10 Sept 2023

Libfocus Link-out for September 2023

Welcome to the September edition of the Libfocus link-out, an assemblage of library-related things we have found informative, educational, thought-provoking and insightful on the Web over the past while.

Shows: a lifebuoy floating in water; a blurred image of a person writing in a book;  two people; an illustration of a girl holding a skull; an infographic; a printer's mark; a woman in a hat, a hand browsing bookshelves and the author Stephen Fry
Images featured in this month's libfocus link-out articles

Widow Printers of the 16th Century: Charlotte Guillard and Édmonde Toussain

This blog post by Madeline Birnbaum, Trinity College Library (Cambridge) Graduate Trainee 2022-3, about the lives of two widowed women who inherited their husbands' print workshops, delving into the often unseen work of women in printing and publishing at the time, and the ultimate intersection of Guillard and Toussain's lives.

An article by Janet Manley for LitHub on how children's literature gets chosen for and prescribed to children by adults, and the weight of that influence, as well as nostalgia, which then drives publishing trends.

Report from Equity in Open Access workshop #3: Making waves in APC & waiver practice

More and more evidence is emerging that Article Processing Charges (APCs) in Open Access publishing have unintended consequences, mainly putting up a barrier to publishing for authors in lower income regions. This OASPA workshop report by Malavika Legge discusses seven proposed principles of practice to increase equity in Open Access publishing.

All Things Must Pass

This opinion piece from Andrew Barker and Elaine Sykes (Lancaster University) reflects on the role of libraries in changing the institutional research culture that puts openness and equity at its centre.

What do you get when you combine artificial intelligence with human stupidity? There are, unfortunately, numerous responses to that question. But in this particular case, as detailed by Arwa Mahdawi in The Guardian, the answer can be found in Iowa’s Mason City Community School District, where school administrators are using ChatGPT to help them ban books.

I don’t think many people would argue with the idea that it’s your attitude that makes all the difference in life. Your attitude also makes a huge difference when it comes to public speaking and presenting too, which is often something many people overlook. Learn more in this post by presenting coach Maurice DeCastro.

Melina Spanoudi writes about The University of Wolverhampton's Big Bookshare project in The Bookseller. This project aims to boost the literacy and wellbeing of over 1,000 prisoners in four Kent prisons. Stephen Fry and Kit de Waal will take part in the pilot project, which also seeks to increase the volume and diversity of reading in prisons. 

This article by Éadaoín Lynch of The Scottish Book Trust looks at the many ways public libraries in Scotland positively impact society. Though visitor numbers have increased since 2010, government funding for libraries has decreased, despite research that suggests that every £1 invested in libraries returns between £5 and £7 a year for the UK economy.

This new report from the OCLC Global Council focuses on libraries of the future and how they will drive change to meet the evolving needs of users.

Wired writer Amanda Hoover presents a recent example of a published academic paper with a curious sentence included within has shed light on the relationship between AI and the research process.

Lam Thuy Vo contemplates the troubles of a world, perceived through an algorithmically curated lens, and the effects this has on us as people and as a society.

Open Access Author Contracts and Alignment with the Open Ethos: A Global Study 

Melissa H. Cantrell and Sarah Wipperman report on the findings of their DOAJ survey, which explores the implementation of rights and licensing expectations (“open access ethos”) in contracts between authors and publishers.


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