Much Afoot at UT Austin, Multi-Partner Public Library Data Alliance, IMLS Annual Performance Report, and More News Briefs

UT Austin Libraries launch García Márquez Exhibit and see new funding, multiple organizations and agencies partner on Public Library Data Alliance, IMLS releases Annual Performance Report for FY19, and more News Briefs.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez passport from Harry Ransom Center collectionAn exhibition of selections from the archive of Nobel Prize–winning author Gabriel García Márquez (1927–2014) opened February 1 at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin. “Gabriel García Márquez: The Making of a Global Writer” will be on view through July 19, and will open in the fall at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City.

More good news from Austin: UT Libraries has received gifts from two Austin-area foundations to support efforts toward transformation and modernization. The Tocker Foundation has provided $355,000 for a collaborative project between the UT Austin Libraries, Austin Public Library, and Austin Community College to promote the adoption, development, and distribution of open educational resources. The Lebermann Foundation has contributed $250,000 for the creation of the Lowell H. Lebermann Jr. Endowment to enable the UT Libraries to bolster technology, space, and resource enhancements. In addition, UT Libraries, the Blanton Museum of Art, and the Harry Ransom Center have been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a collective digital infrastructure at UT Austin that will provide expanded digital access to university’s cultural resources.

The American Library Association, Public Library Association, Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and Urban Library Council will work together to create the Public Library Data Alliance. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will maintain a liaison role with the Alliance, and the National Information Standards Organization will serve as its secretariat for the first year. In addition, members will include practitioners from local and state libraries and other stakeholders.

IMLS has released its Annual Performance Report (APR) for FY 2019, an in-depth look at how the agency aligns its strategic priorities with practice. The APR highlights key impacts of IMLS activities, including the launch of Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries, a $1.2 million special funding opportunity for small and rural libraries; a collaboration with the New York Hall of Science to expand the scope and scale of Maker/STEM Education Support for 21st Century Community Learning Centers with a $1.9 million financial contribution from the U.S. Department of Education; and two national events to support the needs of tribal communities—a summit on broadband access and a cultural preservation convening. The full report is available on the IMLS website.

On February 27, EBSCO Information Services announced the acquisition of Zepheira, a provider of large-scale, decentralized linked data infrastructure. Zepheira’s linked data technology allows library data to be referenced on open web search results and knowledge panels by service providers such as Google, making it easier to expand the reach of content and bring additional patrons into the library system.

A new report by publisher Elsevier, examining how gender impacts the researcher journey, was released on March 5 to coincide with International Women’s Day. “The Researcher Journey Through a Gender Lens” examines research participation, career progression, and perceptions across the European Union and 15 countries, and shows that while the participation of women in research is increasing, inequality remains in terms of publication outputs, citations, awarded grants, collaboration and perceptions.

Streaming platform Kanopy has partnered with Turner Publishing to spotlight Do No Harm: The Opioid Epidemic, filmmaker and author Harry Wiland’s investigative miniseries and book of the same name, supporting the efforts of public libraries nationwide to address the ongoing opioid crisis. The documentary series is now available for streaming on Kanopy, and the book is available through public libraries and various retailers.

purple Little Free Library with Pancreatic Cancer Action Network branding on sideThe Little Free Library (LFL) nonprofit has announced a new initiative with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). LFL will donate $50 with every purchase of this specially branded book-sharing box to benefit PanCAN’s critical programs, field research, patient service, and advocacy efforts.

LYRASIS has received a second round of funding from the Mellon Foundation to support the ongoing Performing Arts Readiness project. The new grant targets $2.3 million toward this second phase, which will build upon the core goal of strengthening resiliency among performing arts organizations by improving emergency preparedness practices.

The North Carolina State University Libraries Special Collections Research Center announced on February 26 the donation of the historical records of the Humane Society of the United States. The correspondence, photographs, reports, publications, ephemera, and other unique items relating to animal protection include materials from the Fund for Animals, the Doris Day Animal League, the National Association for the Advancement of Humane and Environmental Education, Humane Society International, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and the Center for the Respect of Life and Environment.

Queens Library, NY, has partnered with the American Heart Association to start lending blood pressure monitoring kits at its Far Rockaway branch. Adults will be able to borrow a cuff for one month, with an option to renew it once if needed.

The Lift Every Voice initiative, noted in LJ’s News Briefs of January 28, has extended its deadline for programming grant applications until March 20.

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Lisa Peet

Lisa Peet is News Editor for Library Journal.

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