Update, 3/10/20: We’re very sorry to announce that due to public health concerns around the coronavirus, Ms. Solnit has decided to cancel her tour. Consequently, we’ve been forced to cancel this event. Booksmith will refund all previously purchased tickets, and you may still purchase a copy of the memoir through their site. Thank you for your understanding.
Please join us on Monday, March 16th for an evening with Rebecca Solnit as she reads from and discusses her new memoir, “Recollections of My Nonexistence”. In conversation with author Andrew Sean Greer, Solnit will explore her development as a writer and a feminist in San Francisco from the 1980s and beyond, as well as the lessons that our larger society can draw about women’s voices.
Rebecca Solnit has written fourteen books, including A Paradise Built in Hell, River of Shadows, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art (which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism), and Men Explain Things to Me. She received the Lannan Literary Award in 2003, and has published essays in a variety of well-known publications.
In “Recollections of My Nonexistence”, Solnit describes her coming-of-age in 1980s San Francisco. She tells of the city in which she transformed herself; of how punk rock gave form to her raw emotions; of the spacious landscapes of the American West, of the gay men around her who offered alternative visions of gender and identity. She recounts the epidemic of violence against women around her, the disbelief of authority figures, the voicelessness that was and still is the condition of so many women. Solnit explores the forces that helped her find her own voice, liberating herself as she learned how to write. That voice has resonated with and empowered many others, shaping society-wide conversations about gender, respect, and equality.
Booksmith is hosting the reading and conversation at the Internet Archive on March 16th; doors will open at 6pm. The discussion will start at 7pm and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Afterwards there will be a signing by the author, with copies of the book available for sale. Come join us for an evening of dialogue and empowerment!
Date: Monday, March 16, 2020 Time: 6:00-9:00 pm Where: Internet Archive 300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118
The public domain is our shared cultural heritage, a near limitless trove of creativity that’s been reused, remixed, and reimagined over centuries to create new works of art and science. The public domain forms the building blocks of culture because these works are not restricted by copyright law. Generally, works come into the public domain when their copyright term expires. This year, works first published in 1924 including such favorites as “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, the Dia de los Muertos Mural by Diego Rivera, and “The Man in the Brown Suit” by Agatha Christie, entered the public domain for all to share.
Join creative, legal, library, and advocacy communities to celebrate the public domain and our shared cultural heritage, and come network with an amazing lineup of people and organizations who will help us welcome a new class of public domain works.
COMBINING a year of exciting archival discoveries with evergreen favorites from past years, this feature-length program shows San Francisco’s people, neighborhoods, infrastructures and celebrations from the early 20th century through the 1980s. New sequences this year run the gamut from the noirish streets of downtown San Francisco in the 1940s to life in the lively Mission, Richmond, Sunset, Bernal Heights and Ingleside Terrace districts.
ALSO IN THE WORKS: Bits of San Francisco bohemia, psychedelia and punk; newly discovered footage of the late, lamented Sky Tram and the unlamented Bayside Motel and Embarcadero Freeway; workers horsing around on the Rainier Beer loading dock in 1937; transit infrastructure; snowball fights; a hobo by the zoo; newly discovered amateur Cinemascope footage from the 1950s; the building of I-280; San Francisco’s publicly owned electrical generation system; San Francisco’s cemeteries emptied of their dead; and many intimate glimpses of family life in Latinx, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, African American, and European communities in San Francisco.
AS ALWAYS, the audience makes the soundtrack! Come prepared to identify places, people and events, to ask questions and to engage in spirited real-time repartee with fellow audience members
The Internet Archive is excited to announce that we will be celebrating Public Domain Day on January 30, 2020 in our nation’s capitol. We have an exciting line-up of local musicians and artists, as well as projects from around the country – Join Us! The event is free and open to the public.
Please join us at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco Headquarters on Tuesday, December 17th at 6 pm to hear a titan of Internet law, political reformer and “the most distinguished law professor of his generation,” Lawrence Lessig discuss his new book They Don’t Represent Us.
Lawrence Lessig won’t be coming home, exactly, when he appears at the Internet Archive for a talk about his latest book, They Don’t Represent Us, on Dec. 17th. The Harvard professor will be coming to a place, however, where he should feel extremely comfortable. He has made defining the rules of the internet one of his life’s causes, and that nicely intersects with the Internet Archive, which exists as a treasure trove of the internet’s history that sits at the intersection of technology, law and culture.
Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, has seen many distinguished visitors drop by at his organization’s San Francisco offices, but Lessig’s evening promises to be special. Kahle says he is honored to have Lessig stop by to provide insights into his latest book. “Lawrence Lessig, a hero of mine, brings clear messages of what needs fixing and how we might do it, and do it by working together,” Kahle said. “I am looking forward to his new book.”
Lessig’s history in print is as an author who
doesn’t waste time getting to the point. Before his publishers intervened, he’d
wanted to title the book An Essentially Unrepresentative Representative
Democracy. Briefly a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination
in 2016, he wasn’t able to gain sufficient traction in his goal of instituting
campaign finance and electoral reforms.
With the publication five weeks ago of They
Don’t Represent Us, he tackles those subjects again. He has particularly
harsh words for gerrymandering, the process by which federal and state
representatives manipulate the boundaries of electoral constituencies to
maximize the benefit of those crafting the boundaries and to suppress minority
One complaint is that only about a dozen
so-called swing states are ever in play in presidential elections, that these
states get upward of 90 percent of candidates’ time and money, and that these
states, being mostly older and whiter, don’t well represent the nation as a
whole. He points out that there are 7½ times as many people working in solar
energy as there are working in mining coal, but you don’t hear about those
solar energy jobs much during presidential campaigns because those people are
from non-swing states like Texas or California. The coal mining jobs are in
many of the swing states.
Lessig says representatives in safely
gerrymandered districts are more in danger of defeat from members of their own
party in primaries. And that, Lessig argues, leads to the extremes in both the
Republican and Democratic parties being amplified.
He proselytizes for modifications to the
Electoral College, which recently has put two men, George W. Bush in 2000 and
Donald Trump in 2016, into the presidency despite losing the popular vote. His
suggestion is to ditch the winner-take-all systems used by most states in
presidential elections in favor of proportionally allocating electors.Doing so,
he says, would make winning votes in Utah equally important as winning votes in
California despite the difference in populations, making presidential
candidates need to care about all states instead of what Lessig calls “Swing
Doors will open at 6pm. The discussion will start at 7pm and will be followed by a reception. Signed copies of book will be available for sale.
Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 Time: 6:00-9:00 pm Where: Internet Archive 300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118
The Internet Archive is hosting a FOIAPOLOOZA to celebrate Aaron Swartz and to provide a yearly showcase of his many interests. Aaron’s work focused on civic awareness and activism and we will spend Saturday together keeping his prescient vision alive.
Doors are open for the hackathon and the daytime programming on Saturday at 10 am. The reception will be on Saturday evening at 6:00 pm with the main program starting at 8 pm with a music and dance party afterward.
FOIAPALOOZA: Aaron filed many FOIA requests and inspired lots of journalists, including the now-legendary Jason Leopold, to use them as a tool for evidence-based journalism. So we decided to focus on FOIA and public records requests at this year’s San Francisco event. We aim to not only teach folks how to file their own requests but also to let them dig into the information we have received back from the 200+ requests we filed this last year with our Police Surveillance Project. FOIAPALOOZA speakers include Tracy Rosenberg & Mike Katz-McCabe from Oakland Privacy — an organization that just won an EFF Pioneer Award! — as well as Freddy Martinez from Lucy Parsons Labs, Ryan Shapiro from Property of the People and Brewster Kahle and Tracey Jaquith from the Internet Archive.
The following blog post was written by freelance writer Caralee Adams about the Internet Archive’s Library Leaders Forum, held on October 23 at San Francisco Public Library.
As enthusiasm grows for making library collections more accessible, the Internet Archive hosted an event to build a community of practice around Controlled Digital Lending (CDL). A diverse group gathered for the 2019 Library Leaders Forum Oct. 23 to share stories and strategies for libraries to expand their reach by lending out digital books based on their physical collections.
Why is this important?
“At the Internet Archive, we have a strong belief that everyone deserves to learn. We want to offer up the greatest digital library the Internet has ever seen to the world for free,” said Chris Freeland, Director of the Internet Archives’ Open Libraries program. “We think that everyone, regardless of where they live, should have ready access to a great library. More importantly, we think it should be available on phones and mobile devices that people turn to today. We want to make sure they have access to vetted, trusted information that’s held in libraries.”
The mantra of CDL: “Own one, loan one.” The idea is that a library can make a choice of lending either a physical copy or a digital version of a book.
The Internet Archive has been doing CDL since 2011, beginning with the Boston Public Library. Now two dozen other libraries of all sizes in the U.S. and Canada have embraced the model. Librarians from some of those institutions spoke about their passion for the practice at the forum.
The meeting provided an overview of the legal issues, policy considerations, and examples of CDL in action. The appeal to library leaders gathered was to endorse CDL, join Open Libraries, donate books to the Internet Archive for scanning, and volunteer to help with a new serials project.
Helping libraries see what’s possible
Michael Lambert, City Librarian at the San Francisco Public Library, which hosted the event, shared his institution’s experience as an early partner with the Internet Archive on Open Libraries and CDL. Beginning with city government documents and historical materials, SFPL created an entire scanning department. To date, the library has digitized 13,000 books and documents with the Internet Archive, which have received over 7.5 million views. Since November 2018, SFPL has donated 30,000 copyrighted books to the Internet Archive as part of its community distribution program.
“Having this alternative virtual lending site as an option has been great,” Lambert said. ”Librarians have been able to confidently weed excess, outdated materials from our collection, secure in knowledge that the books will not disappear, but rather have a new life where people around the world can read and research the materials that SFPL has meticulously collected over the decades.”
The Internet Archive embodies library values: persistence, comprehensiveness and accessibility, said Lambert. “The Archive has become a crucial part of the broad library information eco-system,” he said. “They have provided examples that have challenged traditional libraries. The Internet Archive helps other libraries see what’s possible.”
What Internet Archive Founder Brewster Kahle hopes is possible is digitization will allow more online sources to be linked to books, providing people trust information.
“If Wikipedia is the encyclopedia of the Internet, we are trying to build the library of the Internet,” Kahle explained at the forum. “Let’s make it really easy for people to go deeper.”
So far, the Internet Archive has turned 122,000 references on Wikipedia to digitized book links through its online library. Still, a century of books is missing after 1923 because of copyright laws. Kahle called on libraries to help fill that gap.
As part of that strategy, the Internet Archive is trying to institutionalize CDL, a practice that has been successfully working in a handful of libraries for eight years with no negative pushback. Yet, it has not been widely embraced. Kahle appealed to libraries to endorse CDL and donate books for scanning to address the larger goal of universal access to knowledge.
Framing the approach
The forum hosted experts to explain the legal underpinnings of CDL and discuss how the concept fits into the overall push to level the playing field for access to information.
Lila Bailey of the Internet Archive moderated a conversation with Kyle Courtney, Copyright Advisor at Harvard University, David Hansen, Associate University Librarian at Duke University, and Michelle Wu, Associate Dean for Library Services and Professor of Law at the Georgetown Law Library in Washington, D.C.
They have written a paper spelling out how libraries can practice CDL within the confines the fair use doctrine in current copyright law. Copyright law established in 1976 and dating back to 1950 does not reflect the digital reality today and it should allow flexibility for libraries to lend out one book at a time – no matter what the format – digital or print, they maintain.
To garner broad support for the concept of CDL, John Bergmayer of the nonprofit, Public Knowledge, spoke about the need to build relationships with lawmakers and educate them on the issue. This summer, he led a group engaged in CDL to The Hill in Washington, D.C. to brief members of Congress and their aides on the importance of expanding access to library materials through CDL.
“You have to make a project matter to the politicians,” explained Bergmayer. In the case of CDL, it’s about outlining the benefits of providing access to rural patrons, protecting materials from damage from disasters, saving libraries money, and helping K-12 school libraries, among others. “You want to get people to do the right thing for their reasons, not your reason — and show how your issue affects voters.”
Heather Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), said CDL fits into the larger open agenda that advocates for unrestricted access to research. “It’s a vision based on opportunity,” said Joseph. “An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good.”
Now more than ever, in an era of “fake news,” and “alternative facts,” free, immediate access to high-quality vetted, source material is crucial for scholars, scientists, students, journalists, policymakers – everyone, she said.
“CDL is a pragmatic, incremental step towards open that operates in a way that’s respectful of libraries current operations and of copyright. It moves the needle towards open,” said Joseph. “CDL can contribute to collective movement towards a full vision of open access to knowledge.”
Opening Doors for Students
Making digital books more widely available to students has the potential for remedying inequities in education. Nationwide, public school districts have lost 20 percent of their libraries and librarians in recent years. Lisa Petrides, founder of the non-profit Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, has embraced CDL as a model to build a Universal School Library (USL) and connect students – particularly from under-resources schools — to relevant materials that increasingly are digital.
“CDL holds the potential to broaden access to knowledge in public schools in a way that schools haven’t even begun to tap,” said Petrides, who is trying to curate an inclusive collection of 15,000 high-quality digitized books. “We are taking an equity lens in terms of diversity.”
The Detroit School of Arts will be piloting USL and Librarian Karen Lemmons said she was excited to be able to offer her high school students books they can access while they are on the go. “This might give them an opportunity to read in between practices. They can pull out their phone and read a few pages. It’s mobile and flexible,” said Lemmon, noting that reading is closely linked to student achievement. “Our students really do want to be the best.”
Lemmons said she wants to be a model for other urban schools. “We want to be a driving force to get other libraries involved,” said Lemmons. “This is a data-driven district and we will need data to show reading more makes a difference in student performance.”
When the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, recently was doing a $20 million renovation to its library, the Internet Archive approached it about digitizing their collection. The library already had its books packed on pallets, but instead of storing them decided to have them all scanned, explained Michael Barker, Director of Academy Research, Information and Library Services.
“We had this very well-intentioned idea to create a space for learners of the 21st century. It’s all good. It is a space of immense privilege. But it takes a vision to think well beyond our campus to say that belongs to every learner. That opportunity is to digitize the entire collection – that’s why we are all in,” said Barker of the school’s decision to participate in CDL “It goes to the heart of what Phillips was founded on. This school is for youth from every quarter and we try to live out that ideal as a private school for a public purpose.”
Next, Barker said he would like to see peer prep schools join the CDL model to further expand access to schools without the same resources.
CDL in Action
As the first library to use the CDL approach, the Boston Public Library recently extended its offerings by scanning its historic Alice Jordan Collection of 250,000 children’s books that were in storage. It has also digitized city directories, cookbooks and other fact-based documents in its catalog. Recently, it got permission from Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin to digitize its entire trade collection that is housed at BPL.
Expanding its CDL involvement, BPL’s Tom Blake challenged participants to bring another partner library next year to the forum.
“This the first time, I feel like it’s less about digitization and scanning and more about us, as librarians, leveraging not just our collections, but our historical collection policies with each other,” said Blake, who has been attending the library leaders forum for 10 years.
In discussing how to improve the CDL process, meeting participants suggested adjusting the amount of time users checked out titles and allowing for short-term loans. Perhaps smarter return and wait-list notifications could be developed to encourage faster processing of books. Others said re-branding Digital Rights Management (DRM) software with a different moniker to that would be more appealing to librarians.
In Sonoma County, California, Geoffrey Skinner said its 14 public library branches have just starting to participate in CDL. It first scanned documents in the history and genealogy library, then digitized its specialized wine library.
“We are doing a massive weed of our closed stacks. By taking those material to the Internet Archive, we will have digital access back,” said Skinner. Having library materials online will benefit many of the county’s rural users who otherwise travel far to access the physical books and provide access for print-disabled patrons.
Justin Gardner, Special Collections Librarian at the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky, said digitizing 9,000 books in its collection has preserved rare and fragile documents, including books autographed by Helen Keller. Also, being located in Kentucky, it gives people interested in their materials from anywhere.
“We are becoming the go-to place for visual impairment materials,” said Gardner. Now these research documents are in an accessible form for people who have visual impairments and have never been able to read these materials before they were digitized.
At the forum, Mike Buschman of the Washington State Library announced that the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) voted to endorse CDL. “It feels like it’s entering a new, good phase – a traction phase,” he said.
Kahle emphasized the need for CDL to be a community project and build a deeper collection. “We have to brave up,” he said. “We just act in good faith. We aren’t pirates. We are trying to do the right thing.”
Chief Librarian and CEO at the Hamilton Public Library in Canada Paul Takala said his institution is an enthusiastic supporter of CDL. With a long history of innovation, moving forward with digitizing is the right move – despite the technical challenges – to make information more accessible to patrons, he said.
“Deeper collaboration is needed. It’s hard to get adequate resources,” said Takala. “As a library community, we are generally risk adverse. When we talk about CDL, I think we need to take a more balanced view….If we make what’s available in our community to other communities – and others make their collections available – then everyone wins.”
Dale Askey, Vice Provost at the University of Alberta, said he liked Takala’s challenge to pull more Canadian institutions past their risk aversion to embrace CDL. “It’s great to see people aligning behind these principles and taking this to scale,” said Askey, whose university has scanned an historic collection of education materials with zero negative impact. “There is a strong history and impulse at the university to do things with maximum benefit to the largest possible community.”
Princeton Theological Seminary is piloting CDL and it has created a secure area in its library for the physical collection, so that when a digital copy is checked out that the physical copy will reside there. Participating the program has great potential benefits for the seminary’s reach, according to Managing Director of the Library Evelyn Frangakis.
“The PTS comprehensive theological collection is in high demand and the CDL library allows increased accessibility to all users, including those with various print disabilities,” said Frangakis. “I think CLD is gaining momentum. That’s really heartening for broad access to the materials that we are able to contribute to this program. It’s going to continue to grow.”
Ross Mounce, Director of Open Access Programmes at Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin in London, said he was encouraged by participation in the forum and said action points were clear and institutions can choose their level of engagement.
“It’s nice seeing things moving forward. At the end of the day, it just makes sense,” said Mounce of CDL. “If you own a physical copy of a book, you should be able to loan a digital version of it. Libraries should be able to lend books.”
Added Wu of Georgetown: “I’m delighted there has been a lot more buy in in recent years. The voices and the participants are much more diverse. Libraries [like Phillips] are willing to go all in and that’s remarkable. It is true that if we get more of those, I think we will see a true movement across the nation.”
Our job is providing ‘Universal Access to All Knowledge.’ Knowledge comes from many places. Explore. Enjoy. Leave your mark. —Brewster Kahle, Founder & Digital Librarian, Internet Archive
We invite you to join us for the Internet Archive’s biggest bash of the year: World Night Market, Wednesday, October 23, 5-10 PM. We’ll be closing the street and throwing a block party for our friends, neighbors and partners to celebrate our impact with partners around the world.
When you arrive from
5- 7 pm, we will give you your Passport to food trucks with our favorite
foods from Singapore to Mexico City to Delhi; beer & wines from around the
world; Lion Dancers and music, playful tattoos, plus hands-on demonstrations of
the Internet Archive’s latest innovations and partnerships.
Stamp your Passport to Knowledge at these demo stations:
Put on a VR headset and play in a virtual Archive or try out vintage games
Then from 7-8 PM the Great Room program begins! In a world in which truth seems to be fracturing, what’s a library’s role? To weave the trusted knowledge held by libraries into the World Wide Web itself. We’ve invited our partners and builders to share their herculean efforts to make media more accessible and reliable than ever.
You won’t want to miss:
Activist, Carl Malamud on freeing the information of India
Access visionary, Lisa Petrides on building an diverse, inclusive, and equitable
Universal K-12 School Library for all
Archive’s Alexis Rossi & Jason Buckner on making talk & news radio
searchable, comparable and ultimately, accountable
Kahle on our project with Wikimedia
Foundation to take readers deeper and ensure the integrity of the world’s
Internet Archive Hero Award and a
major announcement about our future direction
And after the program, be sure to stay for the dancing, DJs and dessert on our side patio.
Having knowledge you can trust has never been more important. So let’s celebrate— get your passport now to the World Night Market!
This October, the Internet Archive is going global and we invite you to join us for World Night Market, Wednesday, October 23rdfrom 5-9 PM at our headquarters in San Francisco. This annual bash is your passport to explore the Internet Archive’s global offerings, from world news to sacred palm leaf manuscripts. Inspired by the night markets of Asia, we’ll be throwing a block party for friends, partners and our community, offering up a vibrant mix of food trucks, hands-on demo stations, music and dancing. Then, from 7-8 PM, head up to the Great Room for presentations to unveil our latest tools and biggest partnerships from around the world.
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd Location: Internet Archive HQ, 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco Time: 5pm till 9pm
Tickets: available through Eventbrite in early September.
We’re looking for volunteers! Are you an artist who wants to help us build a night market? Do you love climbing ladders and hanging twinkle lights? Or do you fancy yourself an expert beer and wine server? Our events are always powered by our incredible community—we couldn’t do it without you. If you would like to get involved, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 23rd, let’s celebrate the Internet Archive’s mission to preseve the world’s cultures, languages and media, while serving global communities with free access to the great works of humankind.
Join us on June 18, 2019 at the the Internet Archive for a book reading and panel discussion about — and with — some of the original hacking supergroup, the Cult of the Dead Cow. Modern security owes much to this irreverent group, whose members pioneered both smart independent security research and hacking for human rights.
The event is in celebration of the new book by veteran technology reporter, Joseph Menn, entitled Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World. Light refreshments and small snacks will be provided, and books will be available for purchase. Tickets are free, but donations are greatly appreciated. The event will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel.
Speaker: Joseph Menn – author of Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World
Panel: MC: Cindy Cohn – Executive Director of EFF Chris Rioux – BO2k (Back Orifice 2000) author and Veracode founder Window Snyder – cDc fellow traveler and former core security staffer at Microsoft and Apple and now Square Omega – formerly anonymous cDc text file editor