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Weekly News Digest

April 16, 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.

Women in Librarianship Webinar Recording Available

On the IFLA-L email list, Loida Garcia-Febo, chair of the IFLA Management of Library Associations, shared a link to the recording of a free webinar she moderated in March titled “Bridging the Gap: In Support of Women in Librarianship—A Conversation With ALA Presidents.” It featured Emily Drabinski, ALA president; Cindy Hohl, ALA president-elect; and Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, ALA immediate past president. The hosts were the ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL), the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Women & Gender Studies Section (ACRL WGSS), and the Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Feminist Task Force (SRRT FTF).

Reviews of the Upcoming Kobo Color E-Readers

Kobo is releasing two color e-readers—the Kobo Clara Colour and the Kobo Libra Colour—on April 30. A good place to get users’ opinions is the official Kobo Reddit thread, which features discussions about whether to switch to a color model, getting library books on the color models, comparisons with the previous Clara model, switching from the Amazon ecosystem to the Kobo one, and more.

Since Kobo announced the new products, many sites have begun posting reviews. Here are a few.

Matt Keith examines the Kobo Libra Colour for CGMagazine, calling it “a great evolution of the Libra line” and “the best eReader on the market.”

Michael Kozlowski highlights the Libra Colour for Good E-Reader, calling it “excellent.”

For Android Police, Daniel Allen looks at the two color e-readers plus the Kobo Clara BW, noting, “With this triple launch, Kobo could elbow out even more market space from Kindle.”

Sharmishta Sarkar digs into all three products for TechRadar, with an in-depth review of the Libra Colour that exclaims, “This ereader does it all!”

For Lifewire, Charlie Sorrel writes of color e-ink, “It’s not going to reproduce the colors of comics or illustrated books as well as an iPad, but it’s a lot better than a newspaper, and maybe as good as a mid-level magazine.”

Andrew Cunningham summarizes the new products for Ars Technica, sharing that the models’ “improvements both try to address the main problems with color e-readers while retaining the outstanding battery life and easy-on-the-eyes screens that have kept e-readers viable even as phones and tablets have become ubiquitous.”

Sheena Vasani writes about the product launch for The Verge, promising reviews to come. Bookmark her author page to find out when those drop.

APA Continues to Study How Social Media Affects Youth

The American Psychological Association (APA) announced the following:

Almost a year after [APA] issued a landmark health advisory on social media use in adolescence, technology companies and policymakers still have made few meaningful changes, forcing society to continue to search for ways to maximize the benefits of these platforms while protecting youth from their harms. …

APA has issued a new report as a follow-up to its 2023 health advisory focusing on social media design features and functions built into these platforms that are inherently unsafe for youth. The new report points to the psychological threats these features and functions introduce and the developmental vulnerabilities they exploit.

For more information, read the press release.

Digital Science Rolls Out an Open Research Principles Initiative

Simon Linacre, head of content, brand, and press for Digital Science, writes the following:

Digital Science … launched its Open Principles, a new initiative that commits its research information solutions to open science now and into the future.

The Principles are the first step in Digital Science’s journey to align more closely with the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information from a global research consortium headed by Leiden University. … They are also a concrete articulation of Digital Science’s long-held, core vision of a trusted, frictionless, collaborative research ecosystem that drives progress for all. …

‘Our new Open Principles are aligned with many of the issues highlighted in the Barcelona Declaration. They are a first step in reaffirming Digital Science’s commitment to open research and will guide our journey toward closer alignment with the community that we serve,’ [CEO Daniel] Hook says.

For more information, read the news item.

Writefull for Overleaf Gets AI-Based Updates

Digital Science announced a new feature release from Writefull, an AI-based academic language service, for use in Overleaf, a collaborative authoring tool. It offers a user interface with a context menu that is directly integrated into Overleaf. In addition, it has new AI options for communicating research more effectively—options for paraphrasing, changing styles, splitting or joining sentences, summarizing paragraphs, and more.

For more information, read the press release.

A Black Librarian Shares His Experience Advocating for the Freedom of Information

Rodney Freeman writes the following in “I’m a Black Librarian. We’re Being Threatened” for Newsweek:

This National Librarian Day [on April 16], our country is dealing with misinformation and disinformation that threaten democracy and make crystal clear the need for the free flow of accurate information. …

The pursuit of happiness goes hand in hand with the pursuit of knowledge and information, which, in turn, is central to what libraries are all about. This goes to the heart of our jobs as librarians. We will keep up the fight, because it is access to information, not censorship, that fuels a healthy democracy.

I am proud to be a librarian—and rare. Less than 7 percent of librarians in the U.S. are Black. For Black librarians like me, libraries also symbolize the literacy that was denied to so many of our ancestors.

For more information, read the article.

ByWater Solutions Kicks Off the Koha Community Challenge 2024

ByWater Solutions announced the Koha Community Challenge 2024, which it calls “a great way for the open source community to come together, move, and raise money for a good cause!” Proceeds will go to koha-US. Participants are encouraged to walk, jog, run, swim, bike, hike, do yoga, dance, or choose any physical activity to document between May 1 and May 31, 2024.

“This year we have a new activity tracking system: Challenge Hound! Challenge Hound is an easy and fun way to track group challenges and seamlessly syncs with FitBit, Apple Watch, Garmin, Strava,” and other fitness trackers, ByWater Solutions shares.

For more information and instructions for joining the challenge, read the news item.

ResearchGate Adds Optica Publishing Group Content

All of Optica Publishing Group’s subscription and OA journals are now available on ResearchGate’s Journal Home platform. “As part of this partnership, the Version of Record of all new published articles from these journals will be made available immediately on the ResearchGate platform as well as close to 105,000 additional published articles dating back to 2012,” ResearchGate shares. “The journals will also benefit from enhanced visibility through dedicated journal profiles on ResearchGate and prominent journal branding on associated article pages as well as all other relevant touch points with ResearchGate’s 25m+ active researchers.”

For more information, read the press release.

ALA Rolls Out Its Annual #FundLibraries Campaign

ALA is launching its “annual #FundLibraries campaign, calling on advocates in every congressional district to ask their members of Congress to cosign Dear Appropriator letters to fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. The LSTA letter, circulated by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) in the Senate and by Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07) and Don Bacon (R-NE-02) in the House, calls for $232 million in funding. The IAL letter, circulated by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA-02) and Don Bacon (R-NE-02) in the House and U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) in the Senate, calls for $50 million in funding.”

Advocates can use the #FundLibraries action center to contact their government representatives.

For more information, read the press release.

NEH Announces Its Newest Round of Humanities Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is providing $26.2 million in grants for 238 humanities projects across the U.S. The grants include funding for “a new permanent exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh on how the Nile River shaped ancient Egyptians’ ideas of life and death; provide for treatment and digitization of photo collections at Appalshop documenting Appalachia’s social, cultural, and economic history that were damaged by catastrophic flooding in Kentucky; and support archaeological research at the sites of two former boarding schools on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana.”

NEH notes, “Other funding will help develop an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in health humanities at Florida Atlantic University and a new minor in data science and humanities at Old Dominion University. At the Medical College of Wisconsin, NEH funding will support a discussion program for military veterans focusing on the ways war memorials and poetry reflect the experiences of war.”

For more information and the full list of grants, read the press release.



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