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Weekly News Digest

November 30, 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.

EveryLibrary Looks at Perceptions of Banned Books

EveryLibrary published an article on Medium—“What Percentage of the Library Collection Is Being Challenged?”—which states:

With stories of book bans on the rise, many regular librarygoers, especially those with small children, are becoming increasingly concerned about the content that’s readily available in their local libraries. While some book bans may have ulterior motives behind them, the sheer volume means that at least a fair chunk of the contested books aren’t appropriate for kids, right? Fortunately, the issue isn’t nearly as widespread as you’d be led to believe. Let’s take a look at some of the hard data, as well as the phenomena that are making the issue appear as inflated as it is.

For more information, read the article.

Research Solutions Buys scite

The research article discovery platform scite announced on its blog that it has been acquired by Research Solutions, which provides “cloud-based workflow solutions to accelerate research for R&D-driven organizations.”

“The motivation behind this decision was our desire to further our mission of introducing the next generation of citations and better serve our users, publishers, and the scholarly ecosystem for the long term,” scite shares. “We wanted to ensure that scite is not simply a scrappy startup working on the periphery of research but a well-resourced organization that can remain publisher-neutral and advance research, whether it is on Peppa Pig, prostate cancer, or particle physics. We see this next step of joining Research Solutions, a team equally dedicated to improving research, as a maturation of the company, idea, and, ultimately, of research. We envision a world where you can ask any question, get a trustworthy answer, understand how the answer came to be, and make better and quicker decisions using the next generation of citations.”

For more information, read the blog post.

USAID Studies the Fight Against Misinformation

by Dave Shumaker

A new review of misinformation countermeasures compares research and applications in the Global North and South. The report, sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), analyzes studies of 11 different countermeasures, finding the strongest evidence for the effectiveness of inoculation and debunking. It notes that media literacy education has been understudied and that the existing evidence for its effectiveness is mixed.

The report is available at

ZDNET Reports Stats on AI Usage in the Workplace

Vala Afshar writes the following in “64% of Workers Have Passed Off Generative AI Work as Their Own” for ZDNET:

Many users of generative AI in the workplace are leveraging the technology without training, guidance, or approval from their employers, according to new research from Salesforce. The company surveyed more than 14,000 global workers across 14 countries for the latest iteration of its Generative AI Snapshot Research Series.

Research shows that over a quarter (28%) of workers globally are currently using generative AI at work, and over half are doing so without the formal approval of their employers. With an additional 32% expecting to use generative AI at work soon, it’s clear that penetration of the technology will continue—with or without oversight.

For more information, read the article.

LC Labs Develops an AI Planning Framework

Abigail Potter, senior innovation specialist with LC Labs, writes the following in “Introducing the LC Labs Artificial Intelligence Planning Framework” for the Library of Congress blog The Signal:

LC Labs has been exploring how to use emerging technologies to expand the use of digital materials since our launch in 2016. We quickly saw machine learning (ML), one branch of artificial intelligence (AI), as a potential way to provide more metadata and connections between collection items and users. …

LC Labs has been developing a planning framework to support the responsible exploration and potential adoption of AI at the Library. At a high level, the framework includes three planning phases: 1) Understand 2) Experiment and 3) Implement, each supports the evaluation of three elements of ML: 1) Data; 2) Models; and 3) People. We’ve developed a set of worksheets, questionnaires, and workshops to engage stakeholders and staff and identify priorities for future AI enhancements and services. The mechanisms, tools, collaborations, and artifacts together form the AI Planning Framework. Our hope in sharing the framework and associated tools in this initial version is to encourage others to try it out and to solicit additional feedback. We will continue updating and refining the framework as we learn more about the elements and phases of ML planning.

For more information, read the blog post.

The Bookseller Talks to Publishers About Their Continued Use of X

The Bookseller’s editorial team published “X Remains Primary Social Media Platform for Publishers,” which states the following:

Since business magnate Elon Musk completed his buyout of the [Twitter, now X] networking site in 2022, there have been a number of changes, notably to the platform’s verification policies, stripping verified blue ticks from accounts which hadn’t signed up for its paid-for subscription service. Links to articles also changed to only show the associated image without the headline, making it difficult to share news. This has prompted the book community’s use of the platform to dissipate, but most publishers still see X as their main social media platform as it still has the largest number of active users and newer alternatives are not yet set up for scheduling. 

Jack Birch, senior digital marketing manager at Bloomsbury, told The Bookseller: ‘The users that have left Twitter/X since Musk’s takeover have not gone to a specific destination; they have fragmented across different platforms such as Blue Sky, Mastodon and Threads, as well as other platforms.’ …

A Bonnier Books UK spokesperson said: ‘We’re continuing to use Twitter/X across a number of our imprints, and so far it is proving fairly resilient with an active community of readers, media and influencers.’ …

For more information, read the article.

Inside Higher Ed Shares Ways to Cope With the Student Loneliness Epidemic

Johanna Alonso writes the following in “The New Plague on Campus: Loneliness” for Inside Higher Ed:

On the first stop in his ‘We Are Made to Connect’ campus tour, U.S. surgeon general Vivek Murthy visited Duke University Oct. 25 to spread his message about the importance of social connection. …

The Duke visit launched the surgeon general’s planned monthlong tour of college campuses across the country to talk up his ‘5-for-5 Connection Challenge,’ in which he encourages students to take five actions for five consecutive days that express gratitude, offer support or ask someone for help. …

The student loneliness epidemic is often associated with the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, which prevented young people from making connections in their usual classroom and extracurricular settings, but the issue dates to well before 2020.

For more information, read the article.

ALA Names 2024 Emerging Leaders

ALA announced its 2024 class of 50 emerging leaders from the U.S. and Canada. This program enables “library staff and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. See the list of participants.”

“Now, more than ever it is critical to provide early career librarians and library workers with leadership opportunities that will help them to cultivate and refine the skills needed to make lasting contributions in both their organizations and in ALA,” says Christina Fuller-Gregory, co-chairperson of the program. “This year, we will offer more programming and increased peer-to-peer engagement, while continuing the tradition of providing Emerging Leaders with project-based learning opportunities.”

The emerging leaders will display their project planning work at a poster session during the 2024 ALA Annual Conference in San Diego.

For more information, read the press release.

Digital Science Examines the Current State of the Sustainable Development Goals

Briony Fane writes the following in “In the Spotlight: Have the SDGs Failed to Reduce Fragmentation in Global Sustainability?” for Digital Science’s TL;DR archive:

2023 marks the halfway point between 2015 (the entry point of the [United Nations] Sustainable Development Goals—SDGs), and 2030 (the end point of the SDGs). As it stands currently, the world is off track to achieving the SDGs and action is necessary to accelerate their implementation. …

To effectively realise what is known as the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, there needs to be evidence of ‘a shared sense of common purpose’. However, progress on achieving the 2030 Agenda has been severely disrupted due to multiple world crises. Thus a joint effort utilising multi-stakeholder partnerships to help to achieve the SDGs is paramount at this halfway point. …

A complex network of interconnections exist across the SDGs and show how actions directed towards one SDG can influence others. For example, food production (SDGs 1 and 2) is increasingly threatened by air pollution (SDG13), which affects soil quality (SDG15) and crop yields (SDG2). The 2023 Global Sustainability report highlights that an interconnected and systemic approach will be key and shows new evidence that understanding the interconnections between individual goals … will be essential.

For more information, read the article.

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