In truth, the problem is much larger than Terry Deary himself – the media has been getting libraries wrong for a long time and it doesn’t look like the issue will resolve itself anytime soon. Instead of angrily blogging about it, however, as I’m wont to do, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and try to offer positive solutions – or at least get a dialogue started regarding possible solutions. (Don’t worry, though: if others angrily blog about him, I will read the posts and shake my fist at the sky in solidarity.)
There are things we can do that don’t include angry letter writing, angry blogging, or Deary book bonfires. I’ve listed below five ways to support libraries RIGHT NOW. These are simple, very obvious (hey, sometimes we need reminding) tips that librarians talk about all the time, but they can have a big impact if they are done by enough people in enough communities.
This past week a federal judge threw out the Authors Guild copyright infringement lawsuit against HathiTrust and the universities collaborating with it on Google’s book digitization project. Some links:
- Judge Baer’s opinion and ruling
- HathiTrust’s statement on the ruling
- James Grimmelmann’s summary of the ruling
The Authors Guild had a weak case to begin with in the first place, so it probably would have been more of the surprise if Baer had given a ruling in their favor. One of the nice things to come out of this case is that, in addition to a nearly complete victory, librarians now have some more legal precedent for taking advantage of using digitized works and other electronic resources in an online learning environment. We should take this, along with recent rulings such as the Georgia State case, as a sign to act more confidently in our application of fair use.
I’m writing a Literature Review on the topic of the impact of electronic books in public libraries. I’ve found some really good journal articles, but I’m worried I’m overlooking something seminal. Are any of you up on this topic? Is there a particular person you think I should check out?
I’m not sure about particular people or articles (or books?) - I bet there are some other folks here who would have a better idea, since I’ve mostly looked at ebooks from an academic library perspective. But the stuff with how DRM and ebook licensing have impacted library ownership, budget, and access control are all pretty big issues to keep in mind when doing the literature search on this topic. I’d be curious to hear about what you find!
The same is true of the MOOC phenomenon. We need to get librarians in these conversations, and open access in these conversations, before it’s too late. - (arlpolicynotes)
Another reason why proactive engagement with faculty and administrators is really important. Librarians need to not just be part of the conversation, but be the one of the groups initiating the conversation in the first place.
This is probably easier said than done, but I wish there was a lot more talk in our profession about how we go about doing this rather than just saying that we should be doing this.