Angela Engel

Publishers Weekly put forth an article by Angela Engel, “a publisher and a parent of a queer-identifying child,” who opines the following:

Recent headlines portray drag events as sexual and harmful to children, distorting and misrepresenting the art of drag and its rich history that can be traced back centuries. Drag has been described as the theatrical performance of gender and creative self-expression that plays with traditional notions of gender, among many other definitions. And while there have been countless stories and features on the harm of banning books with LGBTQ content, we’re not seeing the same outrage about the war on drag.

We need to work with organizations within our industry such as Drag Story Hour to elevate their platform, which exists to promote reading and diversity. The program strives to capture the imagination and play of gender fluidity that’s a cornerstone of childhood and gives kids glamorous and positive queer role models.

It is not enough to add LGBTQ titles to publishers’ lists or create imprints dedicated to LGBTQ titles. We are at a pivotal point in history where all of us must speak out and act against any insinuation that drag has an agenda to indoctrinate children—an accusation that blatantly misunderstands LGBTQ experiences and is rooted in homophobia and transphobia.

For more information, read the article.

Clarivate Publishes Report on U.S. Research Trends

Clarivate released “U.S. Research Trends: The Impact of Globalization and Collaboration”(registration required), “an in-depth report from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) which examines the impact of globalization on United States research. The report emphasizes the importance of continued investment and collaboration to maintain the country’s position as a leading science and technology power.”

The report “draws on data from the Web of Science to analyze the trajectory of U.S. research over the past 15 years. It reveals that while the U.S. remains a strong and influential player in the global research community, it faces increasing competition from new science-based economies in Asia and an expanded [European Union] network. The report also raises important questions about how past investment has prepared the U.S. scientific enterprise to achieve its goals.”

For more information, read the press release.

GPO Adds Four Libraries as Preservation Stewards

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) announced the following:

Libraries at Auburn University, Middle Tennessee State University, and New York State Library have signed Memorandum of Agreements with [GPO] to become Preservation Stewards, and the Indiana University Maurer School of Law has expanded its partnership with GPO. To help libraries meet the needs of efficient Government document stewardship in the digital era, GPO has established Preservation Stewards to support continued public access to U.S. Government documents in print format. These libraries join the 50 Preservation Steward partners that contribute significantly to the effort to preserve printed documents. Through the agreement, many libraries also serve as digital access partners providing digital access to Government information.

For more information, read the press release.

Justice John Paul Stevens' Papers Now Available at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress (LC) announced, “A major portion of the papers of Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens” opened for research use on May 2. “The collection documents the evolving position of one of the longest-serving justices on the Supreme Court and the transformation of the court itself. … The case files in the Stevens Papers reflect his evolution from a relatively unknown justice and moderate conservative early in his career to later emerging as the leader of the court’s liberal contingent when he became senior associate justice in 1994.”

Justice Stevens gifted the full collection to the LC upon his retirement in 2010. Per his agreement with the library, his files from 2005 to 2010 will remain closed to researchers until October 2030.

For more information, read the press release.

Law Library of Congress Makes Its Legal Reports Available via HeinOnline

The Law Library of Congress shared the following on the In Custodia Legis blog:

[T]he Law Library of Congress is proud to announce that our legal reports will now also be accessible via HeinOnline. These reports are written by foreign law specialists at the Law Library and cover 300+ jurisdictions, addressing specific legal issues in a particular country or providing a comparative analysis of legal and legislative approaches to an individual problem across a multitude of countries. They are often written in response to requests from Congress or executive branch agencies and may be cited as expert resources. Some of the reports on the Law Library’s website date back to the 1940s, providing a historical glimpse into important legal questions from that time.

For more information, read the blog post.

EDP Sciences Continues Publishing Under Subscribe to Open Model

The Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) journal from EDP Sciences “will continue to publish its research in open access for the second consecutive year under the Subscribe to Open (S2O) model. In contrast to other core astronomy journals that have transitioned or will transition to open access via the Gold (APC) route, A&A has chosen a different approach to achieve immediate open access while minimizing any potential disruption to authors or subscribers. … The S2O model continues to be a transformative and innovative approach to open access publishing, and A&A is continuously reviewing and adapting the model to ensure sustainability.”

For more information, read the press release.

International Open Access Week 2023 Gets Its Theme

SPARC, in partnership with the Open Access Week Advisory Committee, shared that Community Over Commercialization “is the theme for this year’s International Open Access Week (October 23-29). This theme encourages a candid conversation about which approaches to open scholarship prioritize the best interests of the public and the academic community—and which do not.”

For more information, read the news item.

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