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In this week’s edition: Layoffs at Penguin Random House, a new way to access banned books, an AI tool for journalists, disabled characters in classic books, and more.

The End of an Era at Penguin Random House
Publishers Weekly
Penguin Random House faced company-wide layoffs including well-known editors and industry figures—reflecting a generational shift within the giant trade publisher.

DPLA launches “The Banned Book Club” to preserve access to banned titles nationwide
Good E-Reader
This innovative digital library initiative aims to ensure free and permanent access to banned books for readers across the United States.

White House Says Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft Agree to AI Safeguards
Wall Street Journal
Seven major AI companies, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, have voluntarily committed to watermarking AI-generated images and audio for identification, testing AI systems’ security before public release, investing in research on technology risks, and facilitating external audits of vulnerabilities.

Google Tests AI Tool That Is Able to Write News Articles
New York Times
Google’s new “Genesis” technology is meant to serve as a personal assistant for journalists, automating some tasks to free up time for others. The company has pitched it as responsible technology that could help steer the publishing industry away from the pitfalls of generative AI.

To Be or Not to Be on the Shelf? New Florida School Book Law Could Restrict Even Shakespeare
USA Today
Books by Shakespeare have already been banned in Orlando and other areas of Orange County.

10 Classic Childhood Books You May Have Forgotten Featured Disabled Characters
Book Riot
Many popular books featured disabled characters—they just weren’t labeled as such.