The Library Leaders Forum is an annual opportunity for the libraries community to come together and discuss the 21st-century library. This year’s virtual Forum ended last week with an inspiring session showcasing the impact of controlled digital lending. Let’s look back over some of the key moments from the session and the conference as a whole.
During the final session, we were honored to present Michelle Wu with our Hero Award for her foundational work on controlled digital lending. COVID-19 demonstrated more than ever the power of this key practice in helping libraries reach vulnerable communities. As the election approaches, the emphasis was also on the role of digital access in supporting democracy. “Reliable access to information is the great equalizer,” Wu said in her acceptance speech.
The conference was packed with insight into the impact of controlled digital lending on libraries and the communities they serve. In our policy session, experts discussed how to build a healthy information ecosystem for the 21st Century. Our community session gave a platform to librarians, educators, and technologists who are developing next-generation library tools.
The discussions showed a library community deeply committed to digital innovation and its potential for creating a more equal society. A key theme was how COVID-19 lockdowns have made librarians more aware of the necessity of digital lending. The practice, always useful in reaching communities who cannot access physical books, has been shown a powerful tool in emergency response. Practitioners also placed emphasis on the key role of digitization in archiving knowledge for future generations.
However, it was clear that this is no time for complacency. Librarians face threats that would damage their ability to make knowledge accessible and preserve it for cultural posterity. A new lawsuit challenges their right to digitize collections and make them available to the public. Combined with an increasing lack of shelf space and spates of library closures, this could mean that many valuable collections end up in landfill.
The community is determined to make sure that libraries stay “open” to all. To this end, we have launched the #EmpoweringLibraries campaign, which defends the right of libraries to own and lend digital books. Although the Forum has ended, the community will stay united through campaign activities.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part and helped make the Library Leaders Forum a great success. Find out how you can stay connected and protect the key role of libraries in a democratic society here.
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
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.
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: email@example.com.
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
On November 4, 1979 Marion Stokes began systematically video taping television news and continued for more than 33 years, until the day she died. The Internet Archive is now home to the unique 71k+ video cassette collection and is endeavoring to help make sure it is digitized and made available online to everyone, forever, for free.
Ms. Stokes was a fiercely private African American social justice champion, librarian, political radical, TV producer, feminist, Apple Computer super-fan and collector like few others. Her life and idiosyncratic passions are sensitively explored in the exceedingly well reviewed new documentary, Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, by Matt Wolf. Having premiered last month at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, the film is on tour and will be featured at San Francisco’s Indefest, June 8th & 10th. For those in the Bay Area, please consider joining Internet Archive staff and leadership at the 7:00pm June 10th screening. Advance tickets are available now, seating is limited.
Long before many questioned the media’s motivations and recognized the insidious intentional spread of disinformation, Ms. Stokes was alarmed. In a private herculean effort, she took on the challenge of independently preserving the news record of her times in its most pervasive and persuasive form – TV.
Background Materials, Resources & Reviews
Input Marion Stokes and her future husband John Stokes appear in and helped produce Input, a weekly panel discussion series on the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia that ran from 1968 through early 1971. It addressed a remarkable range of timely social topics, some far ahead of their time. Panelists included diverse thoughtful scholars, activists, clergy and others. Some had already made recognized accomplishments. And some would only later make their profound contributions to civil rights and social justice.
Pete Seeger was already a well known political folk singer when he appeared in February 1970 on a panel with a prison warden and recently released inmates discussing the nature of incarceration and criminal justice reform. Here he is sharing his song “Walking Down Death Row” on the program.
John Fryer was a Philadelphia psychiatrist. Here he is on Input in January 1968 discussing contradictory social norms. Five years later, Dr. Fryer would give a speech, in disguise, at the American Psychiatric Association annual convention. Introduced as Dr. Anonymous, he announced “I am a homosexual. I am a psychiatrist. I am a member of the APA,” He went on to decry the prejudice directed toward gay people by the Association and social institutions. Dr. Fryer’s brave and bold call for reform is credited as galvanizing his peers in 1973 to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
William Davidon was professor of Physics at Haverford College. Here he is in a December 1968 Input episode, discussing the nature of television as a means of manipulating an uninformed public. 27 months later he would take an action of great social consequence and his role would remain secret for the next 43 years. In 2014, the book The Burglary posthumously revealed Dr. Davidon as the leader of a group that in 1971 broke into the FBI field office in Media, PA. They were never caught. The 8-member team stole, and released to the press, an enormous trove of documents that revealed COINTELPRO. It was the FBI’s then 15-year long covert, and often illegal, domestic surveillance program to disrupt, discredit and destroy American civil rights, anti-war and other social activist organizations and leaders. Included in the documents was evidence of the FBI’s attempt to induce, via blackmail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to commit suicide. The release of the papers lead to significant additional revelations by journalists and Congressional investigations, which prompted substantial reform.
Personal Journals Ms. Stokes was a committed diarist, note taker and list maker. Under the leadership of archivist Jackie Jay, The Internet Archive has been digitizing the contents of 55 bankers boxes of her papers that include her personal journals, magazines, newspapers, civic organization pamphlets, leaflets and handbills. Some of her earliest (1960 & 1961) hand-written journal entries are now publicly available and can be viewed here. More will be added as they are scanned and QC’d.
“Matt Wolf’s remarkable Recorder uses Stokes’ recording obsession as a way to explore both Stokes herself and the world she literally committed to video tape. The results are fascinating, weird, and often quite moving.” – Indiewire
“Intriguing from first minute to last… Relating this stranger-than-fiction tale with the narrative twists and turns of a well-paced thriller, Recorder will make news junkies feel a lot better about themselves.” – Hollywood Reporter
“One outstanding offering in this year’s Tribeca Film Festival is Recorder, which reveals the secret greatness of a reclusive activist… An information revolutionary, Stokes, despite her decades of isolation, touched the nerve center of the times.” – The New Yorker
“Recorder is more than just a portrait of a woman’s complicated relationships and obsessions… Recorder quietly seeds damning observations about the ways media narratives are formed, and how the shapers of these narratives distort the truth and our worldview.” – Flixist
“Stokes’s archival work is unprecedented; a time machine back to the advent of the 24-hour news cycle covering historical and cultural events that otherwise would have been overlooked” – The Outline
“But Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project is not just — or even predominantly — an essay film about the media. What makes the documentary so fascinating is the parallel it draws between restoring an archive and retrieving a life.” – Filmmaker Magazine
“…rarely do we experience the passion and purpose of a methodical collector, who really made a difference. Matt Wolf’s masterful documentary, Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project takes us into the visionary psychic and cluttered physical worlds of a woman who turned her acquiring fury into a unique archive of contemporary history.” – Helen Highly
“But maybe the real value of the Marion Stokes Project is that starting close to 20 years before the digital age, it reveals how the news was going to evolve into an addiction, one that had the power to displace whatever subject it was ostensibly about. For even if you’re obsessed with the inaccuracy of TV news, it has still entrapped you, like a two-way mirror that won’t let you see the other side.” – Variety
“The story of Marion Stokes inspires and challenges us to consider our world and the legacy we can create through dedication to our own ideals and principals.” – 2019 Maryland Film Festival
“Recorder: The Marion Stokes Projectmanages to capsulize Stokes’ efforts and present them as a springboard for a greater conversation on the societal effects of the media, and what we can accomplish given the right resources and individual determination.” – Film Threat
“Data, it is said, is the new oil. A woman named Marion Stokes knew this early on and believed that freedom was inextricably linked to data and facts because with it one can make informed decisions. So she took what is seen as a curious and radical approach to feverishly create massive archives of what used to be the prime source of such data, television news, in a time when no one else would.“ – Forbes
“This story is beautifully told, inspiring, and is a constant reminder that everything we hear is not always the whole truth.” – Irish Film Critic
“Much like Stokes’ archives, Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project is a cautionary reminder that, now more than ever, we need to be scrutinizing who is shaping the breaking news we consume.” Cinema Axis
“Marion had fought a quixotic but worthy battle against the tyranny of transience.” – New Statesman
Politics got you down? Looking for a new way to digest ethical quandaries? Feeling like you need some laughter in your life? Have we got the event for you! Come join us at the Internet Archive for an Ethics In Technology – Community Night and Comedy Show, presented by former Amazon executive and entrepreneur Vahid Razavi, author of “Ethics in Tech, or The Lack There of and Age of Nepotism“.
Enjoy cutting edge performances by a tour de force group of comediennes; Francesca Fiorentini, Chloe McGovern, Annette Mullaney and Abigail See.
In addition, Brett Wilkins will be presenting: Bugsplat: Can Technology Really Make War Less Deadly for Civilians? There will be a showing of the film “Drone” directed by Tonje Hessen and Bob Chandra will give a short talk on the commercialization of military weapons.
How do we build a better Web? The Web we want, the Web we deserve? A Web with no central points of control?
Since 2016, we’ve been calling this the Decentralized Web (DWeb for short) and now we are inviting everyone who wants to imagine and co-create that better Web to join us this summer at one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.
The Internet Archive is hosting a community-built event: DWeb Campfrom July 18-21, 2019. Or come early and stay late if you want to help build the camp with us: July 15-22, because that’s when the fun begins. DWeb Camp is all about connecting: to your deepest values, to the community around you, and to the planet. Can we come together to imagine and co-create the technologies, laws, markets and values for the societies we want to live in? REGISTER NOW to attend this first-of-its-kind-event.
WHERE: We’ve reserved a private farm one hour south of San Francisco and one hour west of San Jose. It’s surrounded by 600 acres of pristine, untouched coastal land: beach, forest, stream. Once you register, we’ll send you the exact location.
HOW WILL IT WORK: bring a tent and sleeping gear, or if you need one, you can rent a tent and bedding from the Farm and they’ll have it set up for you when you arrive. These 5-meter bell tents are big enough for 3-4 people, so invite your friends and share. RVs are welcome too.
All your meals will be covered in the cost of your ticket: healthy, locally-sourced food, some grown on the Farm itself. You should plan to bring all the extras: snacks, drinks, wine, s’mores, coffee. We won’t be serving alcohol, but it’s BYOB. Bring enough to share! We’ll set up some DIY coffee/tea bars, or you can set up a tent and host your own lounge.
WHO’S INVITED: DWeb Camp is family-friendly, so you can bring the kids. For the kid in all of us there will be plenty to do from morning yoga, picking berries, watching the sunset on the beach, hiking up a local stream—plus we’ll have kid-friendly activities going on as well. But every child under 18 needs to be accompanied by a parent at all times—no babysitting provided.
Are you a coder, lawyer, artist, activist, armchair philosopher or all of the above, working to create new ways to connect to and through technology? Ready to get your hands dirty and build something new from the ground up? Love to camp, cook, hack, hike, and connect with the great outdoors? Then DWeb Camp may be for you.
Since we’re still working out the kinks, we will be limiting DWeb Camp to 500 people this first year. Sorry, but that means no daytrippers, latecomers, or unregistered drop-ns allowed.
WHAT’S THE GAME PLAN? DWeb Camp is a community-built event, so it will be what you make it. We supply the land, some shelter, nourishing food, power and the rest is up to you.
We hope you’ll bring your own project, share your knowledge, launch a conversation, host a tea lounge, offer massages, lead a creative class. The sky’s the limit. Enlist your friends to come and help. Members of the Farm will be creating spaces for meditation, yoga, music making, nature walks, beach hikes, regenerative farming, star gazing, and more.
The Farm has limited connectivity to the internet and little to no cell service. Volunteer teams are setting up a local mesh network throughout the Farm so we can communicate and work offline with the decentralized tools you bring. We’re looking for DWeb communities to build services on top of the mesh.
Why is this important? Because a truly Decentralized Web would work in places where there is limited to no internet connectivity or restrictions due to cost or censorship. The DWeb Camp is a perfect opportunity for us to make local messaging, mapping, websites, and file storage work with community-managed infrastructures in the wild, where we can all be builders and users of our decentralized technologies. Visit our Mesh@DWeb Camp GitHub to get involved now!
HOW CAN I CONTRIBUTE? Here are the GitHub repositories where we hope to co-organize DWeb Camp with you! Our goal is to make this a volunteer-run event in the future and leave behind a trove of knowledge for others. If you prefer to share information in places other than GitHub, we’ll be publishing a new website with more information in mid-April, and in the meantime, you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!
By mid-April, we’ll have a process in place where you can see some of the projects that others are proposing and find ways to pitch in. Better yet: propose your own! Our goal as organizers is to make sure you have a place to land to create magic—but you’ll need to bring just about everything else, just like when you camp!
WHAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT CAN I EXPECT? The environment is beautiful but raw. California’s northern coast is often shrouded in fog, with temperatures ranging from 72 to 53 degrees. Natives of this area say it never rains here in July, but don’t expect to be diving into the ocean without a wetsuit! You’ll want to bring layers of clothing, and shoes suitable for hiking.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? The true cost for this 4-day camp is $800 per person. We know that’s a lot of money for some, and not that much for others, so we’ll be offering a sliding scale to register, from $200 for students to $1200 for highly resourced professionals who want to sponsor someone else. Kids under 12 come for free.
There will be some limited financial aid and a committee will evaluate each person on the basis of need.
The Farm is also renting 5-meter canvas bell tents with cots and bedding for $400. Put together a group and share! There’s a $100 parking fee if you want to bring your RV.
(For the ultimate non-camper, there is a lodge with suites, cabins, and glamping tents just ten minutes away. But you’ll have to make arrangements on your own.)
WHAT IF I VOLUNTEER? Volunteers who work three 4-hour shifts (12 hours) during the Camp can qualify for a 50% rebate on their ticket price. Those who come for the Build/Strike days (July 15-22) and contribute three 8-hour shifts (24 hours) can qualify for a 100% rebate. Volunteer slots are limited and we’ll post a way to apply in mid-April.
What will happen when you put 500 committed people in a beautiful, natural, ocean-front space? We hope to leave you inspired. Recharged. Connected. Grounded. Ready to change the world.