The Internet Archive (IA) “is a non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 624 billion archived web pages.” The IA offers users unrestricted access to its expansive ecosystem of knowledge and educational resources from the public domain. Andy Oram, prolific author, editor, publisher, and technical expert on all aspects of computing, undertook an extensive examination of a game changing case, Hachette v. Internet Archive, that may dismantle this unique, invaluable digital library. In this article Oram examines what the publishers are trying to protect and why they have to wield a large and heavy cudgel to protect it. His inquiry leads to a look at how culture has been privatized as it has become digitized—an effect quite opposed to the hopes of most public advocates who maintain the view that the Internet and the World Wide Web should remain focused on public access, not private sector monetization.
Investing in Libraries is the Right Thing for Administrators To Do, Even if There Are Fewer Resources Overall
Todd A. Carpenter advocates for libraries at this critical juncture when remote learning is now pervasive for academic institutions around the country. Although digitized resources delivered via IP-based authentication were the norm before the pandemic, users of library resources were only vaguely aware that the services they regularly use are provided by the library because of IP-based authentication. Carpenter argues that the need for budget cuts must be weighed against the expanded and critical need for students and faculty to have uninterrupted access to digital resources provided by their libraries.
Chris Meadows discusses the ongoing case by four publishers, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House, against the Internet Archives Open Library respective to the scanning, public display, and distribution of entire literary works. As noted, this is “a potentially sensitive, and complex litigation.” The future of the Internet Archive may hang in the balance. This case is shining light on the heightened importance of evaluating fair use during a pandemic that is keeping vast books collections out of users reach for the unforeseeable future, while most education is confined to distance learning.
Melissa Levine’s article articulates for us the historic significance and professional impact of the recent announcement by the Library of Congress that 25 million digital catalog records are now available to the public, at no cost. This remarkable treasure trove of free descriptive data sets includes records from 1968 to 2014.
Author, professor, editor, librarian – Bruce Rosenstein’s article addresses the following critical questions – What professional roles do you play as a librarian/information professional? How have they changed during your career? And perhaps most important, how do you see them changing and evolving in the future?
Gates Global Libraries Program is Winding Down: Time for a National Digital library Endowment to Fill the Vacuum
David Rothman informs us that out of several billion a year in grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, just tens of millions go for public libraries in the U.S. and overseas. But as all funding is critical, the news that the foundation is phasing out the Global Libraries program over the next three-five years brings libraries full circle, in search of new mentors and significant financial support.
The limits of ‘Hack the library’: Don’t aim for too much more with too much less–and try harder for more
David Rothman notes that less than 12 percent of U.S. public library spending goes for books and other items. So he is very much in favor of the “hack the library” movement reinventing libraries. At the same time, Rothman warns that all the technical ingenuity and creativity in the world is no substitute for sufficient funding in areas ranging from content to data security. The public’s needs, not the interests of techie volunteers, should count most of all.
How the Hernandez family will benefit from two well-stocked national digital library systems and a digital library endowment
This is Part Two of LibraryCity’s series, by David Rothman, mapping out a digital future for U.S. libraries to better our lives. Part One is on the need for librarians to open their minds to innovations like the BiblioTech digital library. Part Three is on strategies to make well-stocked national digital libraries a reality and help the Hernandezes, not just the American elite.
Obama speech and PTA-Amazon alliance validate LibraryCity’s K-12 priorities: Now how about a national digital library endowment?
David Rothman continues to expand upon the seminal foundation he has built with his critical advocacy for American libraries to do more to meet the digital content needs not just of K-12 students but also of their parents and other Americans.
A to-do for the American Library Association and local and state governments: Resolutions calling for a National Digital Library Endowment
David Rothman’s proposed FAQ includes suggested wording for an ALA resolution on the National Digital Library Endowment. His focus is less on the exact language at this point and more on the basic endowment concept on the agendas of various constituencies, NGOs, library associations and Washington policymakers.