Reading this week’s readings and discussion postings and considering the persuasive arguments as to why the Hathi Trust and DPLA are best suited to take on the issues surrounding copyright infringement, I wanted to mention an organization I first became acquainted with while attending this year’s WLA conference and hearing a most-memorable presentation by Eli Neiburger. In addition to being an author, technologist, and Ann Arbor librarian, he is a founding board member for an nonprofit organization called Library Renewal. In their own words:
Library Renewal was formed because it was clear to those involved that the future of content access through libraries is largely in electronic formats, and the ways libraries currently acquire e-content is inefficient, very costly, and ultimately unsustainable. Early in our work we also saw clearly that in order to substantially and effectively address e-content access issues in libraries, we all needed a new kind of organization that could be used as a place to come together, develop relationships and partnerships, and create new solutions related to the future of libraries and e-content access.
Library Renewal has taken it upon themselves to research new, “equitable, effective, and affordable ways” to deliver e-content to libraries. What inspires me most about their work is that they are doing the long range planning now for a future that will certainly revolve around these complex issues related to fair-use and copyright. It has been mentioned previously, that separately, small libraries cannot risk the litigation surrounding copyright and are rightly grateful that institutions like the HathiTrust are taking on the burden for us all. Library Renewal is a grass roots effort to join forces and explore new approaches that are more equitable and involve a community consensus and its ability to advocate for solutions. I’m ennobled by the prospect of joining forces as a consortium of libraries and speaking up for ourselves and combining our insight and talents to seek out more equitable ways to deliver e-content that doesn’t fail in the numerous ways the current methods do. Steping off my soapbox now, just wanted to share an introduction to Library Renewal and the important work they are doing as it relates to this weeks topic.
Finally, if you have a moment, here’s another enlightening presentation by Eli Neiburger (very similar to one he gave at WLA) called “Access, Schmaccess: Libraries in the Age of Information Ubiquity” I’m certain you will find it thought provoking and memorable as I did.