2020 has been a year of difficulties for all of us. Many schools, libraries, and families have had to adapt to unexpected closures and new norms.
At the Internet Archive, volunteers from the OpenLibrary.org community have been stepping up to meet the challenges of this new normal, to ensure that educators, parents, students, and researchers may continue to safely access the educational materials they rely on.
This Tuesday, October 27, at 11:30 am PDT, we invite you to tune-in and join us as we celebrate this year’s efforts, overcoming unprecedented challenges and growing as an open community.
During this online event, you’ll hear from members of the community as we: * Announce our latest developments and their impacts * Raise awareness about opportunities to participate * Show a sneak-peek into our future: 2021
For more updates, consider following us on twitter: @openlibrary
Join us this Tuesday, October 20, at the final session of the Library Leaders Forum for a celebration of the reopening of the Marygrove College Library. Find out how digitization saved a valuable archive and preserved a community’s cultural heritage. RSVP here.
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. The crisis has proven the power and importance of digital tools in responding to crisis and empowering those who would otherwise be excluded from access to knowledge and education.
So where do we go from here? How can we harness the learnings from this extraordinary time to build the library of the 21st century? This October at the Library Leaders Forum, experts from the library, copyright, and information policy fields will come together for a three-week virtual event exploring the future of digital lending and its key role in a democratic society. Here are our three key discussion points:
Information policy in the digital age: how can we empower libraries?
Our first session will focus on policy: how can we build a healthy information ecosystem for the 21st Century? The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that digital access to library materials is more important than ever, and that our current models are not adequate to meet this need. Digital access is particularly important for the most vulnerable people in our society, including disadvantaged communities, people with print disabilities, and those affected by emergency. Information policy, therefore, has wide-ranging implications for equality and the right to education. In this session, librarians, authors, and publishers will come together to discuss what’s broken, what’s working, and the future of information policy and practice.
What is the role of controlled digital lending in the library of the future?
Our second session explores the community of practice around controlled digital lending. The power of this key library practice in helping libraries and educators reach marginalized communities and respond to emergencies has been demonstrated during the COVID-19 period. There are now hundreds of libraries using the practice to reach their communities while service is disrupted. The potential of controlled digital lending for contributing to a more equal society where everyone has access to knowledge is clear; how can we expand on the current uses of this powerful tool? In this session, we’ll learn from librarians, educators, and technologists who are developing next-generation library tools that incorporate and build upon controlled digital lending.
How does controlled digital lending impact communities & librarians?
Libraries serve communities, and our tools are successful when they have a positive impact on people’s lives. Our final session will therefore focus on first-hand experiences of the impact of controlled digital lending. We’ll hear from libraries that have implemented the practice and from library users about what it has meant for them. We look forward to hearing from those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response about how they are using digital library practices to adapt to the situation and continue to serve those who most need free access to digital materials.
Beyond the Forum: the #EmpoweringLibraries campaign
The issues raised at the Forum are not merely theoretical, but require urgent action in the face of a new lawsuit which threatens the practice of controlled digital lending and the age-old role of libraries in society. It is crucial for the future of libraries and the rights of our most vulnerable communities that the ideas and experiences shared during the forum are heard more widely. In order to empower the community to stay connected and make their voices heard after the Forum, we will launch the #EmpoweringLibraries campaign, defending the right of libraries to own, preserve and lend digital books. The campaign will turn the ideas discussed during the Forum into action, and the community into a movement for change.
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.
Update, 3/10/20: We’re very sorry to announce that due to public health concerns around the coronavirus, Ms. Solnit has decided to cancel her tour. Consequently, we’ve been forced to cancel this event. Booksmith will refund all previously purchased tickets, and you may still purchase a copy of the memoir through their site. Thank you for your understanding.
Please join us on Monday, March 16th for an evening with Rebecca Solnit as she reads from and discusses her new memoir, “Recollections of My Nonexistence”. In conversation with author Andrew Sean Greer, Solnit will explore her development as a writer and a feminist in San Francisco from the 1980s and beyond, as well as the lessons that our larger society can draw about women’s voices.
Rebecca Solnit has written fourteen books, including A Paradise Built in Hell, River of Shadows, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art (which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism), and Men Explain Things to Me. She received the Lannan Literary Award in 2003, and has published essays in a variety of well-known publications.
In “Recollections of My Nonexistence”, Solnit describes her coming-of-age in 1980s San Francisco. She tells of the city in which she transformed herself; of how punk rock gave form to her raw emotions; of the spacious landscapes of the American West, of the gay men around her who offered alternative visions of gender and identity. She recounts the epidemic of violence against women around her, the disbelief of authority figures, the voicelessness that was and still is the condition of so many women. Solnit explores the forces that helped her find her own voice, liberating herself as she learned how to write. That voice has resonated with and empowered many others, shaping society-wide conversations about gender, respect, and equality.
Booksmith is hosting the reading and conversation at the Internet Archive on March 16th; doors will open at 6pm. The discussion will start at 7pm and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Afterwards there will be a signing by the author, with copies of the book available for sale. Come join us for an evening of dialogue and empowerment!
Date: Monday, March 16, 2020 Time: 6:00-9:00 pm Where: Internet Archive 300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118
The public domain is our shared cultural heritage, a near limitless trove of creativity that’s been reused, remixed, and reimagined over centuries to create new works of art and science. The public domain forms the building blocks of culture because these works are not restricted by copyright law. Generally, works come into the public domain when their copyright term expires. This year, works first published in 1924 including such favorites as “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin, the Dia de los Muertos Mural by Diego Rivera, and “The Man in the Brown Suit” by Agatha Christie, entered the public domain for all to share.
Join creative, legal, library, and advocacy communities to celebrate the public domain and our shared cultural heritage, and come network with an amazing lineup of people and organizations who will help us welcome a new class of public domain works.
COMBINING a year of exciting archival discoveries with evergreen favorites from past years, this feature-length program shows San Francisco’s people, neighborhoods, infrastructures and celebrations from the early 20th century through the 1980s. New sequences this year run the gamut from the noirish streets of downtown San Francisco in the 1940s to life in the lively Mission, Richmond, Sunset, Bernal Heights and Ingleside Terrace districts.
ALSO IN THE WORKS: Bits of San Francisco bohemia, psychedelia and punk; newly discovered footage of the late, lamented Sky Tram and the unlamented Bayside Motel and Embarcadero Freeway; workers horsing around on the Rainier Beer loading dock in 1937; transit infrastructure; snowball fights; a hobo by the zoo; newly discovered amateur Cinemascope footage from the 1950s; the building of I-280; San Francisco’s publicly owned electrical generation system; San Francisco’s cemeteries emptied of their dead; and many intimate glimpses of family life in Latinx, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, African American, and European communities in San Francisco.
AS ALWAYS, the audience makes the soundtrack! Come prepared to identify places, people and events, to ask questions and to engage in spirited real-time repartee with fellow audience members
The Internet Archive is excited to announce that we will be celebrating Public Domain Day on January 30, 2020 in our nation’s capitol. We have an exciting line-up of local musicians and artists, as well as projects from around the country – Join Us! The event is free and open to the public.
Please join us at the Internet Archive’s San Francisco Headquarters on Tuesday, December 17th at 6 pm to hear a titan of Internet law, political reformer and “the most distinguished law professor of his generation,” Lawrence Lessig discuss his new book They Don’t Represent Us.
Lawrence Lessig won’t be coming home, exactly, when he appears at the Internet Archive for a talk about his latest book, They Don’t Represent Us, on Dec. 17th. The Harvard professor will be coming to a place, however, where he should feel extremely comfortable. He has made defining the rules of the internet one of his life’s causes, and that nicely intersects with the Internet Archive, which exists as a treasure trove of the internet’s history that sits at the intersection of technology, law and culture.
Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, has seen many distinguished visitors drop by at his organization’s San Francisco offices, but Lessig’s evening promises to be special. Kahle says he is honored to have Lessig stop by to provide insights into his latest book. “Lawrence Lessig, a hero of mine, brings clear messages of what needs fixing and how we might do it, and do it by working together,” Kahle said. “I am looking forward to his new book.”
Lessig’s history in print is as an author who
doesn’t waste time getting to the point. Before his publishers intervened, he’d
wanted to title the book An Essentially Unrepresentative Representative
Democracy. Briefly a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination
in 2016, he wasn’t able to gain sufficient traction in his goal of instituting
campaign finance and electoral reforms.
With the publication five weeks ago of They
Don’t Represent Us, he tackles those subjects again. He has particularly
harsh words for gerrymandering, the process by which federal and state
representatives manipulate the boundaries of electoral constituencies to
maximize the benefit of those crafting the boundaries and to suppress minority
One complaint is that only about a dozen
so-called swing states are ever in play in presidential elections, that these
states get upward of 90 percent of candidates’ time and money, and that these
states, being mostly older and whiter, don’t well represent the nation as a
whole. He points out that there are 7½ times as many people working in solar
energy as there are working in mining coal, but you don’t hear about those
solar energy jobs much during presidential campaigns because those people are
from non-swing states like Texas or California. The coal mining jobs are in
many of the swing states.
Lessig says representatives in safely
gerrymandered districts are more in danger of defeat from members of their own
party in primaries. And that, Lessig argues, leads to the extremes in both the
Republican and Democratic parties being amplified.
He proselytizes for modifications to the
Electoral College, which recently has put two men, George W. Bush in 2000 and
Donald Trump in 2016, into the presidency despite losing the popular vote. His
suggestion is to ditch the winner-take-all systems used by most states in
presidential elections in favor of proportionally allocating electors.Doing so,
he says, would make winning votes in Utah equally important as winning votes in
California despite the difference in populations, making presidential
candidates need to care about all states instead of what Lessig calls “Swing
Doors will open at 6pm. The discussion will start at 7pm and will be followed by a reception. Signed copies of book will be available for sale.
Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 Time: 6:00-9:00 pm Where: Internet Archive 300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118
The Internet Archive is hosting a FOIAPOLOOZA to celebrate Aaron Swartz and to provide a yearly showcase of his many interests. Aaron’s work focused on civic awareness and activism and we will spend Saturday together keeping his prescient vision alive.
Doors are open for the hackathon and the daytime programming on Saturday at 10 am. The reception will be on Saturday evening at 6:00 pm with the main program starting at 8 pm with a music and dance party afterward.
FOIAPALOOZA: Aaron filed many FOIA requests and inspired lots of journalists, including the now-legendary Jason Leopold, to use them as a tool for evidence-based journalism. So we decided to focus on FOIA and public records requests at this year’s San Francisco event. We aim to not only teach folks how to file their own requests but also to let them dig into the information we have received back from the 200+ requests we filed this last year with our Police Surveillance Project. FOIAPALOOZA speakers include Tracy Rosenberg & Mike Katz-McCabe from Oakland Privacy — an organization that just won an EFF Pioneer Award! — as well as Freddy Martinez from Lucy Parsons Labs, Ryan Shapiro from Property of the People and Brewster Kahle and Tracey Jaquith from the Internet Archive.