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Weekly News Digest

March 14, 2024 — 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.

The Latest News From ALA

After reimagining its traditional Midwinter Meeting to LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience (LLX) in 2022, ALA has decided, “[a]fter careful evaluation and analysis of financial and other critical factors,” not to hold LLX in 2026. ALA says that “efforts are underway to determine how best to present some of the most beloved celebratory events traditionally held at the January conference: the I Love My Librarian Awards; the RUSA Book & Media Awards, which features the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction; the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration; and the Youth Media Awards. In the process of transitioning, [ALA] will consult with the respective committees, round tables, and member leaders. Their valuable insights and perspectives will be integral in shaping the direction of these events. This collaborative approach underscores ALA’s commitment to inclusivity and responsiveness to the diverse voices within its membership and esteem for the history and impact of this work.” LLX will be held in 2025 as planned.

ALA announced that its election polls are now open, and the organization is encouraging members to vote for association-wide leadership by April 3, 2024. Running for 2025–2026 president are Sam Helmick, community and access services coordinator at Iowa City Public Library, and Raymond Pun, academic and research librarian at the Alder Graduate School of Education in California.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL), ACRL’s Women & Gender Studies Section (WGSS), and the Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Feminist Task Force (SRRT-FTF) are hosting a free event, Bridging the Gap: In Support of Women in Librarianship – A Conversation With ALA Presidents, on March 25, 2024. Speakers include ALA president Emily Drabinski, ALA president-elect Cindy Hohl, and ALA immediate past-president Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada.

DPLA Plans Webinar Series on Reparative Description

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has a Metadata Working Group that is hosting a workshop series, Practical Approaches for Reparative Description. It is “designed for people working with cultural heritage data looking to deepen their understanding and practice of reparative description. Reparative description focuses on remediating or contextualizing potentially outdated or harmful language used in descriptive practices, ensuring accuracy and inclusivity,” DPLA shares. The first workshop, Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Metadata, will be held April 18.

For more information, read the news item.

Storytel Brings Audiobooks in Multiple Languages to OverDrive Customers

OverDrive entered into a global distribution agreement with the Storytel audio content subscription service that will give library patrons “access to an unparalleled and culturally diverse selection of tens of thousands of premium audiobooks in 20 languages. The collaboration enables all 92,000 libraries and schools in the OverDrive global network to make the catalog available to millions of readers in their communities for discovery and enjoyment.” The languages include English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Marathi, and Hindi, and each audiobook is produced with local narrators to ensure authenticity.

For more information, read the press release.

ByWater Solutions Plans Web Events to Enhance Librarians' Koha Knowledge

ByWater Solutions is hosting a series of free, Koha-focused web sessions called Community GiftED, which “allows librarians to learn from each other and give back to their fellow partners. … Get ready to embark on a journey of growth and collaboration in just 30-minute sessions.” The first session, to be held April 9, 2024, focuses on SQL reports. Future sessions cover cron jobs (May 28), the basics of system administration (June 18), and bibliographic frameworks (Aug. 27).

For more information, read the news item.

'From a Humble Beginning 35 Years Ago, the Web Is Now Central to the Daily Lives of Billions' by Seth Dobbs

Seth Dobbs, president and CEO of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), writes the following on the organization’s blog:

[T]he World Wide Web was first proposed on [March 12] 35 years ago by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN. …

The expanded applicability of the Web is due in large part to the creation of the World Wide Web Consortium 30 years ago. Tim Berners-Lee created a single organization to coordinate web standards, aiming to foster a consistent and interoperable architecture accommodating the rapid pace of progress in web standards. …

Over the years, the Web and its underlying standards haveevolved to provide solutions to emerging problems around the world. … To enable such progress, the Web Consortium too has evolved, always taking a people-first approach: the Web must continue to serve humanity.

For more information, read the blog post.

Taylor & Francis Doubles the Count of Its Journals on ResearchGate

ResearchGate and Taylor & Francis expanded their Journal Home partnership to double the coverage from 200 to 400 journals in 2024. This means all OA journals and a variety of hybrid journals published by Taylor & Francis will be part of ResearchGate’s Journal Home platform, which “uses dedicated journal profiles available throughout the platform to help researchers discover and explore the titles relevant for their work. Each journal is also prominently represented on all associated article pages, delivering enhanced engagement and accessibility with ResearchGate members.” All new articles in fully OA journals will be available on ResearchGate upon publication.

For more information, read the press release.

CNI Shares Update on British Library Cyberattack

The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) examined the British Library’s latest update on the cyberattack it suffered in October 2023. “This deserves wide review by leadership of organizations concerned with both information delivery and stewardship of cultural and intellectual heritage,” CNI states. “To what extent are information delivery and cultural memory and stewardship activities genuinely critical infrastructure that demand to be treated as such? Where does the responsibility lie, when it must be clearly above the level of individual institutions if these are genuinely critical functions? How do we deliberately introduce and manage redundancy in the interests of gaining resilience? As a society, what do we hope to accomplish for information delivery and stewardship of the cultural record in an environment of intensive cyber-attacks, whether motivated by criminal elements, geopolitics, or (increasingly) some hybrid of the two? What are the risks and the vulnerabilities?”

For more information, read the news item.

HeinOnline Debuts Archive of West Academic Casebooks

HeinOnline introduced a new database, the West Academic Casebooks Archive. This “collection of thousands of West Academic Casebooks [textbooks for law schools], Hornbooks [treatises on foundational legal subject areas], and Nutshells [overviews of essential legal principles] that have been instrumental in shaping legal education and guiding legal research for decades” is now part of HeinOnline’s intuitive, search-friendly platform.

The database will house the third-most-recent edition of a title (the first two are embargoed until another edition publishes), and the collection will be updated twice a year. “Additionally, our team is continuing to collect materials that fall within the embargo eligibility, with a goal to make the archive collection as comprehensive as possible,” HeinOnline notes.

For more information, read the press release.

PROJECTR Gets Updates for Its Streaming Platform With Help From Cadmore Media

PROJECTR will relaunch with enhancements of its platform in June 2024. Designed for educational institutions and public libraries to engage with mostly exclusive films, “PROJECTR amplifies diverse and underrepresented voices from around the world, providing thought-provoking works that spark conversations and enrich learning and understanding,” the press release notes.

“The new features of PROJECTR were made possible through a partnership with CADMORE MEDIA, utilizing their expertise and technology to ensure a seamless and user-friendly experience for its institutional partners,” it continues. “From single-title purchases to curated collections, PROJECTR supports the many ways in which libraries want to acquire media, providing flexibility and ensuring a seamless experience for both the providers and the viewers. With support for life-of-file access, PROJECTR ensures continuous access to valuable media, eliminating the hassle of expiration dates and renewals.”

For more information, read the press release.

IMLS and the Council of American Jewish Museums Held a Summit on Countering Antisemitism

IMLS joined up with the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM) to hold Museums Respond: Strategies for Countering Antisemitism and Hate, an invitation-only summit March 5–6 in Washington, D.C. During the event, “federal officials and museum leaders shared their perspectives on addressing antisemitism, with the goal of informing museum programming across the country. The summit was convened as part of IMLS’s commitments under President Biden’s National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, released in May 2023.” Its focus was “on building cross-community solidarity, sharing model resources for educators on teaching about histories of antisemitism and Jewish American heritage. ...”

IMLS is planning to offer a toolkit to museums, libraries, and archives based on the summit’s takeaways to “provide best practices and curated educational resources from museums to address antisemitism and to help Americans understand, evaluate, and discern the reliability and accuracy of information.”

For more information, read the news release.

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