Making digital resources accessible for students with disabilities: Are libraries, publishers, and vendors ready for the new rules and regulations?

Digital resources for libraries—including digital databases and e-book versions of their print counterparts—have gained in popularity over the past decade and are embraced by general readers as well as educators and learners at all levels of education, from kindergarten through graduate school. With the COVID-19 crisis forcing a rapid shift to remote and distance learning around the world, the issue of the accessibility of digital resources becomes even more prominent.

For users with disabilities—especially blind students who use screen readers—digital resources are a tremendous opportunity as well as a potential barrier. On the one hand, they make things accessible that were previously inaccessible; on the other, they pose unique challenges. Publishers and producers of educational materials—including leading educational publishers like Cengage, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson—as well as the universities that buy those materials for their faculty and students, have long been working toward making digital resources accessible to users with special needs.

This year, however, marks a turning point in what is required of universities and colleges across the United States on the matter of accessibility. All institutions of learning that receive federal aid are now legally required to make their digital learning materials accessible to students, including those with disabilities. This means their products must be compatible with all screen readers and keyboards and must be designed in ways that enable efficient navigation. If they are not able to make their resources fully accessible—this, of course, depends on various factors—they must provide reasonable alternatives in a timely manner. Failure to comply may result in a complaint to the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights or a discrimination lawsuit.

Since the advent of the Internet and digital resources, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has put pressure on the institutions that put blind students at a disadvantage for not doing enough to meet their needs. The list of complaints and lawsuits filed against educational institutions in the United States since the turn of the century is astonishingly long. Those that have already faced liability for inaccessible web content and technologies include not only community colleges (Atlantic Cape, NJ; Los Angeles Community College District), private online universities (Capella), private rural universities (Finlandia University, MI) and test preparation organizations (BarBri Bar Review) but also many large state universities (e.g., Colorado, California, Arizona, Florida) and the heavy-weights like Harvard, MIT, Princeton, and NYU. The list continues to grow even in mid-2020, as new institutions face lawsuits for discrimination including, most recently, Duke University.

New rules

Among the lawsuits, complaints and settlements that have shaped the narrative of accessibility stands one discrimination lawsuit that took place last year and greatly contributed to making ADA compliance a legal requirement in the United States. Last August, the NFB, its California affiliate, and two blind students, Roy Payan and Portia Mason, won their disability discrimination lawsuit against the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). Payan claimed that the website he needed to access for his schoolwork was inaccessible and that he couldn’t read a text in PDF with a screen reader program called Job Access with Speech (JAWS) on Pearson‘s MyMathLab digital courseware platform. He also said he was redirected to the Office of Students with Disabilities at the university a number of times and that what took the average student there an hour and a half to two hours to complete took him about 18 hours.

The Court found that LACCD violated his rights because it failed to provide him and students like him with accessible course materials and, therefore, it failed to fulfill its basic duty to provide equal access to education to all students. The Court also found that LACCD failed to provide materials from an equivalent math textbook as an alternative and ordered the college to appoint a dean of educational technology who would enforce accessibility policies and make LACCD’s web site, along with all other educational technologies, fully accessible to students with disabilities.

Continue reading “Making digital resources accessible for students with disabilities: Are libraries, publishers, and vendors ready for the new rules and regulations?”

Guest of Honour Canada’s physical presentation in Frankfurt postponed to 2021

Strong virtual presentation in 2020 / All following Guest of Honour appearances will also be postponed by one year

Originally planned for 2020, Canada’s presentation as Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse (14-18 October 2020) has been postponed until 2021 due to the changed conditions caused by COVID-19. The committee organising Canada’s role as Guest of Honour, under the auspices of the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, reached an agreement with Frankfurter Buchmesse and subsequent Guest of Honour countries to delay its physical appearance by one year.

The countries scheduled to be the Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse in subsequent years – Spain, Slovenia and Italy – agreed to postpone their own presentations by one year to accommodate Canada’s move to 2021.

For 2020, Canadian Heritage and their partners are preparing a virtual presence to give Canadian authors and publishers a strong presence at the digital Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Continue reading “Guest of Honour Canada’s physical presentation in Frankfurt postponed to 2021”

This Week in Literature and Arts [June 29–July 5]

June 29, 1911: Bernard Hermann is born in New York City. So much great music—the scores for Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Taxi Driver, plus The Twilight Zone and Lost in Space themes, but his work with Hitchcock is my fav. The screaming violins in PSYCHO are chilling to this day!

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June 29, 1956: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe marry. They divorced January 20, 1961. Always searching for father figures (including in her husbands), Monroe became very enamored with Miller’s dad and they remained close even after the marriage disintegrated.  

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Continue reading “This Week in Literature and Arts [June 29–July 5]”

OpenAPC and Knowledge Unlatched launch public dataset on Book Processing Charges

Berlin, June 30, 2020Knowledge Unlatched (KU) and OpenAPC, operated by the University of Bielefeld, are expanding the OpenAPC dataset to support the inclusion of Book Processing Charges (BPCs). The first deposit includes all of the payments made by KU to publishers for the KU Select programs, equalling almost 1,000 books. KU is also planning to share further transactional data for the other collections for which it collects funding.

 “Since its inception, KU has been sharing impact reports and financial information with customers and the public. Providing transparency around our publisher payments is therefore a natural extension and one that should inform stakeholders to help speed up the transition of Open Access (OA) monographs” says Max Mosterd, Head of Operations & Analytics at KU. “Over the summer, KU will further engage with its partners to also promote the BPCs for its other programs.”

The extension of OpenAPC with the KU contribution marks the start of a new public database for OA books. Dirk Pieper, Deputy Director of Bielefeld University Library, states: “We are delighted with this extension and growth into a more comprehensive dataset. We invite other funders of OA books to follow and share their data so that we can build an informative resource for the OA book community.”

The current dataset, which will be expanded after the summer, can be found here: treemaps.intact-project.org/apcdata/bpc.

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About Knowledge Unlatched (KU): Knowledge Unlatched (KU) offers free access to scholarly content for every reader across the world. Our online platform provides libraries worldwide with a central place to support Open Access models from leading publishing houses and new OA initiatives.

About OpenAPC: The Open APC initiative releases datasets on fees paid for open access journal articles and books by universities, research institutions and funders under an open database license. Open APC, which is also supported by the DINI Working Group Electronic Publishing is part of the INTACT project and located at Bielefeld University Library.

This Week in Literature and Arts [June 21–June 28]

June 21, 1921: Jane Russell is born Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell, the lone girl in a family of four boys, in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her actress mother inspired Jane to apply money she earned as a podiatrist’s receptionist and model toward drama lessons.

She often played tough girls, but, apparently, was very sweet. Jane appeared in many B stinkers because of her curves, but given a smart script she was equally good. For something different, track down 1951’s His Kind of Woman, a solid noir thriller with Robert Mitchum, Vincent Price, Tim Holt, and Raymond Burr. Fun film.

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Happy birthday to geek god Bruce Campbell, born June 22, 1958 in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Bruce is immortalized as Ash in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, but another fun one is his turn as nursing-home Elvis in the truly bizarre Bubba Ho-Tep. Over-the-top funny, and, honestly, a sympathetic portrait of Elvis as a forgotten, lonely old man.

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Continue reading “This Week in Literature and Arts [June 21–June 28]”

Open Educational Resources: The Story of Change and Evolving Perceptions

Although the term may still not be familiar to the wider public—including college students and faculty—Open Educational Resources (OERs) have been an integral part of education worldwide for at least two decades. OERs generally refer to digital educational materials that anyone anywhere can use freely and legally, including the user’s right to copy, share, enhance and/or modify them for the purposes of sharing knowledge and enabling education. These run the gamut and stretch beyond digital textbooks—usually perceived as the most common educational resources—to include everything from course materials, university courses, e-learning platforms, software, and streaming videos to lectures and digital repositories of monographs and journals.

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Regardless of how different and varied OERs may seem at first—ranging from single books to multi-functional and comprehensive platforms—what makes a resource an OER is that it is freely available to anyone, notwithstanding a person’s location and affiliation. OER users may well be college and university students, but they may also be independent learners, researchers or lay readers. Of course, ‘open’ does not mean ‘without any restriction’ or ‘without any financial support.’ It simply means ‘free access.’

Continue reading “Open Educational Resources: The Story of Change and Evolving Perceptions”

This Week in Literature and Arts [June 15–June 21]

June 15, 1914: British publisher Grant Richards Ltd. releases James Joyce’s Dubliners. The volume was delayed several years stemming from disputes with the author (why isn’t that surprising?). Worth the wait!

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June 15, 1948: Universal Studios breathes new life into its classic monsters and the dwindling careers of Bud and Lou with the release of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, which proves the studio’s most profitable film of the year. A large part of what makes it work is Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney’s surprising comedy skills. Can any monster kid count how many times they’ve seen this film laughing all the way?

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Continue reading “This Week in Literature and Arts [June 15–June 21]”

Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 set to take place

Hessian government gives approval for book fair / Extensive virtual programme planned

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020 will take place. A decision to that effect was made today by the Supervisory Board of BBG (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Beteiligungsgesellschaft / German Publishers & Booksellers Association).

The book fair is planned to be held on the fairgrounds, throughout the city and, at the same time, virtually. The 72nd Frankfurter Buchmesse will take place on the fairgrounds in accordance with a detailed health and hygiene plan which will reflect the regulations mandated this autumn by the State of Hesse, guaranteeing the safety of visitors, exhibitors and staff attending the fair. The hygiene plan developed jointly by Frankfurter Buchmesse and Messe Frankfurt has been approved by Frankfurt’s health officials and other public authorities. Due to rapidly changing developments, it is essential that the overall situation be reviewed by the relevant specialists on an ongoing basis and any measures taken updated to reflect the evolving legal requirements.

“Frankfurter Buchmesse is the showcase for the international book industry, which is one of the reasons why it has become increasingly popular in recent years – not only with trade visitors and for the rights business, but also with readers. It has become an international forum for intellectual exchange. We want to make use of this potential for discourse despite the pandemic, maintaining it on behalf of the book industry and its future,” said Siegmar Mosdorf, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

Continue reading “Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 set to take place”

Guggenheim Museum offers 200 exhibition catalogs for free download

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum now offers more the 200 exhibition catalogs useres c can download from its archives for free. The titles date back to 1936—over 20 years before the museum moved into its iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in 1959—and feature the biggest names in Modern and Contemporary Art: Vincent Van GoghPablo Picasso, Vassily Kandinsky, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch and more. Many of these volumes are associated with shows (both artist monographs and group exhibits) that are themselves considered major milestones in the development of 20th-century art history.

Browse Guggenheim’s archive here.

Get more information in this Time Out article:

Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Images Into Public Domain

“Culture connoisseurs, rejoice: The Smithsonian Institution is inviting the world to engage with its vast repository of resources like never before.

For the first time in its 174-year history, the Smithsonian has released 2.8 million high-resolution two- and three-dimensional images from across its collections onto an open access online platform for patrons to peruse and download free of charge. Featuring data and material from all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo, the new digital depot encourages the public to not just view its contents, but use, reuse and transform them into just about anything they choose—be it a postcard, a beer koozie or a pair of bootie shorts.

And this gargantuan data dump is just the beginning. Throughout the rest of 2020, the Smithsonian will be rolling out another 200,000 or so images, with more to come as the Institution continues to digitize its collection of 155 million items and counting.”

Read the rest of the article on Smithsonian Magazine’s web site.

This Week in Literature and Arts [June 8–June 14]

June 8, 1949: British publisher Secker and Warburg releases George Orwell’s 1984.

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Happy 70th birthday to former pastry chef turned actor, Kathy Baker, born in Midland, TX, June 8, 1950. Always enjoyed her work, from the horndog neighbor in Edward Scissorhands to the nurse in The Cider House Rules.

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Continue reading “This Week in Literature and Arts [June 8–June 14]”

Book of the Week: Anarchy of the Mice (Jeff Bond)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:


Jeff Bond’s exciting new novel, the first in the Third Chance series, pits a motley trio of operatives against a hacker army.

In the near future, corporations and governments are under threat from the Blind Mice, a group of young cybercriminals determined to overthrow the capitalist system.

Protagonist Molly McGill has a degree in psychology, a defunct private investigation business and two children she’s raising as a single parent—with copious advice from her opinionated grandmother. One day, as Molly struggles to leave home for her office job, three prior associates appear on her doorstep: rakish former politician Quaid Rafferty, taciturn former Marine Durwood Oak Jones, and Durwood’s elderly dog, Sue-Ann.

The two men—partners in Third Chance Enterprises, a private security firm—recruit Molly to infiltrate the Blind Mice. Playing the part of a 20-something blogger, she quickly proves herself to the Mice’s top brass, including megalomaniacal leader Josiah and vengeful tech genius Piper…

Read the full review here.

As a student at Yale, I told friends I wanted to write a novel. I’d grown up racing through all the Clive Cussler and Margaret Truman in my suburban Kansas City grade-school library, and college was introducing me to War and Peace and The Corrections. I took a regular job out of school. Soon I started writing novels on the side, giving zero thought to who’d read them or what genre I was working in.

Meanwhile, life rolled on. I held day jobs as a consultant, business analyst, teacher, and programmer. I lived on both coasts and ended up in the middle. (Michigan.) It’s taken a few detours, but I believe I’ve finally arrived at the stories I imagined writing in school. Most fall under the broad category of “character-based thriller” and feature unique premises that don’t fit neatly into a sub-genre like spy or detective.


BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

This Week in Literature and Arts [June 1–June 7]

June 1, 1926:  Andy Griffith is born in Manteo, North Carolina. During the quarantine I’ve been watching reruns of his early TV show; it’s dated and corny, etc., but also very positive and  surprisingly charming and funny! It’s understandable why the show was a hit. Good cast.

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June 1, 1926: Marilyn Monroe is born Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles. The short, unhappy life.

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Continue reading “This Week in Literature and Arts [June 1–June 7]”

Book of the Week: New Yorkers (Clifford Browder)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:


New Yorkers, Clifford Browder’s tenth book, is a beguiling ode to the city he loves.

Browder, 92, fled Evanston, Illinois in 1953, and after nearly 70 years in Manhattan as a graduate student, college French teacher, novelist, and freelance editor to big-name publishing houses, he has earned the right to linger over the things that continue to fascinate him about his adopted hometown. Yes, the city smells, is covered with graffiti and teems with people who seem rude and rushed. But it’s also the heart of America’s financial, architectural, and cultural worlds and boasts an ethnic diversity that adds to its vibrancy: As many as 800 languages are spoken in the city, and bloodlines include Basque, Sikh, Tibetan, Romani, Sherpa, and Mohawk.

Browder has spent decades walking the city’s streets, researching its roots, and uncovering obscure facts. One employee spent 30 years keeping the 800 light bulbs lit in the Statue of Liberty’s torch, for example, and gay S&M clubs The Mineshaft and The Toilet were razed to make room for the new Whitney Museum. The author brings to life the docks, the Bowery, and the power brokers like J.P. Morgan whose names are inscribed on landmarks. Yet he writes with equal authority about a Broadway chorus boy he knew in the 1950s…

Read the full review here.

Clifford Browder is a writer living in New York. He has published two biographies, a critical study, and four novels. His blog, No Place for Normal: New York, is about anything and everything New York.

A longtime New York resident, Browder thinks New York is the most exciting city in the world. He has never owned a television, a car, or a cell phone. Mostly vegan, he is fascinated by slime molds and a mushroom known as Destroying Angel, never kills spiders, and eats garlic to fend off vampires.


BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

This Week in Literature and Arts [May 25–May 31]

May 26, 1897: Publisher Archibald Constable releases Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The antagonist initially was Count Wampyr until Stoker encountered the name Dracula in William Wilkinson’s volume, An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia with Political Observations Relative to Them (yikes!) in the Whitby Library.

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Happy 125th birthday to the great Dorothea Lange, born Dorothea Margaretta Nutzhorn (Lange is her mother’s maiden name), May 26, 1895 in Hoboken, NJ. The legend is that she never touched a camera until after graduating high school and enrolling in Columbia University’s photography program!!!

She was a portrait photographer in San Francisco for almost two decades until impoverished families escaping the Dust Bowl began drifting into the city and Dorothea began photographing them.

Lange shooting a big beast of a Graflex D. Gotta love the sneakers!

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Continue reading “This Week in Literature and Arts [May 25–May 31]”

Knowledge Unlatched and EBSCO Information Services announce Subscribe-to-Open cooperation

Berlin, May 27, 2020 — Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA), and EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO), one of the market leaders in the global library services industry, are pleased to announce their joint efforts to further support libraries worldwide in their move to OA. Through cooperation they will help publishers shift paywalled subscription journals to OA publications thanks to the innovative Subscribe-to-Open (S2O) model in which libraries fund the publication of journal content to be made open worldwide.

“While almost everybody in the academic world agrees that OA is the right thing to do, the transition often remains challenging for publishers and libraries alike”, says Dr. Sven Fund, KU’s Managing Director. “We look forward to working with EBSCO to further support the shift to more accessible research content.”

“We are delighted about our collaboration with KU,” says Sid McNeal Jr, Senior Vice President at EBSCO Information Services. “EBSCO understands OA is a key component in the future of scholarly content, and we are committed to make this shift simpler and more sustainable for both publishers and libraries.”

Under the agreement, KU and EBSCO will service renewals for journals that will move to OA based on institutional funding. In 2019 the journal publisher Berghahn successfully moved its full list of Anthropology journals from a subscription model to full OA using S2O model and with the support of libraries worldwide. Similar initiatives from other publishers are currently in preparation.

About Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched is committed to Open Access (OA) to academic content for readers and researchers around the world. Its online platform is the central point of contact for libraries worldwide to support OA models, book and journal collections of leading publishing houses and various OA initiatives.

About EBSCO Information Services

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the preeminent provider of online research content and search technologies for libraries and other institutions and serves millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions around the world. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries, Inc., a family owned company since 1944.

Upcoming global Open Access webinars from Knowledge Unlatched for libraries around the world [in English, German and Portuguese]

Knowledge Unlatched recently announced a new round of webinars presenting 2020 pledging options for libraries investing in various Open Access collections offered to libraries through KU. Below is a breakdown of the webinars by region, including a brief description of each, along with registration links. The webinars will be conducted in three languages, depending on the region.

KU 2020 Pledging Options Webinar for Libraries in North America

We invite you to a webinar in which Catherine Anderson and Bob Schatz from Knowledge Unlatched will briefly present the new models and collections from Knowledge Unlatched (KU) in 2020. As well as presenting some exciting new partner collections we will be focusing on the changes to the KU Select Books model based on feedback from libraries from the last few pledging rounds.

WHEN: Thursday 28th May at 12pm Eastern Time / 9am Pacific Time

REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_phNnehmJRcqE-aiL1Yrdhw

KU 2020 Pledging Options Webinar for Libraries in Asia-Pacific

We invite you to a webinar in which Wilson de Souza and Amir Kahana from Knowledge Unlatched will briefly present the new models and collections from Knowledge Unlatched (KU) in 2020. As well as presenting some exciting new partner collections we will be focusing on the changes to the KU Select Books model based on feedback from libraries from the last few pledging rounds.

WHEN: Tuesday 9th June at 10:30 am New Delhi Time / 2 pm Tokyo Time / 3 pm Sydney Time

REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lCtA4cDvSvuN2uigYcLavw

Webinar KU en Español: Opciones de soporte para KU 2020

Te invitamos a un seminario web en el que Wilson de Souza de Knowledge Unlatched presentará brevemente los nuevos modelos y colecciones de Knowledge Unlatched (KU) en 2020. Además de presentar algunas nuevas y emocionantes colecciones de nuevas editoriales asociadas, nos centraremos en los cambios en el modelo de KU Select Books basado sobre los comentarios de las bibliotecas de las últimas rondas de promesas de contribuciones.

¿CUANDO? Martes, 9 de junio a las 10 a.m., hora de Buenos Aires; Martes, 9 de junio a las 3 p.m., hora de Madrid

REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_R0qRz03SRGqzF4fpjnEUzw

KU 2020 Pledging Options Webinar for Libraries in Europe, Middle East and Africa

We invite you to a webinar in which Catherine Anderson and Mirela Roncevic from Knowledge Unlatched will briefly present the new models and collections from Knowledge Unlatched (KU) in 2020. As well as presenting some exciting new partner collections we will be focusing on the changes to the KU Select Books model based on feedback from libraries from the last few pledging rounds.

WHEN? Wednesday 10th June at 11am Central European Time

REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-vYUXk3yRI6AYz84tOvDAQ

KU 2020 Pledging-Optionen Webinar für Bibliotheken

Wir laden Sie zu einem deutschsprachigen Webinar ein, in dem Catherine Anderson von Knowledge Unlatched die neuen Collections von Knowledge Unlatched (KU) im Jahr 2020 kurz vorstellen wird. Neben der Vorstellung einiger interessanter neuer Partner werden wir uns auf die Änderungen am KU Select Books-Modell konzentrieren.

WANN? Mittwoch, 10. Juni um 14:00 Uhr

REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GMckucN4Rcig7qN_m3CXow

KU 2020 Pledging Options Webinar for Libraries in the United Kingdom

We invite you to a webinar in which Caroline Mackay (Jisc) and Mirela Roncevic (Knowledge Unlatched) will briefly present the new Open Access models and collections from Knowledge Unlatched in 2020. In addition to presenting some exciting new partner collections, the webinar will focus on the changes to the KU Select Books model based on feedback from libraries from the last few pledging rounds.

When? Thursday, 11th June at 3pm UK time

REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jSTzholPRyCelyvd3RQ4oQ

Webinar Brasil & Portugal: Opções de Apoio KU 2020

Convidamos você a um webinar no qual Wilson de Souza, da Knowledge Unlatched, apresentará brevemente os novos modelos e coleções da Knowledge Unlatched (KU) em 2020. Além de apresentar algumas novas e interessantes coleções de parceiros, focaremos nas mudanças no modelo KU Select Books que foram feitas baseadas nos feedbacks recebidos pelos bibliotecários na última rodada de apoio, em 2019.p>

Quando? Terça-feira, 16 de junho 10h Brasil / 14h Portugal

REGISTRATION LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6o-GpSpsSUihU32vMjWXZQ

This Week in Literature and Arts [May 19–May 24]

May 19, 1935: Soldier, author, and, alas, motorcycle enthusiast T. E. Lawrence dies six days after crashing his Brough Superior SS100 bike when avoiding two boys on bicycles on a Dorset road. His death at 46 came two months after leaving military service. Gone 85 years.

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Birthday remembrances of Peter Mayhew, the man who would be Chewbacca, born May 19, 1944 in South West London. Met him many times at cons; nice guy.

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Continue reading “This Week in Literature and Arts [May 19–May 24]”

This Week in Literature and Arts [May 10–May 17]

Happy 60th birthday to U2 frontman Bono, born Paul David Hewson in Dublin, May 10, 1960. Bono, reportedly, is taken from “Bonavox,” meaning “good voice” in Latin. The band, seemingly, altered it to Bono Vox. Grain of salt.

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May 12, 1812: Edward Lear is born, in Holloway, England. Besides writing poetry, he was a noted illustrator.

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May 12, 1937: George Carlin is born in the Bronx but raised in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights section (“White Harlem”).

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Continue reading “This Week in Literature and Arts [May 10–May 17]”

Audiobook Review: The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World and Other Works (Harlan Ellison)

  • The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World and Other Works
  • Harlan Ellison; Read by Angelo Di Loreto
  • Recorded Books, 2020; 17.25 hours

This sterling program corals Ellison’s 1969 title collection with 1974’s  Approaching Oblivion: Road Signs on the Treadmill Toward Tomorrow for a hefty 26 short stories combined, including several of his finest. Despite his official standing as a Science Fiction Grand Master, Ellison deplored being pigeonholed as a genre writer (call him a “sci-fi” writer and he’ll haunt you from the grave; dub him  “new-wave” and he’ll crawl from that grave and knock you on your ass!). These stories meld aliens and alienation to trumpet the message that love is the most valuable jewel of life. There also is action, laugh-out-loud humor, and blistering social commentary—no one can tear society a new one like this guy! There’s also a thick vein of nostalgia, although the good old days often were as rotten as the present (the heart-breaking “One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty” finds a man time traveling to his past to befriend himself as a lonely child with unfortunate results), and the author doles out the justice that bullies, cheats, and scumbags often escape in life. 

Individual introductions set the tone for each collection—the stories reflect the political turmoil, violence, racism, sexism,  anger, and the loneliness of the roiling times of the writing (the year/place of each story’s composition is provided). These stories of injustice, ignorance, and plain stupidity don’t let us look the other way; Ellison shoves the worst of humanity under our noses so we can gag on its vile smell!

In futuristic settings the stories tackle the perils of everyday life; an idiot cutting you off in traffic normally resulting in the raising of a single finger and shouting an expletive springboards into a lethal battle between drivers in weaponized cars (“Along the Scenic Route”), ordinary people so ignored by fellow humans they literally become invisible to all around them (“Are You Listening”),  as well as the empty allures of drugs and sex that can morph into horrors (“Shattered Like a Glass Goblin”).

The program is narrated masterfully by Angelo Di Loreto using a controlled Rod Serlingesque monotone cadence on some to flat-out nutso on others (“A Boy and His Dog” is off the charts!). Ellison is a colorful writer, employing vivid description and futuristic geeky tech-speak—some of the sentences are a mouthful, and Di Loreto juggles many balls without dropping any. The true challenge is “I’m Looking for Kadak,” a Mel Brooksian romp of Jewish aliens that sports enough tongue-twisting Yiddish to warrant a glossary after the conclusion. Recorded Books includes a bonus reading of “Ring of Fire” by Ellison—while Di Loreto is the superior  performer, for Harlan’s longtime followers it does the heart good to hear his voice again.

Ellison the Charmer, Ellison the Jokester, Ellison the Destroyer entertains and provokes. The Beast That Shouted Love… provides a solid introduction to the author’s work for newcomers and a welcomed treat for his perennial fans. A must have for science fiction lovers!

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Mike Rogers is a Jesse H. Neal Gold Award-winning freelance writer, editor, reviewer, and photographer. He was also Media Editor and audiobook reviewer at Library Journal.

OA Book of the Week: The Myths That Made America (Heike Paul)

In an effort to draw attention to quality Open Access scholarly content available on the newly launched Open Research Library (ORL), a central hosting platform for peer-reviewed Open Access books, NSR highlights popular titles in ORL’s comprehensive and growing collection each week, including a wide variety of academic fields and disciplines.

This week’s pick:

Amazon.com: The Myths That Made America: An Introduction to ...

The Myths That Made America: An Introduction to American Studies (transcript Verlag) examines the core foundational myths upon which the nation is based and which still determine discussions of US-American identities today. These myths include the myth of discovery, the Pocahontas myth, the myth of the Promised Land, the myth of the Founding Fathers, the melting pot myth, the myth of the West, and the myth of the self-made man. The chapters provide extended analyses of each of these myths, using examples from popular culture, literature, memorial culture, school books, and every-day life. Including visual material as well as study questions, this book will be of interest to any student of American studies and will foster an understanding of the United States of America as an imagined community by analyzing the foundational role of myths in the process of nation-building.

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Heike Paul is a professor of the chair of American Studies, in particular of North American Literary and Cultural Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. She has been executive director of the Bavarian American Academy since 2013.

Read the book for free on ORL’s web site.

Initiated and maintained by Knowledge Unlatched and BiblioLabs, Open Research Library is a hosting platform that makes scientific book publications, as well as other high-quality academic Open Access content, freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Interview with Graeme Nicol, Chief Executive of Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Graeme Nicol
Graeme Nicol

In a recently published article on Cambridge Scholars Publishing (CSP), NSR focused on the beginnings of the UK-based press, its fascinating history, as well as its productive present. The second part of the feature on CSP hears directly from CSP’s Chief Executive and co-owner, Graeme Nicol, an engineer, publisher, cyclist, and coffee enthusiast. In this interview with NSR, Nicol explains one of the unexpected strategies that CSP uses: an in-house print and fulfillment operation called ‘Print on Time.’

What’s your background, and how did you come to CSP?

I’m neither a career academic nor a career publisher. I’m an engineer and businessperson. We met the founder of Cambridge Scholars in 2011; he was looking to move away from the UK, and to sell the business; we were looking for a business to buy and run. And as an engineer, I saw a lot of interesting and familiar things – a process flow, inventory management, hundreds of different stock lines. And some interesting and unfamiliar things – competition for supply, for example, and the phenomenon of a supplier (an author) also being an influencer or director of consumption (as a teacher or researcher, recommending a book to students). So, it’s not a conventional, linear supply chain; it has a circularity to it. And you don’t just market down the chain, to customers – you market up the chain, to suppliers. I found that fascinating.

Someone with no publishing experience leading a publishing business? That’s quite unusual.

I’m a fast learner. And because I am not an industry insider, I am able to observe and question some of the norms of the industry, maybe more easily than people who have been schooled within publishing and academia. For example, one of the things I have observed, and learned, is that academic publishing seems to champion rejection rates, and exclusivity. This seemed odd, and a bit archaic. I know that is particularly true for journal publishers, but it’s there in the book industry too. And I have a few problems with it, as an approach.

Firstly, although CSP has the same origin city as Cambridge University Press, we are not and never will be Cambridge University Press! They have nearly 500 years of history behind them – they were founded in the reign of Henry VIII, for goodness sake! Same with OUP, same with Elsevier, same with Routledge (although they are ‘only’ a couple of hundred years old). So if you are someone who wants to publish with a high-prestige publisher out of a medieval university or backed by a vast multinational corporation…a small North of England book publisher founded in 2001 is not going to be able to persuade you. So, there is no point in trying to compete in the exclusivity field. That would just be bad business.

Our aim is to publish as many decent titles as we can. And we publish a lot, for our size – more than 700 books in 2018 and 2019. And, importantly, we do that without subsidy, without advertising, and without getting authors to pay to publish.

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This Week in Literature and Arts [May 4–May 10]

May 4:
1939–Faber & Faber publish James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

1953–Ernest Hemingway awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Old Man and the Sea.

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May 4, 1975: Moe Howard succumbs to lung cancer. At 77 he was the last of the original Three Stooges (Larry died three months earlier) and the last of the performing Howard brothers, outliving Curly and Shemp by more than two decades. Gone 45 years.

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OA Book of the Week: From Media Hype to Twitter Storm (Peter Vasterman)

In an effort to draw attention to quality Open Access scholarly content available on the newly launched Open Research Library (ORL), a central hosting platform for peer-reviewed Open Access books, NSR highlights popular titles in ORL’s comprehensive and growing collection each week, including a wide variety of academic fields and disciplines.

This week’s pick:

OAPEN Library - From Media Hype to Twitter Storm : The Dynamics of ...

The word media hype is often used as rhetorical argument to dismiss waves of media attention as overblown, disproportional and exaggerated. But these explosive news waves, as well as – nowadays – the twitter storms, are object of scientific research, because they are an important phenomenon in the public area. Sometimes it is indeed ‘much ado about nothing’ but in many cases these media storms have play an important role in political issues, scandals and crises. Twitter storms sometimes ruin reputations within hours. Although different concepts are used, such as media hypes, news waves, media storms, information cascades or risk amplification, all the studies in this book refer to the same process in which key events trigger a chain of reactions and interactions, building up huge news waves in the media or rapidly spreading social epidemics in the social media. From Media Hype to Twitter Storm: The Dynamics of Self Reinforcing Processes in News Waves (Amsterdam University Press) offers the first comprehensive overview of this important topic. It is not only interesting for scholars and students in media and journalism, but also for professionals in PR and communication, crisis communication and reputation management.

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Peter L.M. Vasterman is media sociologist and assistant professor emeritus, Media and Journalism, at the Department of Media Studies of the University of Amsterdam.

Read the book for free on ORL’s web site.

Initiated and maintained by Knowledge Unlatched and BiblioLabs, Open Research Library is a hosting platform that makes scientific book publications, as well as other high-quality academic Open Access content, freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Knowledge Unlatched launches a new global Open Access funding round, introducing more pledging options

Berlin, May 4, 2020Knowledge Unlatched (KU), the international initiative for Open Access (OA), is pleased to announce the launch of the seventh round of funding today. It includes the KU Select Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) collection of books familiar to libraries, as well as nearly 20 discipline-specific collections developed in partnerships with highly regarded HSS and STEM academic publishers, including, among others, Berghahn Books, Brill, and International Water Association Publishing.

As in previous years, the 2020 collections have been assessed and selected by librarians around the world based on their relevance, including over 100 subject experts on the KU Selection Committee who have curated the content for KU Select HSS 2020 Books. This year, however, KU has introduced some noteworthy changes to the KU Select pledging model, giving libraries more flexibility than before to decide how to allocate their funds. Libraries will be able to pledge for the full KU Select HSS collection, or they may choose to support one or several HSS disciplines within KU Select, based on their profiles and researchers’ needs, including Anthropology, Communications, History, Linguistics, Literature, Political Science and Sociology.

In addition, KU’s publisher partner offerings allow libraries to support titles for highly relevant topics, including Radical Politics (Pluto Press), African Studies and Gender Studies (Routledge) and Migration and Development Studies (Berghahn Books).

“Librarians continue to recognize the relevance of investing in OA initiatives in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and we are highly motivated by their support,” says Dr. Sven Fund, Managing Director of KU. “Their valuable feedback over the years has helped us develop OA models and collections that meet the changing needs of a global community of researchers and the libraries that cater to them.”

Continue reading “Knowledge Unlatched launches a new global Open Access funding round, introducing more pledging options”

This Week in Literature and Arts [April 26–May 3]

Happy birthday to Carol Burnett, born in San Antonio, TX, April 26, 1933. Her variety show was a staple in my house growing up, and many of the skits holds up well viewed now on YouTube, etc.

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April 28, 1926: Harper Lee is born in Monroeville, Alabama.

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This Week in Literature and Arts [April 20–April 26]

Kong heads give it up for birthday boy Bruce Cabot, born—hold on to your hats—Étienne Pelissier Bujac in Carlsbad, New Mexico (buried there, too) on April 20, 1904. King Kong is the big one, but Cabot appeared in more than 100 films, many with John Wayne.

If you only know Cabot as a young man, watch Hatari and Big Jake both fun films from the 1960s and ’70s. Back to his early days, he’s solid as Magua in director George Seitz’s 1936 version of The Last of the Mohicans playing a mohawked, half-naked Indian.

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April 20, 1841: Edgar Allan Poe invents American private detective fiction with the publication of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in the Philadelphia-based Graham’s Magazine, which he edited. Poe received $56 for the story. Bravo, Edgar!

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Book of the Week: The Revenge of Ogystone (J. S. Ralph)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:


In this new novel by J. S. Ralph, things are aroar in Capel-Le Ferne as the monstrous Ogystone reappears in the lives of 13-year-old Suzy, her grandparents and her friends, including Scratch, her faithful Paxtey.

Suzy has been fortunate to bond with a Paxtey, one of a group of humble, caring, life-loving creatures, with long ears and wings that carry them like the wind. They can also speak every language through extrasensory powers.

The plot gears up when Suzy’s pal Julie finds her own special Paxtey guardian, who alerts the girls and fellow Paxteys that Ogystone is back, and the monster is bent on revenge after a former attempt to make him “puff out” (disappear).

King Tobias must be warned so he can organize an effort to destroy Ogystone and his minions forever. Meanwhile, Suzy, Nan and Grandad learn that a mining concern has begun gathering the underground fire pebbles that help keep the earth warm. If they are stripped away, the whole world is in danger.

Read full review here.

Jennifer Susan Ralph has been writing  both fictional and true stories as a hobby since she was a small child. Then, in 2002, she had a strange dream about one of the characters who became Scratch and Voices in the Mist, the first book in the continuing saga of Ogystone, was born.

She lives in Canterbury, Kent, England.


BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

OA Book of the Week: The Future of ISIS (Feisal al-Istrabadi & Sumit Ganguly)

In an effort to draw attention to quality Open Access scholarly content available on the newly launched Open Research Library (ORL), a central hosting platform for peer-reviewed Open Access books, NSR highlights popular titles in ORL’s comprehensive and growing collection each week, including a wide variety of academic fields and disciplines.

This week’s pick:

The Future of ISIS

The Islamic State (best known in the West as ISIS or ISIL) has been active for less than a decade, but it has already been the subject of numerous histories and academic studies—all focus primarily on the past. The Future of ISIS (Brookings Institution Press) is the first major study to look ahead: what are the prospects for the Islamic State in the near term, and what can the global community, including the United States, do to counter it?

Edited by two distinguished scholars at Indiana University, the book examines how ISIS will affect not only the Middle East but the global order. Specific chapters deal with such questions as whether and how ISIS benefitted from intelligence failures, and what can be done to correct any such failures; how to confront the alarmingly broad appeal of Islamic State ideology; the role of local and regional actors in confronting ISIS; and determining U.S. interests in preventing ISIS from gaining influence and controlling territory.

Given the urgency of the topic, The Future of ISIS is of interest to policymakers, analysts, and students of international affairs and public policy.

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Feisal al-Istrabadi is the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and professor of international law and diplomacy at the Maurer School of Law and the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington He served as ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations from 2004 to 2007 and was assigned to the Office of the Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs until 2012. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sumit Ganguly is a professor of political science, holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University, Bloomington, and is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. His most recent book, Ascending India and Its State Capacity (with William R. Thompson), was published in 2017. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Read the book for free on ORL’s web site.

Initiated and maintained by Knowledge Unlatched and BiblioLabs, Open Research Library is a hosting platform that makes scientific book publications, as well as other high-quality academic Open Access content, freely available to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Bookfinity.com launches, providing personalized book recommendations based on new technologies

bookfinitycom (@bookfinitycom) | Twitter

NASHVILLE, TN (April 20, 2020) – With millions of titles available, it’s sometimes hard for booklovers to choose the next “great read.” But BookfinityTM is making that discovery process both fun and easy and in the process, aiming to expand book discoverability, bolster book sales and get more great books in the hands of readers.

Readers simply go online and take a quick quiz that will help them discover their “Reader Type.” From there, they will receive customized book recommendations. Unlike other online tools that make recommendations based on genres, the Bookfinity technology goes much deeper – providing insightful recommendations that cut across genres and styles based on a reader’s overall personality, interests and reading behavior. 

When booklovers find a book they want to try, they can easily be connected with the industry’s leading book retailers, including Bookshop.org that serves independent booksellers.

“Our mission is to connect readers around the world with books they’ll love. Bookfinity is our latest effort in that quest. During this unprecedented time, it has become difficult for readers to pop into their favorite, local bookstore, or library. We hope Bookfinity gives readers an outlet to discover more titles and order online from their favorite retailer to support them in this challenging time,” said Brian McKinley, Ingram Content Group’s Vice President of Marketing. “The world is reading and the big idea here is to make it easy and fun for readers to discover the books they will love.”

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