What are some of the new initiatives from the U.S. Government Publishing Office? Director Hugh Halpern offers an update, which has been incorporated into our program for tonight’s Building Democracy’s Library event.
Many thanks to Director Halpern and the U.S. Government Publishing Office for sharing this update!
This year’s Library Leaders Forum kicked off on October 12 with news of promising research, digitization projects and advocacy efforts designed to best shape the library of the future.
The virtual gathering also called on participants to take action in sharing resources and promoting a variety of public interest initiatives underway in the library community.
Watch session recording:
Chris Freeland, director of Open Libraries, moderated the first event of the 2022 forum with librarians, policy experts, publishers and authors. (A complete recording of the virtual session is available here) The second session will take place Oct. 19, live in San Francisco and via Zoom starting at 7 p.m. PT. (Registration is still open).
Libraries have a vital role to play in educating citizens, combating misinformation and preserving materials that the public can use to hold officials accountable. To help meet those challenges, Internet Archive Founder Brewster Kahle gave a preview of a new project: Democracy’s Library. The vision is to establish a free, open, online compendium of government research and publications from around the world.
“We have the big opportunity to help inform users of the internet and bring as good information to them as possible to help them understand their world,” said Kahle, who will launch the initiative next week and invited others to join in the effort. “We need your input and partnership.”
The virtual forum covered the latest on Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the library practice that is growing in popularity in the wake of pandemic closures when physical collections were unavailable to the public. Freeland announced the 90th library recently joined the Open Libraries program, which embraces CDL as the digital equivalent of traditional library lending, allowing patrons to borrow one copy at a time of a title the library owns.
As librarians look for ways of safeguarding digital books, Readium LCP was highlighted as a promising, open source technology gaining popularity. Participants were encouraged in this same space to spread the word about the advocacy work of the nonprofit Library Futures, and recognize many authors who have recently offered public support for libraries, CDL and digital ownership of books.
Lila Bailey reported on an emerging coalition of nonprofits working on a policy agenda to build a better internet centered on public interest values. A forthcoming paper will outline four digital library rights that without which it would be impossible to function in the 21st century. They include the right to collect, preserve, lend and access material. This encouraging collaboration is the result of two convenings earlier this year, including one in Washington, D.C. in July.
CDL Community of Practice
A panel at the forum discussed projects within the CDL community of practice.
Nettie Lagace of the National Information Standards Organization gave an update on an initiative, funded by the Mellon Foundation, to create a consensus framework and recommendations on CDL. Working groups are focused now on considering digital objects, circulation and reserves, interlibrary loans and asset sharing. Public comments on the draft will be welcome in the coming months, with a final document likely released next summer.
Amanda Wakaruk a copyright and scholarly communications librarian at the University of Alberta, announced a new paper exploring the legal considerations of CDL for Canadian libraries. She is one of the co-authors on the research, along with others in the Canadian Federation of Library Associations. The preprint is available now and the final paper will be published soon in the journal, Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research.
Working with Project ReShare, the Boston Library Consortium is leveraging CDL as a mechanism for interlibrary loan. “BLC really believes that CDL is an extension of existing resource sharing practices, both in the legal sense–the same protections and opportunities afforded to interlibrary loan also apply to CDL,” said Charlie Bartow, executive director, “but, also in a services sense–that existing resource sharing systems and practices can be readily adapted to include CDL.”
Also, speaking in the session was Caltech’s Mike Hucka. He described efforts on his campus to provide students with learning materials when the pandemic hit by creating a simple model they named the Digital Borrowing System (DIBS).
In Canada, a large digitization project is underway at the University of Toronto, where 40,000 titles in the library’s government collection are being scanned and made available online for easier public access.
Freeland concluded the event with a final call to action: To join the #OwnBooks campaign. People are encouraged to take a photo of themselves holding a book they own that has special meaning, perhaps something that has influenced their career path or has sentimental value. As the Internet Archive fights for the right for libraries to own books, this is a chance to bring attention to the issue and build public support.
Carl Malamud, founder of Public.Resource.Org and a champion for making government information accessible to all, will receive the 2022 Internet Archive Hero Award. He will be presented the award at next week’s evening celebration, “Building Democracy’s Library.”
This year, the Internet Archive is honoring Carl as a tireless advocate for free access to government information. Some highlights of his work include:
In the early days of the internet, Carl was a pioneer in pushing for public materials to be available online. Over three decades, he has digitized and uploaded thousands of documents from Congressional hearings, government films, and worked with the executive branch to shape public policy on information sharing.
He is to thank for EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) Online, the free Securities and Exchange Commission database of corporate information and putting the database of U.S. patents on the internet.
Carl is relentless in his ongoing quest to have detailed codes for buildings, product safety, and infrastructure available to the public on the internet.
He founded Public.Resource.Org, a nonprofit based in California in 2007. Several contractors and pro-bono attorneys work with him to unleash public information from behind paywalls—sometimes landing him in court to defend his actions, all done in the name of the public good.
Carl is known as a dedicated, passionate, principled individual whose creative strategies—and, at times, dose of humor and flair—have fueled his success in opening up access to public knowledge.
Carl has been a supporter of the Internet Archive since its inception. Much of his work appears in the Internet Archive collection including his book, “Exploring the Internet,” a movie, Open Access Ninja, about his philosophy with Public Resource.org and a video, “Show Me the Manual,” about making building and electrical codes available.
Memes have long been dismissed as inside jokes with no political importance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Memes are bedrock to the strategy of conspiracists such as Alex Jones, provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos, white nationalists like Nick Fuentes, and tacticians like Roger Stone. While the media and most politicians struggle to harness the organizing power of the internet, the “redpill right” weaponizes memes, pushing conspiracy theories and disinformation into the mainstream to drag people down the rabbit hole. These meme wars stir strong emotions, deepen partisanship, and get people off their keyboards and into the streets–and the steps of the US Capitol.
MEME WARS is the first major account of how “Stop the Steal” went from online to real life, from the wires to the weeds. Leading media expert Joan Donovan, PhD, veteran tech journalist Emily Dreyfuss, and cultural ethnographer Brian Friedberg pull back the curtain on the digital war rooms in which a vast collection of anti-establishmentarians bond over hatred of liberal government and media. Together as a motley reactionary army, they use memes and social media to seek out new recruits, spread ideologies, and remake America according to their desires.
Please join us on October 18th 6:00- 8:00 pm as we take a peek behind the doors of the Physical Archive in Richmond, California
In anticipation of launching Democracy’s Library on October 19th we are excited to offer a behind-the-scenes tour of our physical collections of books, music, film, and video in Richmond, California.
With this special insider event we are opening the doors to an often unseen place. See the lifecycle of physical books acquired by the Internet Archive — donation, preservation, digitization, and access. We’ll also present samples from generous donations and acquisitions of books, records, microfiche, and film, and demonstrate the Archive’s high-end motion-picture film scanner.
We look forward to offering this glimpse into a very important part of the Internet Archive in its mission to bring Universal Access to All Knowledge.
Since 18th century and pre-Constitution America, libraries have been a public space, a central repository where books could be borrowed, read and returned—a long defended democratic ideal of the public library. But new challenges like book bans and lawsuits against libraries threaten that historic role. Join Brewster Kahle for a discussion about the future of libraries at The Commonwealth Club of California, October 6 @ 5:30pm PT.
Public Library Lending: An Endangered Core Value of American Democracy? October 6 @ 5:30pm PT The Commonwealth Club of California 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium Register now for the in-person event (virtual attendance available)
Join us on October 19 to help inaugurate Democracy’s Library and celebrate all the different efforts happening at the Internet Archive!
Why is it that on the internet the best information is often locked behind paywalls? Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, believes it’s time to turn that scarcity model upside down and build an internet based on abundance. Join us for an evening event where he’ll share a new project—Democracy’s Library—a free, open, online compendium of government research and publications from around the world. Why? Because democracies need an educated citizenry to thrive.
This year’s event is hybrid. We will be celebrating in-person at our main library in San Francisco, and will be livestreaming the event itself from 7pm-8pm PT so that everyone who cares about democracy around the world can join in.
“A beautifully illustrated journey through the history of computing, from the Antikythera mechanism to the iPhone and beyond—I loved it.”—Eben Upton, Founder and CEO of Raspberry Pi
From notched bones in the ancient world to self-driving cars powered by modern AI, for centuries humans have used computing systems to solve problems & enhance the way we live. But who are the people and stories behind these advancements? In THE HISTORY OF THE COMPUTER, author and illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky presents a fun-filled & beautifully illustrated journey through computing history, checking in on the notable personalities, organizations & technologies that have changed our world.
In our virtual event on September 15 @ 10am PT, Rachel will be joined by Alexis Rossi, Internet Archive’s director of media & access, and Jason Scott, free range archivist, for a discussion of the people, the inventions, the passions, and the controversies that have defined the history of the computer and its role in our daily lives.
Purchase your copy of The History of the Computer from The Booksmith, our local bookstore in the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, or your own local bookshop.
September Book Talk: The History of the Computer Author & illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky in conversation with Alexis Rossi & Jason Scott from the Internet Archive. September 15 @ 10am PT Watch the recording from the virtual event
EDITORIAL NOTE: Updated 9/15/22 to remove registration links & include links to view the video.
“Josh Chin and Liza Lin have given us a truly groundbreaking investigation of China’s embrace of digital surveillance. The global scope and deep detail of their account retires the notion of an ‘all-seeing’ surveillance as some future scenario; it is happening already. They will open your eyes to the astonishing intersection of data, politics, and the human body. Anyone who cares about the future of technology, of China, or of free will cannot afford to miss this.” —Evan Osnos, The New Yorker
Join authors Josh Chin & Liza Lin for an in-person discussion on life in China’s burgeoning surveillance state. They will be joined in conversation by Xiao Qiang (Berkeley). September 14 @ Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco Doors open at 6:30pm, discussion starts at 7pm.
People living in democracies have for decades drawn comfort from the notion that their form of government, for all its flaws, is the best history has managed to produce. In SURVEILLANCE STATE: Inside China’s Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control (St. Martin’s Press; September 6, 2022), award-winning journalists Josh Chin and Liza Lin (Wall Street Journal) document with startling detail how China’s Communist Party is striving for something new: a political model that shapes the will of the people not through the ballot box but through the sophisticated—and often brutal—harnessing of data.
Purchase a copy of Surveillance State at registration to be signed by the authors at the event. You can also purchase unsigned copies from The Booksmith, our local bookshop in the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, to be delivered to you, or from your own local bookstore.
Book Talk: Surveillance State Authors Josh Chin and Liza Lin September 14 @ 7pm PT IN-PERSON @ the Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco Registration is required!Register now
Join experts from the library, copyright, and information policy fields for a series of conversations exploring issues related to digital ownership and the future of library collections. Learn more about the event on the Library Leaders Forum web site, or register below.
This year’s Library Leaders Forum will be organized on two separate dates to provide attendees with a flexible environment in which to reconnect with colleagues:
In our virtual session, hear from library leaders as they navigate the challenges of the ebook marketplace, and their concerns about the future of library collections as content moves digital.
October 19: In-Person
October 19 @ 9am – 3pm PT Internet Archive Headquarters @ 300 Funston, San Francisco
At our in-person session, we’ll gather together with the builders & dreamers to envision an equitable future for digital lending. Capacity for the in-person session, held at our headquarters in San Francisco, will be capped at 30 attendees.Interested in attending?
Empowering Libraries Through Controlled Digital Lending
October 11 @ 10am PT – REGISTER NOW The Internet Archive’s Open Libraries program empowers libraries to lend digital books to patrons using Controlled Digital Lending. Attendees will learn how CDL works, the benefits of the Open Libraries program, and the impact that the program is having for partner libraries and the communities they serve.