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Weekly News Digest

May 9, 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.

EveryLibrary Institute Unveils New Report on Library Funding in the U.S.

The EveryLibrary Institute published “Funding Our Priorities: Comparisons of Public Library Funding and Services With Other Sectors in Post-COVID America” (registration required), a report that “examines the current state of library funding in the US, analyzes trends and patterns in library funding, and provides recommendations for policymakers, library leaders, and advocates to ensure sustainable funding for libraries and information services.”

“‘Funding Our Priorities’ is a comprehensive and insightful report on municipal and state revenue and expenditure priorities through a library lens," says John Chrastka, the EveryLibrary Institute’s executive director. “It comes at a critical time when federal COVID relief funds are beginning to sunset, and traditional pressures on state and local budgets will return. We hope this report will serve as a valuable resource for library advocates, policymakers, and stakeholders committed to ensuring that libraries continue to serve their communities effectively.”

For more information, read the news item.

Book Riot Looks at How Gen Z Reads

Melissa Baron writes the following in “What Are the Actual Reading Trends for Gen Z?” for Book Riot:

We’re going to dive into recent studies and reports that have gathered data on the state of reading among folks aged 26 and under to give you a real picture of the reading trends among Gen Z, from how much they read to how diversely they read, to where they get their recommendations from (looking at you, BookTok), and even what genres they prefer. …

The influences on what they read are also unprecedented compared to previous generations. Books with rich diversity and representation are incredibly important to them, to the tune of 79% of respondents stating that the level of diversity and representation in their books and media plays a huge role in what they choose to consume. 

For more information, read the article.

Digital Science CEO Weighs In on the Topic of AI Tools

David Ellis, press, PR, and social manager at Digital Science, shared the following in “Future Workers Will Need to Master AI ‘Dark Arts’”:

While artificial intelligence (AI) appears scary and may threaten jobs, workers of the near future have less to fear from AI than they think if they are open to learning how to use AI as a tool that extends their capabilities. Becoming a proficient user of AI ‘magic’ is going to be a key skill, according to Digital Science CEO Dr Daniel Hook. …

His comments have been published on Digital Science’s new blog site, TL;DR—in a piece called “Tinker, Researcher, Prompter, Wizard”. …

In his new post, Dr Hook says today’s best users of AI technology, known as ‘prompt engineers’, are a kind of ‘modern day programmer-cum-wizard who understands how to make an AI do their bidding’. He likens the skills required for getting an AI to produce a desired result as ‘something of a dark art’.

For more information, read the news item.

APA Publishes Report on Guidance for Adolescent Social Media Use

The American Psychological Association (APA) convened a panel that “has issued recommendations for the use of social media by adolescents, noting that while these platforms can promote healthy socialization, their use should be preceded by training in social media literacy to ensure that youth have skills that will maximize the chances for balanced, safe and meaningful experiences.”

These recommendations are compiled in Health Advisory on Social Media Use in Adolescence, which examines relevant scientific literature to offer guidance to educators, parents, policymakers, mental health and health practitioners, technology companies, and young people for developing healthy social media practices. “The report also recommends psychological competencies that youth should possess before using social media, plus periodic booster training to minimize the chances for harm and maximize the benefits that social media can provide,” APA notes.

For more information, read the press release.

APA Says 'Improving Social Connection Is a Public Health Priority'

The American Psychological Association (APA) issued “a statement by Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of the American Psychological Association, on the recent advisory from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, designating loneliness as a public health priority.”

It says, in part, “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased social isolation for many vulnerable populations, including older adults, who are most vulnerable to the virus, and children, who missed out on important opportunities while schools were closed. People from all walks of life, from educators to public health officials and even the media, need to consider actions that can help promote positive social interactions and healthy relationships to address this problem that affects millions of Americans daily.”

For more information, read the press release.

Library of Congress Completes Digitization of Pre-Modern Chinese Encyclopedia

The Library of Congress (LC) finished digitizing the Yongle Encyclopedia, “the largest reference work created in pre-modern China, and possibly the world. Digital publication of the 41 volumes held in the Library’s collections provides open access to one of the most extensive attempts in world history to capture the entirety of human knowledge in book form.”

The encyclopedia “represented an ambitious endeavor to record all forms of knowledge known to Chinese civilization at the time of the Yongle emperor’s reign. It was intended to be an easy-to-consult but comprehensive reference work.” Compiled between 1403 and 1408 for use by then-emperor Zhu Di, it was later hand-copied to duplicate it in full. Only 4% of the work survived to the modern day. 

For more information, read the press release.

Kenzie Academy Partners With Taro for Tech Coaching, Networking, and Mentorship

A press release shares the following:

Kenzie Academy from Southern New Hampshire University, a set of online tech certificate programs, announced today a partnership with Taro, a tech coaching platform and community.

The partnership will help alumni advance their careers in tech, provide valuable insight within the software engineering and tech fields, and offer a discount on a premium membership.

Taro will work with Kenzie Academy to provide guest speakers from the tech industry and assist alums who want to build their networks with industry experts from top-level companies.

Taro members get access to insider advice on how to get promoted at their company, detailed data on compensation, invitations to exclusive networking events, and so much more for their career advancement.

For more information, read the press release.

More Than 40 Scientists Resign From Elsevier Journal's Editorial Board

Anna Fazackerley writes the following for The Guardian:

More than 40 leading scientists have resigned en masse from the editorial board of a top science journal in protest at what they describe as the ‘greed’ of publishing giant Elsevier.

The entire academic board of the journal Neuroimage, including professors from Oxford University, King’s College London and Cardiff University resigned after Elsevier refused to reduce publication charges.

Academics around the world have applauded what many hope is the start of a rebellion against the huge profit margins in academic publishing, which outstrip those made by Apple, Google and Amazon.

For more information, read the article.

Sage Unveils Free-to-Read Resource Collection on Southwest Asia and North Africa

Sage rolled out a limited time, free-to-read collection of resources exploring the Southwest Asian and North African region. It covers topics such as:
  • gender role and oppression
  • governments, laws, and policies
  • information and media
  • mental health, healthcare, and medicine
  • protests, conflicts, and war
  • refugees, displaced, and stateless people

For more information, read the press release.

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