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Weekly News Digest

March 26, 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 New York Times Provides Tips for Setting Boundaries With Your Phone

Eric Athas writes the following in “How to Have a Healthier Relationship With Your Phone” for The New York Times:

One survey found that most Americans say they spend too much time on their phones. But dramatic solutions—a digital detox, a phone downgrade or a complete exit from social media—may feel impractical.

Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with technology while still using it daily? Fortunately, according to experts, the answer is a resounding yes.

For more information, read the article.

Ex Libris Embarks on a Project Regarding the Use of AI for Special Collections

Ex Libris is posting a blog series on artificial intelligence (AI). The fifth entry, “Metadata Generation for Digital Content,” states the following:

Special collections are often the gem of a library and deserve to be easily accessible to library patrons. At Ex Libris, part of Clarivate, we are prioritizing this vision as we work on metadata enrichment via AI for digital resources. …

We’re currently working with beta testers from our passionate user community to better understand the challenges of special collection librarians and catalogers at academic institutions and to help develop a forward-looking solution that can make their work easier and more robust. 

For example, AI has strong capabilities when it comes to identifying the faces of people in pictures—this technology is a popular feature on Apple, Google and social media platforms. Now, imagine if a cataloger could leverage this ability for organizing hundreds or thousands of photos in digital collections, quickly and with a high degree of accuracy. 

For more information, read the blog post.

Book Riot Provides a Primer on the OnShelf Book Ban-Enabling Software

Kelly Jensen writes the following in “How The BookmarkED/OnShelf, Created to Help Schools Ban Books, Fuels Them Instead” for Book Riot:

In December 2023, BookmarkED—an app designed to ‘help’ educators, librarians, and parents navigate book bans in school libraries—rebranded. Now OnShelf, the app has been making its way into schools in Texas. Freedom of Information Requests obtained new information about how the app is getting into districts in Texas and how the app alerts users to so-called ‘banned books’ in the district. The app is a student data privacy nightmare, and it undermines the professional capabilities of trained teacher librarians in educational institutions. …

Please continue to spread the word about this ‘educational software’ company and what it truly is. This group advocated on behalf of book bans in the state, and now, they’re working themselves into districts across Texas as a solution to the problem. The problem they helped create and which is not a problem at all.

For more information, read the article.

ZDNET Asks Business Leaders About Best Practices for Implementing GenAI

Vala Afshar writes the following in “When Deploying GenAI at Scale, People Must Come First. Here's How” for ZDNET:

A recent Salesforce survey of 600 IT leaders reveals a new mandate from their bosses: Incorporate generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) into the technology stack—and fast. But the response from IT professionals is ‘not so fast’—highlighting concerns about resources, data security, and data quality. …

The road to implementation and adoption of AI in a secure, trustworthy, scalable and stakeholder value-driven model will require a lot more than just solid technology and processes. What’s needed most is ‘deployment empathy.’

For more information, read the article.

Innovative Begins a Research Initiative to Explore What an AI-Powered Library Could Be

Innovative, part of Clarivate, is starting “an on-going research initiative to explore how generative artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance the patron discovery experience when searching and browsing library resources.” SVP and general manager Yariv Kursh spoke at the Innovative Users Group annual conference about the creation of a “secure platform that would continue to manage library workflows, engage with the community, create seamless library experiences, and, notably, use generative AI to address user needs and enhance the library experience across interactions.”

Innovative continues, “Kursh demonstrated what an online catalog might look like with an AI-powered assistant. Users could engage in more conversational interactions, asking the AI assistant to help them find a certain type of book or get help with homework projects.”

For more information, read the blog post.

'OCLC Global Council Ratifies Plans to Streamline Council Structure, Increase Member Engagement'

OCLC shares that its “OCLC Global Council ratified plans to establish a new council structure to clarify its role and increase member engagement. The new OCLC Leaders Council will be phased in over the next year with a clear purpose: to provide library perspectives that inform OCLC’s strategic goals and to elect six trustees to the Board of Trustees.”

OCLC continues, “The new Leaders Council combines three Regional Councils into one group comprised of two delegations—one consisting of members from North, Central, and South America and one that unites Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific regions. It allows flexibility in its membership to range from no fewer than 20 to no more than 24 members.”

“The new Leaders Council is a huge step forward,” says Pilar Martinez, an OCLC board trustee and co-chairperson of the governance study planning team. “This move will not only improve the desired engagement, but will also bring us in closer alignment with the Board. This new council will be better positioned to serve its purpose in providing library insights to inform OCLC’s strategic directions, and its smaller size will allow for deeper engagement with the Board and OCLC management.”

For more information, read the press release.

DataCite Introduces Its First Annual Public Data File

DataCite announced the following:

[W]e are releasing DataCite’s first public data file with metadata for over 52 million DOIs. 

DataCite DOI metadata has always been openly available. In line with our commitment to the POSI principles, we make all metadata registered with DataCite part of the public domain through a CC0 copyright waiver. …

Compared with using our APIs, downloading the data file is a faster way to retrieve DataCite DOI metadata: instead of requesting the list of DOIs page by page, users can now download a single (compressed) file in one go.

The public data file contains metadata for all DataCite DOIs. Specifically, this first release contains metadata records in JSON format for all DataCite DOIs in Findable state that were registered up to the end of 2023. Each DOI has descriptive metadata for research outputs and resources structured according to the DataCite Metadata Schema. … Going forward, we plan to release a complete public data file on an annual basis.

For more information, read the blog post.

NISO Puts CDL Recommended Practice Draft Out for Public Comment

NISO (National Information Standards Organization) is making its draft Interoperable System of Controlled Digital Lending Recommended Practice available for public comment through April 21, 2024.

“Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) allows libraries to replicate the right to lend their legally acquired items in a digital format to patrons under ‘controlled’ conditions, meaning a library can lend only the number of copies of a specific title that it owns and that controls are implemented to prevent copying or distribution of the work,” NISO notes. “The process of implementing CDL can be quite complex and must take into account various scenarios and systems requirements.”

The draft Recommended Practice features “four distinct architectural models covering both CDL within a single institution as well as shared CDL infrastructure: 1) Standalone CDL system, 2) Integrated Institution-based System, 3) Shared CDL Infrastructure/Integrated Consortium-based System, and 4) Distributed/Decentralized CDL. These models are described using common attributes, allowing potential adopters to compare and consider practical aspects of how they might be developed or implemented in a local environment. Model-specific recommendations enable readers to better understand system requirements for various types of lending scenarios in an individual library or across a consortium or set of libraries.”

For more information, read the press release.

Boston Library Consortium Joins the JSTOR Path to Open OA Program

JSTOR announced the following:

Boston Library Consortium (BLC) … is the latest consortium to join Path to Open, a pilot program to support the open access publication of new groundbreaking scholarly books that will bring diverse perspectives and research to millions of people. Designated as an opt-in program for BLC’s member institutions, eight libraries signed on immediately, including Boston Public Library—the first public library to join Path to Open. …

BLC members joining Path to Open so far include: Boston Public Library, Brandeis University, Trinity College, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of New Hampshire, Wellesley College, and Wesleyan University. The college and university libraries support the learning and research needs of more than 50,000 students and faculty, while Boston Public Library serves over 6 million people.

Patrons served by these libraries have immediate access to Path to Open books as they are published on JSTOR. Every Path to Open book becomes open access three years after publication.

For more information, read the news item.

hoopla Digital Rolls Out New BingePasses for Music Lovers and Gardeners

hoopla Digital recently created two new BingePasses. “BingePass is a unique innovation from hoopla, offering unlimited access to educational and entertaining collections of streaming content and platforms for seven days with just one borrow. Over the past year, BingePass borrows have increased by 54% and title circulations through BingePass have increased 158%,” hoopla reports. There are more than 20 available.

hoopla partnered with, “the world’s premier resource for classical music programming” to launch the BingePass. It has a video-on-demand catalog featuring “1,500 concerts, 350 operas, 150 ballets, 1,300 documentaries, 250 master classes, and 550 jazz performances.” Events are streamed live from venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Paris Opera. The platform is accessible in English, French, Spanish, or Russian, and individual performances are subtitled.

hoopla partnered with the All3Media International production and distribution group to launch the Gardening with Monty Don BingePass. “Monty Don is the UK’s foremost garden writer and broadcaster. Now, a selection of his acclaimed family-friendly gardening content is accessible … [to] patrons of participating libraries,” hoopla shares. It features 300-plus episodes across four series, such as Gardener’s World and My Dream Farm.

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