Evangelical Seminary Decides Digital Library is Best for Students

Evangelical Seminary’s Rostad Library donates 80,000 books to the Internet Archive for digitization and preservation (July 14, 2020). Image courtesy Jason Scott, CC BY 2.0.

As the global pandemic forced schools to remote instruction earlier this year, the pressure was on to make as many resources as possible available in digital form.

Evangelical Seminary moved its classes entirely online in March, closing most of its campus in Myerstown, Pennsylvania—including access to materials in the library.  At the same time, the seminary was finalizing a partnership with three other higher education institutions that prompted a review of any resource duplication.

So, in July, Evangelical decided to transform its physical library collection into a digital library and donate more than 80,000 books to the Internet Archive.

Workers pack books from Evangelical Seminary’s Rostad Library to donate to the Internet Archive for digitization and preservation (July 14, 2020). Image courtesy Jason Scott, CC BY 2.0.

“Faculty members love the feel of a hard copy book and taking a book off the shelf in the library,” says Anthony Blair, president of the seminary. “It was hard and we had to talk that through, but everybody agreed this was a smart thing to do and in the end, it was what’s best for students.”

Once scanned and digitized, students—and the public at large—will have free access to the books at any time from anywhere. Many of the volumes were out of print and fragile. The donation allows the seminary’s vast collection, with its specialities in biblical studies and Wesleyan theology, to be preserved.

“We took advantage of this opportunity. It’s a donation, but we still have access to all these books. They have better access than before—and so do people around the world,” Blair says. “It just made sense.”

At Evangelical, students were increasingly commuting to campus or taking online courses only; some living as far away as Singapore and Korea. The seminary sold its residential housing five years ago because of the shifting demographics.

Evangelical offers eight graduate degree programs including a doctorate of theology, master of divinity and master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. About 150 of its students are seeking a degree (about 90 on the PhD path) and another 50 are taking courses independently.

The seminary had recently begun serving a wider constituency and joined The Digital Theological Library (DTL) to give students easier access to resources. As usage grew with DTL, Blair says talk ramped up about moving to an all-digital library. 

Boxes of books prepped for shipping from Evangelical Seminary’s Rostad Library (July 14, 2020). Image courtesy Jason Scott, CC BY 2.0.

Also, Evangelical recently joined a seminary network, Kairos, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and is in the process of fully merging within the next few years. As the schools come together and combine resources, the timing was right to make the donation. This summer it took less than two weeks for the books to be packed, loaded into trucks and shipped for scanning—all paid for by the Internet Archive.

The seminary has shared news of its move to an all-digital library with alumni, donors and students, all of whom have been overwhelmingly positive, says Blair. As students wait for the collection to be moved online over the next two years, the seminary is partnering with two physical libraries for interlibrary loan services.Blair says he was pleased to have Evangelical’s collection join the Claremont School of Theology’s donation from earlier this year: “Between our donation and their donation, the theology collection at the Internet Archive will be enhanced quite a bit and our students will benefit.”

DWeb Panel: If Big Tech Is Toxic, How Do We Build Something Better?

Many of us know that the Internet is broken, so how do we build something better? On September 22, DWeb San Francisco invited a panel of experts to share their views on the most viable paths forward. The panelists included author & EFF advisor Cory Doctorow, Matrix.org co-founder Amandine Le Pape, decentralized social media researcher Jay Graber, and TechDirt’s Mike Masnick. They covered a range of approaches — including technical, regulatory, and organizational — that could bring us towards a future where our networks are more resilient, participatory, and decentralized.

ABOUT THE PANELISTS:

Best-selling science fiction author and EFF Special Advisor, Cory Doctorow, emphasized that we need to fix the Internet, not the tech companies by doing a lot more to bring back principles of interoperability, to enable more competition and innovation. 

Developer, and founder of Happening, Jay Graber, shared her insights on what she found hopeful about the decentralized web ecosystem, and some of the challenges that some of these protocols still need to grapple with moving forward. 

Chief Operating Officer of Element and Co-founder of the Matrix.org Foundation, Amandine Le Pape, shared what she learned as Matrix built a new open standard for real-time communication from the ground up, as well as her ideas on how to counter the information silos of the big centralized platforms. 

Journalist and co-founder of Techdirt, Mike Masnick, shared about the way people were realizing the need for change, and also some of his skepticism about how some proposed regulations to enforce interoperability may harm start-ups and other less-resourced projects. Masnick’s 2019 white paper, “Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech” has been an influential call to arms for the decentralized tech community.

As Mike Masnick writes:

At a time when so many proposals for how to deal with the big internet companies seem focused on spite and anger at those companies, rather than thoughtful discussions of how we get to what’s coming next, at the very least I’m hopeful that others can be inspired…to come up with their own ideas for a better, more proactive approach to a future internet.

Ultimately, that vision—building a better Internet and Web—is the North Star that the DWeb community aims for.

Peace, Love, and Quantum Physics

Promotional poster for Infinite Potential

In the middle of a tumultuous period, peace is more important than ever. This year, the Internet Archive celebrated the International Day of Peace with a screening of the film Infinite Potential: The Life & Ideas of David Bohm—an exploration of a maverick physicist who turned to Eastern wisdom for insights into the profound interconnectedness of the universe and our place within it. Hosted by the Fetzer Memorial Trust and Imagine Films on September 20th, the event also included a special panel discussion on how Bohm’s ideas can be translated into a pathway to peace in the modern world.

David Bohm

Infinite Potential examines the life of David Bohm, a theoretical physicist from Pennsylvania who was forced to flee the United States during the Cold War due to his Communist leanings. Pursuing his research in Brazil, Israel, and the United Kingdom, he was exposed to a wide variety of different ideas and ideologies, which all shaped his interests in quantum physics, philosophy, and the nature of consciousness. His relationships with thinkers such as Jiddu Krishnamurti and Albert Einstein further shaped his ideas, leading him to develop unique theories about the fundamental nature of reality and our perception of it.

The screening of the documentary was followed by a panel entitled Quantum Potential: A Pathway to Peace, featuring several prominent leaders and activists. These included Dot Maver, Founding President of the National Peace Academy; Reverend Dr. Michael B. Beckwith, Founder and Spiritual Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center; Audrey Kitagawa, Board Chair of the Parliament of World Religions; Civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr.; Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation; and Marianne Williamson, a bestselling author, political activist and spiritual thought leader. Panel members discussed how Bohm’s ideas could be applied to our society, ways in which individuals could advance peace and unity, and why the interconnectedness of humanity matters now more than ever.

Panel discussion—Quantum Potential: A Pathway to Peace

For those who were unable to attend the event, the documentary and the following panel discussion are both available online. Additionally, the Internet Archive is home to a number of materials on David Bohm, including several of his writings. Finally, to learn more about our partners and the hosts of this event, browse the the Fezter Memorial Trust collections here.

PM Press Sells Ebooks to Internet Archive: “We want our books to be in every library”

Like any commercial publisher, Ramsey Kanaan wants to make money and have as many people as possible read his books. But he says his company, PM Press, can do both by selling his books to the public and to libraries for lending – either in print or digitally.

While most publishers only license ebooks to libraries, PM Press has donated and sold both print and ebook versions of its titles to the Internet Archive to use in its Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program. By owning the copies, the Internet Archive ensures that the press’s collection of publications is available to the public and preserved.

“We’re not above profit making. It’s with sales that we pay our salaries.  Nevertheless, the reason we are also doing this is we actually believe in the information we are selling and we want to make it accessible,” says Kanaan.  “We want our books to be in every library.”

Founded in 2007, PM Press has published between 30 and 40 titles a year. The books (all available in print and various digital formats) include fiction, graphic novels, comics, memoirs, and manifestos on topics such as activism, education, self-defense and parenting.  “We’d like to assert or inject our ideas contained in the titles we publish as our modest contribution to making the world a better place,” says Kanaan.

“Our interest is in the dissemination, preservation and archiving of ideas…with no firewall.”

Ramsey Kanaan, co-founder and publisher, PM Press

From the beginning, Kanaan says the agenda of PM Press has been deeper than just making money by renting books annually to libraries. “The concept of charging multiple times to us is ridiculous and contrary to everything we are trying to do in publishing,” he says. “Our interest is in the dissemination, preservation and archiving of ideas…with no firewall.”

Kanaan says he doesn’t understand the objections to CDL by publishers that have sold their print books to libraries for decades. “If a library purchases a book or an ebook it’s going to be ‘borrowed’ by, ideally, lots of people. The industry has entered into this agreement with libraries for time immemorial – presumably access without further commercial transaction,” says Kanaan. “I don’t see the difference in a library making a print or ebook available for borrowing once it’s purchased. It’s the same.”

A selection of books from PM Press.

In donating to the Internet Archive in December 2019 and selling the other print titles and ebooks in the PM Press collection, Kanaan hopes this hybrid approach will help expand the audience for its titles. “The Internet Archive is not bootlegging materials. They are like any other library lending out one copy at a time.”

Kanaan maintains that companies against CDL as a way of doing business are “dinosaurs” and that digital lending is the future. “We see the Internet Archive as a partner in our endeavor to get our information out,” Kanaan says. “We want to achieve a better world for most of its inhabitants. We’re fighting against the 1 percent who only want a better world only for themselves. I’m hoping we are not just on the right side of history, but that we are actually going to win this one.”


The Internet Archive has been buying ebooks from publishers for more than 10 years, but the number has been limited because most publishers insist on license arrangements that constrain our ability to preserve and lend.  If you would like to sell ebooks to the Internet Archive and other libraries, please contact us at info@archive.org.

Author Shares Mentoring Expertise Through Controlled Digital Lending

Rik Nemanick believes in the power of mentoring in the workplace. As an author, corporate consultant, and university instructor, he explains to business leaders and students how a mentor can bring the best out in others.

The Mentor’s Way: Eight Rules for Bringing Out the Best in Others by Rik Nemanick, now available for borrowing through Controlled Digital Lending.

“A mentor is different from a teacher who imparts knowledge,” Nemanick says. “A good mentor broadens someone’s perspective and opens doors. It’s about challenging someone’s thinking and creating a relationship.”

Over the years, the St. Louis businessman was urged to put his leadership development research and expertise into a book. Published in 2016 by Routledge, The Mentor’s Way: Eight Rules for Bringing Out the Best in Others, is now available for lending through the Internet Archive.

“I want my message out there. I saw the Internet Archive as a way to make it more available to more people,” Nemanick says of his recent donation to the Controlled Digital Lending program. “The book sitting on Amazon or a shelf doesn’t get anyone engaged as much as if it’s available at the library.”

One of the first things that Nemanick says he did when the book was published was to donate a copy to Washington University Library in St. Louis. He wanted it available for students in his executive education graduate courses in leadership, mentoring, and human resource metrics so they could learn the concepts he advocates.

Author and mentoring consultant Rik Nemanick

Through his work, Nemanick says he wants to challenge the way people think about mentoring and offer practical ideas. Often people enter their careers with certain, narrow expectations and a mentor can be critical with the workplace adjustment. “A mentor can help someone find their way in their profession,” he says. “My hope is that people can find their fit more easily with the information in my book.”

Nemanick says he does not worry about his book being hurt by library lending through Controlled Digital Lending.

“This is a respectful way to get your message heard. A fair number of authors just want people to read what they have written,” he says. “It’s just one more avenue to make sure it gets into people’s hands.”

Cloudflare and the Wayback Machine, joining forces for a more reliable Web

Cloudflare now populating and using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine in its content distribution network application

Cloudflare and the Internet Archive are now working together to help make the web more reliable. Websites that enable Cloudflare’s Always Online service will now have their content automatically archived, and if by chance the original host is not available to Cloudflare, then the Internet Archive will step in to make sure the pages get through to users. 

Cloudflare has become core infrastructure for the Web, and we are glad we can be helpful in making a more reliable web for everyone.

“The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has an impressive infrastructure that can archive the web at scale,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. “By working together, we can take another step toward making the Internet more resilient by stopping server issues for our customers and in turn from interrupting businesses and users online.”

For more than 20 years the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has been archiving much of the public Web, and making those archives available to journalists, researchers, activists, academics and the general public, in total to hundreds of thousands of people a day.  To date more than 468 billion Web pages are available via the Wayback Machine and we are adding more than 1 billion new archived URLs/day.

We archive URLs that are identified via a variety of different methods, such as “crawling” from lists of millions of sites, as submitted by users via the Wayback Machine’s “Save Page Now” feature, added to Wikipedia articles, referenced in Tweets, and based on a number of other “signals” and sources, such multiple feeds of “news” stories.  

An additional source of URLs we will preserve now originates from customers of Cloudflare’s Always Online service.  As new URLs are added to sites that use that service they are submitted for archiving to the Wayback Machine.  In some cases this will be the first time a URL will be seen by our system and result in a “First Archive” event.

In all cases those archived URLs will be available to anyone who uses the Wayback Machine.

By joining forces on this project we can do a better job of backing up more of the public Web, and in so doing help make the Web more useful and reliable.  

If you have suggestions about how we can continue to improve our services, please don’t hesitate to drop us a note at info@archive.org.

How the Internet Archive is Ensuring Permanent Access to Open Access Journal Articles

Internet Archive has archived and identified 9 million open access journal articles– the next 5 million is getting harder

Open Access journals, such as New Theology Review (ISSN: 0896-4297) and Open Journal of Hematology (ISSN: 2075-907X), made their research articles available for free online for years. With a quick click or a simple query, students anywhere in the world could access their articles, and diligent Wikipedia editors could verify facts against original articles on vitamin deficiency and blood donation.  

But some journals, such as these titles, are no longer available from the publisher’s websites, and are only available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Since 2017, the Internet Archive joined others in concentrating on archiving all scholarly literature and making it permanently accessible.

The World Wide Web has made it easier than ever for scholars to collaborate, debate, and share their research. Unfortunately, the structure of today’s web means that content can disappear just as easily: as of today the official publisher websites and DOI redirects for both of the above journals go nowhere or have been replaced with unrelated content.


Wayback Machine captures of Open Access journals now “vanished” from publisher websites

Vigilant librarians saw this problem coming decades ago, when the print-to-digital migration was getting started. They insisted that commercial publishers work with contract digital preservation organizations (such as Portico, LOCKSS, and CLOCKSS) to ensure long-term access to expensive journal subscription content. Efforts have been made to preserve open articles as well, such as Public Knowledge Project’s Private LOCKSS Network for OJS journals and national hosting platforms like the SciELO network. But a portion of all scholarly articles continues to fall through the cracks.

Researchers found that 176 open access journals have already vanished from their publishers’ website over the past two decades, according to a recent preprint article by Mikael Laakso, Lisa Matthias, and Najko Jahn. These periodicals were from all regions of the world and represented all major disciplines — sciences, humanities and social sciences. There are over 14,000 open access journals indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals and the paper suggests another 900 of those are inactive and at risk of disappearing. The pre-print has struck a nerve, receiving news coverage in Nature and Science.

In 2017, with funding support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Kahle/Austin Foundation, the Internet Archive launched a project focused on preserving all publicly accessible research documents, with a particular focus on open access materials. Our first job was to quantify the scale of the problem.

Monitoring independent preservation of Open Access journal articles published from 1996 through 2019. Categories are defined in the article text.

Of the 14.8 million known open access articles published since 1996, the Internet Archive has archived, identified, and made available through the Wayback Machine 9.1 million of them (“bright” green in the chart above). In the jargon of Open Access, we are counting only “gold” and “hybrid” articles which we expect to be available directly from the publisher, as opposed to preprints, such as in arxiv.org or institutional repositories. Another 3.2 million are believed to be preserved by one or more contracted preservation organizations, based on records kept by Keepers Registry (“dark” olive in the chart). These copies are not intended to be accessible to anybody unless the publisher becomes inaccessible, in which case they are “triggered” and become accessible.

This leaves at least 2.4 million Open Access articles at risk of vanishing from the web (“None”, red in the chart). While many of these are still on publisher’s websites, these have proven difficult to archive.

One of our goals is to archive as many of the articles on the open web as we can, and to keep up with the growing stream of new articles published every day. Another is to look back over the vast petabytes of web content in the Wayback Machine, back to 1996, and find any content we might already have but is not easily findable or discoverable. Both of these projects are amenable to software automation, but made more difficult by the evolving nature of HTML and PDFs and their diverse character sets and encodings. To that end, we have approached this project not just as a technical one, but also as a collaborative one that aims to add another piece to the distributed infrastructure supporting open scholarship.

To expand our reach, we built an editable catalog (https://fatcat.wiki) with an open API to allow anybody to contribute. As the software is free and open source, as is the data, we invite others to reuse and link to the content we have archived. We have also indexed and made searchable much of the literature to help manage our work and help others find if we have archived particular articles. We want to make scholarly material permanently available, and available in new ways– including via large datasets for analysis and “meta research.” 

We also want to acknowledge the many partnerships and collaborations that have supported this work, many of which are key parts of the open scholarly infrastructure, including ISSN, DOAJ, LOCKSS, Unpaywall, Semantic Scholar, CiteSeerX, Crossref, Datacite, and many others. We also want to acknowledge the many Internet Archive staff and volunteers that have contributed to this work, including Bryan Newbold, Martin Czygan, Paul Baclace, Jefferson Bailey, Kenji Nagahashi, David Rosenthal, Victoria Reich, Ellen Spertus, and others.

If you would like to participate in this project, please contact the Internet Archive at webservices@archive.org.

RSVP Now for “Quantum Potential: A Pathway to Peace”

“Infinite Potential” Virtual Screening & Discussion
On September 20th, please join the Internet Archive in celebrating the International Day of Peace with a screening of the film INFINITE POTENTIAL: The Life & Ideas of David Bohm. The event, put on by the Fetzer Memorial Trust and Imagine Films, will feature a special post-screening panel discussion – Quantum Potential: A Pathway to Peace.

Infinite Potential explores the revolutionary theories of David Bohm, the maverick physicist who turned to Eastern wisdom to develop groundbreaking insights into the profound interconnectedness of the Universe and our place within it. This mystical and scientific journey into the nature of life and reality will include a post-screening panel discussion with commentary from:
Reverend Dr. Michael B. Beckwith, Founder & Spiritual Director, Agape International Spiritual Center
Audrey Kitagawa, Board Chair, Parliament of World Religions
Reverend Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Civil Rights Leader
Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation
Marianne Williamson, bestselling author, political activist and spiritual thought leader
Dot Maver (moderator), Founding President of the National Peace Academy

Date And Time
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Film — 3:00 pm PDT / 6:00 pm EDT
Panel discussion — 4:15 pm PDT / 7:15 pm EDT

Location
Online Event

Watch the trailer from Infinite Potential: The Life & Ideas of David Bohm

Registration Is Now Open for the Library Leaders Forum

Every October we host the Library Leaders Forum, which is traditionally a one-day workshop that brings together librarians, archivists, and information managers to learn about emerging technologies in libraries. Registration is now open for this year’s Forum, which will be entirely virtual. We hope you can join in and learn from a distance about new developments and projects at the Internet Archive, especially those relating to controlled digital lending.

The theme of this year’s Forum is “Empowering Libraries and Communities Through Digital Lending.” With library service impacted at global scale due to COVID-19, libraries have had to adjust their digital lending programs to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Join experts from the library, copyright, and information policy fields for a three-week virtual event exploring current digital lending strategies for libraries and the future of digital lending. Sessions will be held online October 6, 13, & 20.

October 6: Policy
10am-12pm PDT
Join leaders in the library copyright community & policy experts for a panel discussion on the future of digital lending and its value to libraries and the communities they serve.

October 13: Community
10am-12pm PDT
A community of practice has emerged around controlled digital lending. Learn from leaders who are developing next generation library tools that incorporate and build upon CDL.

October 20: Impact
10am-12pm PDT
Learn from libraries that have implemented controlled digital lending and hear from users about the impact the library practice has made for them.

Register now for each session, and also check out our pre-conference workshop “How Controlled Digital Lending Works for Libraries.”

Last year’s Forum was a rousing success! Read the recap.

Hope International University’s Journals Get New Digital Life

In January, Robin Hartman learned major renovations planned at Hope International University in Fullerton, California, meant the library would have to give up 25 percent of its space. That forced Hartman, director of library services at the 2,000-student private university, to make some tough decisions.

Robin Hartman, Director of Library Services at Hope International University

What would she do with the back issues of periodicals now that there would be only six shelving sections to store the journals and magazines instead of 40? Hartman ended up keeping periodicals that were only available in print and less than 10 years old. That left her with volumes of older issues that she didn’t want to just throw in a dumpster.

Hartman contacted Internet Archive to give Hope’s vast collection of older periodicals a new digital life. Working from her home during the COVID-19 crisis this summer, she instructed the construction crew and student workers to box up the excess journals—191 boxes in all. Internet Archive arranged to provide pallets and plastic wrap to safely pack the periodicals. The boxes were loaded onto a semi-truck and transported to San Francisco for preservation at no expense to the university.

“When I found out Internet Archive was able to take the older periodicals that we couldn’t keep, I was really thrilled,” Hartman says. “I was able to tell my faculty they are not gone forever. They will be digitized eventually and made available online.”

The donation includes a range of popular magazines and academic journals linked to the Christian university’s majors such as: Clinical Psychology, Educational Leadership, Family and Society, Journal of American History, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Journal of Spirituality and Mental Health, Journal of Sports Management, and Pastoral Psychology.

“I feel much better that they are going to a good home. They are good, valid sources,” Hartman says.

Hartman is telling librarian colleagues about the donation in hopes of interesting others in adding to Internet Archive’s collection. Many libraries are being reconfigured to make room for tutoring or snack bars and are facing financial cuts in the wake of the pandemic. There is also a shift in preference for digital among students over print journals, notes Hartman, making libraries rethink their collections.

Loading boxes of donated journals at Hope International University to be preserved and digitized by Internet Archive.

“The periodicals will be more useful online,” says Hartman, who plans to continue donating materials to the Archive. “Resource sharing is important for libraries these days. Internet Archive was a great solution for us. I think Internet Archive is a way of sharing resources for the good of all the library communities.”

If your library is interested in donating print journals to Internet Archive for preservation and digitization, please learn more on the Donations page.

[Robin’s post about this donation]