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Weekly News Digest

August 17, 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.

NEH Gives an Update on Its Latest Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is providing “$41.3 million in grants for 280 humanities projects across the country. These grants will support a documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson on the life, work, and legacy of jazz legend Sun Ra; the creation of a set of linked online dictionaries of early Mayan languages; and analysis of pigment traces on the statuary at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral to create a 3D model depicting the original colors of its medieval façade.” This is NEH’s last round of funding for FY2023.

“These 280 new grant awards underscore the wide range of exemplary, fascinating, and impactful humanities work that scholars, practitioners, and institutions are conducting in all corners of the country,” says Shelly C. Lowe, NEH chairperson. “I am especially pleased to announce a number of innovative projects funded through NEH’s American Tapestry initiative that draw upon the insights of history, literature, culture, and philosophy to help us understand, discuss, and address some of today’s most urgent social issues.”

For more information, read the press release and visit the American Tapestry site.

IFLA Goes Ahead With 2024 WLIC Venue

IFLA reaffirmed its decision to hold its 2024 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Dubai, stating the following:

The Governing Board made the announcement on 19 June that IFLA would hold WLIC 2024 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This sparked significant debate, with both critical and supportive voices, highlighting questions around different aspects of diversity and inclusion, freedom of expression, as well as the possibility for all of IFLA’s volunteer groups to organise sessions.

As an organisation that strives for a broad membership and volunteer base, all views are important. The Governing Board therefore decided to seek advice from IFLA Members around the world by means of a non-binding advisory referendum. …

In taking its decision, the Board reflected on both the overall votes and comments, but also the breakdown by region highlighted above, relative voting strengths of different regions, and the priority IFLA has given to increasing its presence in all world regions, reflecting its vocation to be the global voice of libraries.

For more information, read the news item.

Penguin Random House Introduces a Banned Books Resource Site

Porter Anderson writes the following in “PRH Rolls Out Banned Books Resources: ‘Let Kids Read’” for Publishing Perspectives:

Today (August 15), Penguin Random House [PRH] has released its new ‘banned books resource site’—titled Let Kids Read. …

PRH’s worldwide CEO, Nihar Malaviya, says on today’s release of its new campaign, … ‘The acceleration of book bannings, challenges, and related legislation sweeping across the country is a direct threat to democracy and our constitutional rights. Diverse stories deserve to be told, and readers deserve the autonomy to choose what books they read.’

To that end, the special site set is up as a consumer-facing presentation, ending in a selection of banned books grouped by category and intended to be rotated at regular intervals.

For more information, read the article.

Book Riot and EveryLibrary Plan Survey of Parent Attitudes Toward Libraries

Book Riot shared the following:

EveryLibrary, the national political action committee for libraries, and Book Riot, the largest independent editorial book site in North America, announce a partnership to launch a comprehensive survey aimed at gathering valuable insights from parents regarding their perceptions of public libraries and current issues facing public libraries. The ‘Parents and Public Libraries – Perceptions Survey’ will allow parents to share their experiences and opinions, contributing to improving and developing library services.

Scheduled to open on September 6, 2023, this collaborative survey is specifically designed to gather feedback from parents who have children under 18 in their households. EveryLibrary and Book Riot have worked closely to create a series of carefully crafted questions that address various aspects of public libraries, their services, and the challenges they face in meeting the diverse needs of communities. …

The survey will cover a wide range of topics, including parents’ frequency of library visits, their trust in librarians’ book selection, the importance of resources such as storytime opportunities and summer reading programs, and their awareness of book bans and censorship in libraries. Additionally, parents will be asked to express their opinions on controversial subjects in children’s books, such as LGBTQ+ characters and themes, racism, and social justice.

For more information, read the news item.

TLC Updates Its App and Partners With Messaging Solution

The Library Corp. (TLC) rolled out the latest version of its mobile app, TLCGo!, which features an updated user interface with more prominent book carousels; a reading tracker; Chromebook support; deeper integration with third-party resources such as cloudLibrary, Hoopla, and Libby; new language options such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Urdu; and more.

“TLC•Go! provides Android and iOS users access to their favorite library services, including a digital library card that can support linked accounts, the ability to search the catalog, connection to curbside services, and support for 24 languages. Library staff can also enjoy the highly configurable Content Management System (CMS) allowing for changes in logos, colors, menu layouts, and more,” the press release states.

In addition, TLC has teamed up with MessageBee by Unique Management Services to allow library customers to “turn correspondence, such as arrived hold or overdue notices, into personalized messages to send to patrons through recorded or voice-to-text phone notifications.”

RUSA Shares Updates to Interlibrary Loan Code

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of ALA, approved a newly revised Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States with Explanatory Text. “Anyone in the United States who handles interlibrary loan requests or supervises resource sharing operations should read and familiarize themselves with” the new guidance, RUSA states. “The principles found within the newly revised documents belong to all of us and recognize that the sharing of material between libraries is a core library service to be encouraged and is in the public interest.”

For more information, read the news item.

Exact Editions Creates a Publishing-Focused Newsletter

Exact Editions is planning an email newsletter, The Exact Edition, “which compiles the latest news and trends at the intersection of publishing and technology” for publishing professionals. The first issue will be sent on Aug. 17.

“As a company that has been at the forefront of digital publishing since 2005, we take a keen interest in new developments and trends; ‘The Exact Editions’ newsletter aims to share that curiosity with the wider industry,” says Daryl Rayner, Exact Editions’ managing director.

For more information, read the news item.

C-SPAN and the Library of Congress Launch New Series on the Defining Books of American Society

C-SPAN and the Library of Congress are launching a primetime, 10-part series in fall 2023, called Books That Shaped America, that traces “America’s history by exploring masterpieces in literature that have had, and still have today, a major impact on society.” It begins Sept. 18 and will air every Monday night at 9 p.m. EDT.

“Over the course of 10 weeks this fall, ‘Books that Shaped America’ will shine a light on a diverse group of books and authors whose skill with the written word and powerful storytelling left a lasting impression on our nation,” says Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “These 10 books are just a start. Throughout the series, we will invite Americans to join the conversation and share their perspectives about more books that shaped America.”

For more information, read the press release.

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