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.
Librarian and tech expert Karen Coyle provides insight into the evolving conflict that caused OCLC to file suit against the company Clarivate which owns Proquest and ExLibris. The suit focuses on a metadata service proposed by Ex Libris called “MetaDoor.” MetaDoor isn’t a bibliographic database à la WorldCat, it is a peer-to-peer service that allows its users to find quality records in the catalog systems of other libraries.
Ksenya Kiebuzinski, Slavic Resources Coordinator, and Head, Petro Jacyk Resource Centre, University of Toronto Libraries, University of Toronto informs us about the critical work of 1,000 volunteers, in partnership with universities in Canada and the United States, who are participating in the crowd-sourced project called Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) to preserve and secure digitized manuscripts, music, photographs, 3D architectural models and other publications. So far, the team has captured 15,000 files, which are accessible via the Internet Archive.
Rick Anderson is University Librarian at Brigham Young University. His commentary addresses timely, thoughtful and critical conversations and knowledge sharing around the issues of censorship, book banning, library ethics and professional responsibility across communities.
Librarians, researchers, journalists, teachers and students are continually confronted with what can be described as a kind of information miasma when using online sites, databases, resources, images and social media. No sector or discipline is immune to misinformation, disinformation, hoaxes, lack of data quality, and biased research. This guide by Marcus Zillman highlights actionable resources to evaluate and identify online malfeasance, as well as sources to verify information and data quality that is critical to our professions. These two efforts often intersect, and require vigilance and continuing education respective to effectively confronting the challenges they present.
As we all navigate through the era of Covid, it is critical to learn from the myriad other medical challenges that many Americans, as well as our professional colleagues, are facing separate from the pandemic. Taryn L. Rucinski, Supervisory Librarian, U.S. Court of International Trade, shares her ongoing experience with the diagnosis of acoustic neuroma. Rucinski believes in the value of showing that its okay to take a step back, to step down, to lateral, to just take a breath in the face of challenges and adversity. She continues, saying experience has also shown her that our skills as law librarians are far more valuable than we may give them credit for. She highlights four significant factors that have kept her on the road to recovery: the unflagging support of the LLAGNY community, the flexibility and skills she has honed in her profession, and the importance of self care.
AALL Gallagher Award recipient Mary Whisner, Public Services Librarian, University of Washington, Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, has updated her 2008 guide about choosing a career in law librarianship. With more than 30 years of experience in the profession, Whisner discusses important topics to review when considering a career as a law librarian.
Naomi House was inspired to do this series because of the drastic changes to the availability of traditional library jobs during this pandemic. She highlights library and information professionals who work outside libraries but use their skills as well as many who have lost their jobs or been furloughed. These interviews are an introduction to transferable skill sets as well as resources for those looking for work in those fields.
This bibliography by Charles W. Bailey, Jr., the publisher of Digital Scholarship and a noncommercial digital artist, includes over 800 selected English-language articles and books that are useful in understanding the curation of digital research data in academic and other research institutions.
This article by Mary Ellen Bates is an excerpt from her recent presentation “The Strategic Value of Copyright Licensing Solutions,” to which she also provides a video link. Bates discusses ways published information is being used throughout organizations that you may not have considered, and the impact on copyright compliance.