Category Archives: Books Archive

Internet Archive Launches New Pilot Program for Interlibrary Loan

Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

The pandemic has resulted in a renewed focus on resource sharing among libraries. In addition to joining resource sharing organizations like the Boston Library Consortium, the Internet Archive has started to participate in the longstanding library practice of interlibrary loan (ILL). 

Internet Archive is now making two million monographs and three thousand periodicals in its physical collections available for non-returnable fulfillment through a pilot program with RapidILL, a prominent ILL coordination service. To date, more than seventy libraries have added the Internet Archive to their reciprocal lending list, and Internet Archive staff are responding to, on average, twenty ILL requests a day. If your library would like to join our pilot in Rapid, please reach out to Mike Richins at Mike.Richins@exlibrisgroup.com and request that Internet Archive be added to your library’s reciprocal lending list.

If there are other resource sharing efforts that we should investigate as we pilot our ILL service, please reach out to Brewster Kahle at brewster@archive.org.

The Librarian’s Copyright Companion Goes Open Access

As a law librarian and author, Ben Keele wants to share his expertise on copyright with as many people as possible.

His book, The Librarian’s Copyright Companion, 2nd edition (William S. Hein, 2012), coauthored with James Heller and Paul Hellyer, covers restrictions on use of copyrighted materials, library exemptions, fair use, and licensing issues for digital media.  (Heller wrote the first edition in 2004.) The authors recently regained rights to the book in order to make it open access. So after years of being available through controlled digital lending (CDL) at the Internet Archive, the book is now available under the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY 4.0), which means that anyone is free to share and adapt the work, as long as they provide attribution, link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.

“Nearly 10 years had passed. It’s probably been commercially exploited to the point that it will be,” Keele said. “This is what I would suggest to any faculty member. It’s sold what it will, and the publisher got the money it deserved, so we asked for the copyright back.”

To arrange the transfer of rights, Keele followed the Author’s Alliance’s advice. The California-based nonprofit provided a guide to rights reversions that he said made the process smooth and involved simple signatures by all parties. His publisher, William S. Hein & Co., was in agreement, as long as the authors were willing to give it first right of refusal for a 3rd edition.

The Librarian’s Copyright Companion, 2nd Edition, now available via CC BY license.

Keele said he believes copyright is overly protective and he would advise others to do the same and make their works openly available.

“In academia, the currency is attention,” Keele said. “For me, it’s a very small statement. Copyright did for me what it needed to do: it provided an incentive for the publisher to be willing to market and produce the book. I think we achieved the monetary value we were looking for. At that point, I feel like the bargain that I’m getting from copyright has been fulfilled. We don’t need to wait until 70 years after I die for people to be able to read it freely.”

To balance the pervasive messaging from publishers about authors’ rights, this book emphasizes the aspect of copyright law that favors users’ interests, said coauthor Paul Hellyer, reference librarian at William & Mary Law Library.

“There aren’t many people who are advocating for users’ rights and a more robust interpretation of fair use,” Hellyer said. “Librarians are one of the few groups of people who can do that in an organized way. That was our main motivation for writing this book. With that in mind, we are very excited to now have an open source book that anyone can just download. That’s very much in line with our view of how we should think about copyright protection—it should be for a limited period.”

The authors have also uploaded the book into the institutional repositories at their home institutions, where it is also being offered for free.

Keele has long been a fan of the Internet Archive. In his work as a librarian at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, he often uses the Wayback Machine to verify citations and check to see how websites have changed over time—frequently saving him research time. He says he was pleased to be able to contribute his work to the Internet Archive to be accessible more broadly.

Added Keele: “There’s so much bad information out there that’s free. Having some good information that is also free, I think is important.”

Internet Archive Joins Boston Library Consortium

Cross-posted from the Boston Library Consortium web site.

The Boston Library Consortium (BLC) has welcomed the Internet Archive as its newest affiliate member – joining 19 other libraries in the BLC’s network working on innovative solutions that enrich the creation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge.  

The Internet Archive, the non-profit library which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has large physical, born-digital and digitized collections serving a global user base. The Internet Archive’s history with the BLC goes back to the formation of the Open Content Alliance, through which the member libraries committed $845,000 to begin digitizing out-of-copyright books from their collections in 2007.

As part of the affiliate membership, the Internet Archive will participate in many of the BLC’s programs, including the consortium’s membership communities and professional development initiatives. The BLC will also pilot an expansion of its resource sharing program, allowing faculty, students, and scholars across the membership to tap into the Internet Archive’s vast digital collection through inter-library lending of non-returnables.

“Resource sharing is core to the mission and purpose of the Boston Library Consortium,” said Anne Langley, president of the BLC and dean of the UConn Library. “We are enthusiastic about leveraging our shared expertise to mobilize the digital collections that the Internet Archive stewards.”

For Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, this membership builds on a longstanding partnership with the BLC. “We love the BLC and its libraries,” said Kahle. “We’ve been working with the BLC and its member libraries as we have digitized our collections for more than ten years. Being welcomed into the consortium will enable further and closer collaboration between this forward-looking collective of libraries.”

Charlie Barlow, executive director of the BLC, who worked to bring the Internet Archive into the consortium, said the BLC recognizes the value of extending its reach. “The BLC is thinking about new mechanisms upon which we can share knowledge,” said Barlow. “The events of the past year only reinforced our belief that the more we can draw on digital resources, the more effectively we can serve our membership and the scholarly community.”

About the Boston Library Consortium

Founded in 1970, the BLC is an academic library consortium serving public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, state and special research libraries in New England. The BLC members collaborate to deliver innovative and cost-effective sharing of print and digital content, professional development initiatives, and projects across a wide range of library practice areas.

About the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is one of the largest libraries in the world and home of the Wayback Machine, a repository of 475 billion web pages. Founded in 1996 by Internet Hall of Fame member Brewster Kahle, the Internet Archive now serves more than 1.5 million patrons each day, providing access to 70+ petabytes of data—books, web pages, music, television and software—and working with more than 800 library and university partners to create a digital library, accessible to all.

Economics Professor Data Mines Technology Trends Using Vintage Public Documents at the Internet Archive

Card catalog image CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Michelle Alexopoulos is interested in tracking technology trends.

For a recent project that involved out-of-print government publications, the economics professor and her coauthor Jon Cohen tapped into resources from Internet Archive—available free and online—conveniently from her campus at the University of Toronto.

Alexopoulos specializes in studying the effects of technical change on the economy and labor markets. She uses library classification systems, including metadata from the Library of Congress, to understand how quickly technology is coming to market by tracing the emergence of new books on tech subjects. When it came to looking up old library cataloging practices, some documents were difficult to find.

Dr. Michelle Alexopoulos, Department of Economics, University of Toronto – CV

“The Internet Archive has always been very good about preservation,” says Alexopoulos. She reached out to the Internet Archive for assistance in digitizing older Dewey Decimal classification documents and unlocking useful materials from the Library of Congress. The scanning center at the University of Toronto digitized some of the books for the project. “The Internet Archive makes content searchable and that helps facilitate the kind of research we are doing,” she says.

With the historical documents scanned, Alexopoulos was able to do data mining and text analysis to compare new categories and subentries librarians created over time when they identified a new technology emerging. As electricity, cars, airplanes and computers were invented, new published lists of terms were adopted to classify those topics in the books and materials that were being added to public and academic libraries.

“We are trying to capture when new technologies are coming to market and when they’re recognized as something significantly different than what we had before to get an idea of what is major and what is more minor in terms of impact,” Alexopoulos says.

The goal is to be able to recognize future trends in real time to predict which industries will be affected by the next big innovation. Economists love to blame technical change for all sorts of things, Alexopoulos says. For instance, there is debate now about whether artificial intelligence is going to “destroy us all” or whether it will lead to productivity growth, she says.

“Changes in technology can be linked to business cycles and they are really important for getting long-run economic growth,” Alexopoulos says. “The problem is our models rely on technical change, but it’s very difficult to measure it.”

Examples of books used in Alexopoulos’ research:

To describe technical change, some academics follow research and development expenditures; others look at the number of patents filed. But Alexopoulos believes that libraries are on the front lines and how they categorize new books on technology reflect trends in society. Examining the historical evolution of library classifications can show the spread of the technology and other terms linked to it.

Early indications from the analysis shows that artificial intelligence and robotics are indeed major developments that will lead to productivity gains, says Alexopoulos. She is writing up her findings now and hopes the information will help inform economists as they forecast the labor market trends in the future.

“I’m grateful to the Internet Archive for providing access and having the forethought to accumulate a lot of these historical materials that others may not have had the capacity to collect and make available to researchers,” Alexopoulos says. “I think its mission is very important. The Internet Archive has been a wonderful resource during the pandemic. It’s had a positive impact not just on research for faculty, but on the learning for students as well.”

Calls Intensify to Allow Libraries to Narrow Digital Divide

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At an event discussing disinformation and the digital divide, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon said he was committed to supporting a balanced copyright system that promotes fair use, digital lending, and the work of libraries.

“Libraries provide vital public services by making high quality resources available to everybody. And that’s true no matter what you’ve got in your bank account or your zip code,” said Wyden, noting he is the son of a librarian.  “If the system is filled with draconian copyright laws and digital restrictions that make it hard for real news to be read, shared, and discussed, that particular vacuum is filled with more misinformation and lies.”

Wyden’s remarks were part of the webinar, Burying Information – Big Tech & Access to Information, sponsored by the Institute for Technology Law & Policy at Georgetown University, Public Knowledge and Library Futures on March 24. A recording of the event is now available.

Big special interests have always pushed for tighter restrictions on content, Wyden said, and now powerful corporations are trying to get a tighter grip on the internet. He cautioned that the proposed Digital Copyright Act is not the answer, saying he would fight for more balanced intellectual property laws and support libraries to provide easy, free access to reliable information from trustworthy sources.

“We’re seeing a change in the environment, which means you still need a card to get access to books, but it’s no longer a library card, it’s increasingly a credit card.”

Heather Joseph, Executive Director, SPARC

“We want a game with many winners. We want to have many authors, publishers, booksellers, libraries—and everyone a reader,” said Internet Archive Founder Brewster Kahle at the event. “The only way to do that is to have a level playing field that doesn’t have monopoly control.”

The pandemic has underscored the need for digital content to be readily available to the public. Libraries should be able to lend and preserve just as they have with print materials for years, however, many large publishers refuse to sell e-books to libraries and instead have restrictive licensing agreements.

“We’re seeing a change in the environment, which means you still need a card to get access to books, but it’s no longer a library card, it’s increasingly a credit card,” said Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC, a global advocacy organization working to make education and research open and equitable by design for everyone. “We really need interventions that work to combat that shift, to flip that dynamic.”

To expand access to knowledge, Internet Archive has been digitizing the materials and respectfully lending them one copy at a time through Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) since 2011. The widespread practice is embraced by more than 80 libraries as part of Internet Archive’s Open Libraries program, and is growing across the country in various implementations elsewhere as demand increases.

“If you actually take a look at how [CDL] operates, the lending function is really no more and no less than what libraries are able to do in print. It’s just changed formats,” said Michelle Wu, an attorney and law librarian who pioneered the concept of CDL. The practice can serve people who aren’t able to physically get to a library because they live in a rural area, have a disability that limits transportation, work odd hours, are ill or quarantined during a pandemic. Libraries want to reward authors for creating their works, but also ensure the public has access to those works, Wu said.

It would be a better use of public funds for libraries to be able to purchase ebooks, rather than paying repeatedly for licensing fees, said Wu. Also, a library that digitizes its collection ensures access in an emergency, such as a pandemic, and preservation in the case of a natural disaster, saving the government money in having to replace damaged materials.

To counter disinformation, the public needs reliable information—and libraries are at the center of this battle, said SPARC’s Joseph.

“We can’t amplify content that we can’t access. And that’s really at the root of what libraries do for society,” Joseph said. “We’ve always been the equalizer in providing access to this high-quality information.” Rather than libraries being a trusted and critical distribution channel, they are being treated by publishers as adversaries, which Joseph said is a dangerous trend.

The discussion touched on a variety of remedies including legislative protections to enshrine practices like CDL, antitrust regulations, and building market competition. The work of Library Futures was highlighted as an avenue for concerned citizens to raise their voices and panelists underscored the need for action that reflects the best interest of the public.

“This is not just an inconvenience, it’s not just an additional expense to us as consumers. It’s creating an enormous divide in who can access critical knowledge,” Joseph said of publishers’ actions to restrict access to digital content. “The right to access knowledge is a human right. And a world in which one player—or worse a company—decides who’s in and who’s out is unacceptable.”

Great Books by Women Authors

On March 8th New York Public Library’s Gwen Glazer published a wonderful list of books in celebration of International Women’s Day: 365 Books by Women Authors to Celebrate International Women’s Day All Year.

In the spirit of continuing to celebrate female authors past the confines of Women’s History Month, we’ve gathered some of these books into a special collection called Great Books by Women Authors to make it easier to find your next exceptional read. You will also find these books via Open Library as listed below. Happy reading!

Great Books by Women Authors
Leila Aboulela, The Kindness of Enemies
Susan Abulhawa, The Blue Between Sky and Water
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun
Anna Akhmatova, The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
Svetlana Alexievich, Voices From Chernobyl
Clare Allan, Poppy Shakespeare
Sarah Addison Allen, Lost Lake
Isabel Allende, Eva Luna
Karin Altenberg, Island of Wings
Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies
Tahmima Anam, The Good Muslim
Natacha Appanah, The Last Brother
Chloe Aridjis, Asunder
Bridget Asher, All of Us and Everything
Margaret Atwood, Oryx & Crake
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Mariama Bâ, Scarlet Song
Toni Cade Bambara, Those Bones Are Not My Child
Gioconda Belli, The Inhabited Woman
Karen Bender, Refund
Elizabeth Bishop, Geography III
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
Gwendolyn Brooks, The Bean Eaters
Lauren Buekes, The Shining Girls
NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
Leonora Carrington, The hearing trumpet
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dictee
Susan Choi, American Woman
Kate Chopin, The Awakening
Sonya Chung, Long for This World
Caryl Churchill, Top Girls
Lucille Clifton, Mercy
Simin Daneshvar, Sutra & Other Stories
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions
Edwidge Danticat, Claire of the Sea Light
Meaghan Daum, Unspeakable
Dola de Jong, The Tree and the Vine
Grazia Deledda, After the Divorce
Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day
Emily Dickinson, The Poems of Emily Dickinson
Joan Didion, Democracy
Rita Dove, On the Bus With Rosa Parks
Yasmine El Rashidi, Chronicle of a Last Summer
Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero
George Eliot, Middlemarch
Buchi Emecheta, The Joys of Motherhood
Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues
Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend
Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower
Paula Fox, Desperate Characters
Lauren Francis-Sharma, Til the Well Runs Dry
Ru Freeman, On Sal Mal Lane
Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances
Mary Gaitskill, The Mare
Petina Gappah, The Book of Memory
Elena Garro, First love ; &, Look for my obituary
Louise Gluck, Faithful and Virtuous Night
Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist
Jorie Graham, Erosion
Linda LeGarde Grover, The dance boots
Paula Gunn Allen, America the Beautiful: Last Poems
Marilyn Hacker, Names
Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun
Eve Harris, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman
Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route
Shirley Hazzard, The Transit of Venus
Bessie Head, The Collector of Treasures
Amy Hempel, Reasons to Live
Cristina Henriquez, The Book of Unknown Americans
Christine Dwyer Hickey, The Cold Eye of Heaven
Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt
Arlie Hochschild, The Second Shift
Alice Hoffman, Survival Lessons
Sara Sue Hoklotubbe, Deception on All Accounts
bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
Keri Hulme, The Bone People
Dương Thu Hương, Paradise of the Blind
Hồ Xuân Hương, Spring Essence
Ulfat Idilbi, Grandfather’s Tale
Elfriede Jelinek, Women As Lovers
Han Kang, The Vegetarian
Mary Karr, The Liar’s Club
Kazue Kato, Blue Exorcist
Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
Porochista Khakpour, The Last Illusion
Vénus Khoury-Ghata, A House at the Edge of Tears
Suki Kim, Without You, There Is No Us
Jamaica Kincaid, See Now Then
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
Natsuo Kirino, Out
Sana Krasikov, One More Year
Jean Kwok, Girl in Translation
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland
Laila Lalami, Secret Son
Nella Larsen, Passing
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Random Family
Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
Yiyun Li, Kinder Than Solitude
Gloria Lisé, Departing at Dawn
Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star
Inverna Lockpezer, Cuba: My Revolution
Alia Mamdouh, The Loved Ones
Dacia Maraini, The Silent Duchess
Ronit Matalon, The Sound of Our Steps
Ayana Mathis, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
Eimear McBride, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing
Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs
Ai Mi, Under the Hawthorn Tree
Gabriela Mistral, Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral
Nadifa Mohamed, Black Mamba Boy
Lorrie Moore, Bark
Marianne Moore, The Poems of Marianne Moore
Toni Morrison, Sula
Bharati Mukherjee, The Tree Bride
Alice Munro, Family Furnishings
Iris Murdoch, A Severed Head
Eileen Myles, School of Fish
Azar Nafisi, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books
Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You
Hualing Nieh, Mulberry and Peach
Sara Nović, Girl at War
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, I Do Not Come to You by Chance
Silvia Ocampo, Thus Were Their Faces
Nnedi Okorafor, Binti
Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic
Helen Oyeyemi, Mr. Fox
Ruth Ozeki, All Over Creation
Cynthia Ozick, Foreign Bodies
ZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Grace Paley, The Little Disturbances of Man
Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog/Underdog
Shahrnush Parsipur, Kissing the Sword
Ann Patchett, Bel Canto
Anna Politkovskaya, A Russian Diary
Katha Pollitt, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights
Claudia Rankine, Citizen
Alifa Rifaat, Distant View of a Minaret and Others Stories
Suzanne Rivecca, Death Is Not An Option
Riverbend, Baghdad Burning
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Vedrana Rudan, Night
Sonia Sanchez, Does Your House Have Lions?
Sappho, The Complete Works of Sappho
Noo Saro-Wiwa, Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria
Åsne Seierstad, The Angel of Grozny
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton
Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
Kyung-sook Shin, Please Look After Mom
Sei Shonagon, The Pillow Book
Ana Maria Shuah, The Weight of Temptation
Leslie Marmon Silko, Almanac of the Dead
Tracy K. Smith, Life on Mars
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Marivi Soliven, The Mango Bride
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost
Susan Sontag, Styles of Radical Will
Ahdaf Soueif, The Map of Love
Gertrude Stein, Fernhurst, Q.E.D., and other early writings
Aoibbhean Sweeney, Among Other Things, I’ve Taken Up Smoking
Elizabeth Crane, When the Messenger Is Hot
Amy Tan, The Valley of Amazement
Valerie Taylor, The Girls in 3-B
Lygia Fagunda Telles, The Girl in the Photograph
Lynne Tillman, No Lease on Life
Dubravka Ugresic, Thank You For Not Reading
Chika Unigwe, On Black Sisters Street
Kirstin Valdez Quade, Night at the Fiestas
Jean Valentine, Little Boat
Lara Vapnyar, There Are Jews in My House
Marja-Liisa Vartio, The Parson’s Widow
Josefina Vicens, The Empty Book
Alice Walker, The Color Purple
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith
Eudora Welty, The Optimist’s Daughter
Phillis Wheatley, The Poetry of Phillis Wheatley
Zoe Wicomb, You Can’t Get Lost In Cape Town
Joy Williams, The Visiting Privilege
G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Alexis Wright, Carpentaria
Sarah E. Wright, This Child’s Gonna Live
Tiphanie Yanique, Land of Love and Drowning
Samar Yazbek, Cinnamon
Banana Yoshimoto, Kitchen
Haifa Zangana, Dreaming of Baghdad

Author and Open Source Advocate VM Brasseur: Internet Archive ‘Legitimately Useful’ for Lending and Preservation of Her Work

In her 20-year career in the tech industry, VM (Vicky) Brasseur has championed the use of free and open source software (FOSS). She hails it as good for businesses and the community, writing and presenting extensively about its merits.

VM Brasseur, Raleigh, North Carolina, 2018. Credit: Peter Adams Photography

To spread the word, Brasseur has made her book, Forge Your Future With Open Source, available for borrowing through the Internet Archive. She’s also saved all of her blogs, articles, talks and slides in the Wayback Machine for preservation and access to anyone.  

“I do it to share the knowledge,” Brasseur said. “Uploading the resources to Internet Archive ensures that more people will be able to see it and will be able to see it forever.”

As soon as her book was published by The Pragmatic Programmers in 2018, Brasseur said she wanted to have it represented in the Internet Archive. She donated a copy so it could be available through Controlled Digital Lending (CDL).

“I think CDL is great. I love libraries,” Brasseur said. “To me, I don’t see how CDL is any different from walking into my local branch of the public library, picking up one of the copies that they have, going up to the circ desk, and taking it home. How is that different from the Internet Archive? They have one copy of my book and check it out one copy at a time. It just happens to be an e-book version. I, frankly, don’t see the material difference.”

A supporter of the Internet Archive since its inception, Brasseur says she’s a regular user of the Wayback Machine. It’s been useful for her to be able to do research and for others to find her body of work. Recently, she revamped her blog and removed some pages—later getting a request from someone who wanted some of the deleted material. Brasseur provided a Wayback Machine link to where she’d stored them, making it easy for that person to find the missing pages. “It’s a gift. It’s legitimately useful,” she said. “Having the Wayback means that other people can still have access” to materials she no longer has on her website.

Borrow the book through the Internet Archive, or purchase a copy for your own library.

Brasseur has led software development departments and teams, providing technical management and strategic consulting for businesses, and helping companies understand and implement FOSS. She wrote her book not just for programmers, but rather says it’s intended to be inclusive and for anyone interested in FOSS including technical writers, designers, project managers, those involved in security issues, and all other roles in the software development process.

In the book, she helps walk readers through why they might want to contribute to FOSS and how to best embrace the practices involved. The book was been positively received and was #1 on the BookAuthority list of 18 Best New Software Development Books To Read In 2018. Recently, it has been picked up by people transitioning to telecommuting and looking for resources for doing collaborative work.

“Obviously, I do want people to buy the book, but I’m also strongly pro library, as most intelligent publishers are. My publisher is a big fan of making sure that their books are available in libraries,” Brasseur said. “So the Internet Archive is a library that anyone can access all over the world. And it just makes it a lot easier to make sure that the book gets in the hands of people.”

Brasseur is committed to helping people contribute to open source; for people who can’t afford to buy the book, checking it out from the library is an alternative. “If they can get a copy from Internet Archive, then they can learn how to contribute and they can make a difference from wherever they are in the world. Nigeria, Thailand, Netherlands, or Montana. You don’t have to worry if your local library has it,” she said. “In these times, in particular, it’s very difficult to get to your library. This is a great service that the Internet Archive is providing.”


Forge Your Future with Open Source by VM Brasseur is available for purchase through a variety of retailers and local book stores.

Milton Public Library Reaches Patrons Through Controlled Digital Lending

Leaders at the Milton Public Library (MPL) in Canada say they are continually questioning their operations and looking for ways to better serve their patrons. That’s why the Ontario institution joined the Internet Archive’s Open Libraries program.

“We are always keen to innovate, in meaningful ways” said Mark Williams, MPL chief executive officer and chief librarian. “Why would we not want to be in this partnership that expands our collection, but also extends assets to other people’s collections in a digital realm? It was a no brainer.”

In making its decision to become part of Open Libraries in September 2019, Williams said rather than being concerned about publishers, the focus was on the interests of the public. 

Mark Williams, Milton Public Library

“If it challenges the status quo for the benefit of readers, wherever those readers are, then I think we should engage,” Williams said.

As it happens, the timing of its membership was fortuitous. With COVID-19 disrupting access to the print collection at its branches, being part of the Open Libraries meant broader access to digital materials for patrons quarantined at home.

MPL has been a central part of the Milton, Ontario, community since 1855, serving a population of more than 120,000 through three physical libraries and its website (and with a bookmobile and four new branches in the pipelines over the course of the next 10 years), Library services were forced to be flexible in the past year as health circumstances changed in the province.

The three MPL locations closed on March 17, 2020, under a state of emergency in Ontario. By May, a phased reopening allowed libraries to begin limited operations. During the state of emergency, librarians pivoted to providing access to services only through virtual interactions and the website was changed to focus on promoting electronic resources. As restrictions eased, MPL provided curbside, contactless pickup. Eventually, 50 to 100 patrons were allowed inside the buildings with safety protocols. The libraries had to close again when COVID-19 cases spiked in the winter, and then reopened in February.

We’ve seen overwhelming demand…Patrons think it’s a fantastic option…

Mark Williams, Milton Public Library

“The staff have been remarkably agile and good at adapting their approach,” Williams said. “We’ve done the best we possibly could to ensure the public library services continued, but the way we deliver it is different than anyone would have expected.”

In addition to joining Open Libraries, MPL donated 30,000 books to the Internet Archive. Williams said the expanded access to content in the larger online library has been a boon to the public. Regardless of the pandemic, MPL would have spread the word about access to Open Libraries, he said, but it was likely accelerated because there was no choice but to focus on digital offerings in the pandemic.

Milton Public Library

“The lockdown highlighted the ability for us to raise awareness about the partnership and introduce it to more patrons,” Williams said. MPL is creating a new portal on its website that will be dedicated to Open Libraries but has been promoting its availability in the meantime and the response has been positive.

“We’ve seen overwhelming demand,” Williams said. “Patrons think it’s a fantastic option for them to have increased materials than we currently have available.”

The transition to becoming part of the Open Libraries program was seamless, said Williams, and he’s encouraging other libraries to consider joining.

“I hope if other libraries sign up, they will be equally inspired by the partnership. The content is amazing,” Williams said. “Our patrons think it’s phenomenal. Our board thinks it’s a great idea, philosophically. Everyone believes this is an important service addition.”

To browse the books now available for lending through Milton Public Library’s participation in the Open Libraries program, please visit: https://archive.org/details/miltonpubliclibrary-ol. Learn how your library can participate in the Open Libraries program.

Register Now: A (re)Introduction to Book Scanning at the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive has been partnering with libraries to digitize their collections for more than 15 years. Following a recent viral video featuring our book digitization efforts, and increased demands for e-resources, we’ve had renewed interest in our book scanning partnerships, with libraries wondering how we might be able to help them reach their patrons through digitization. Join scanning center managers Andrea Mills and Elizabeth MacLeod for a virtual event to learn about the ways in which the Internet Archive can help turn your print collections digital, and the impacts that these digital collections are having on remote learners.

Registration for the virtual event is free and open to the public. The live session is being offered twice to accommodate schedules and flexibility; if you are interested in joining, you only need to register for one session:
March 24 @ 10am ET / 2pm GMT
March 25 @ 1pm ET / 5pm GMT

Register Now: New Developments in Controlled Digital Lending

Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is growing in popularity, as is the community of practice around the library lending model. Next week, join Chris Freeland, director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive, for a one-hour session covering new developments in CDL. Attendees will learn how libraries are using CDL, the emerging community around CDL, and the impacts of the library practice.

Register now
Registration for the virtual event is free and open to the public. The live session is being offered twice for your scheduling flexibility; if you’d like to join, you only need to register for one session:

Watch ahead
If you’re new to Controlled Digital Lending and would like to brush up before the session, check out the short video, Controlled Digital Lending Explained.