Open Library and Open Libraries: Information for ALL the people

Jessamyn West

I missed the beginning of this but here’s her full slidedeck. 

Examples of current issues in Open Access/Copyright/Fair use

Open Library is another place. After Aaron Schwarz‘s (just search for him) death, people are stepping up to volunteer on open access projects — Open Library was one of those projects Aaron had worked on. Jessamyn is starting to work and volunteer with this project.

OpenLibrary — eBook lending platform. Truly is one-click.

OpenLibrary functions and facts:

  • partner libraries take books off their shelves, Internet Archive people scan it, and the digital file is wrapped in Adobe DRM. And then the eBook is added to Open Library and now can be circed as eBooks to many people
  • is this legal? Project lawyers think so.
  • Open Library is kind of like a ghost ship right now — no one is really running it right now
  • MARC records available (:))
  • 700 new user each day — it is getting used.
  • How many librarians work on the project? Kind of none/kind of 100 — anyone can edit.
  • There’s a mailing list; there’s a support page. But no one is kind of in charge, it seems right now.

Librarians can do better with eContent. Is OpenLibrary that possibility?

The thing about digital content there’s almost always going to be passwords involved. Someone will have root access — get at something underneath. Who’s got keys to the library? To a digital library?

Wikipedia: the encyclopedia theat anyone can edit. Sort of. Someone has the passwords to open technologies and it’s not you. #neklstech —@jopitts

Buying is (almost) as easy as stealing (the digital content). We don’t talk about this that much. It’s important, though, to understand at least what’s going on behind the scene.

Stealing is (way) easier than borrowing (digital content). Be aware of this, regardless of who’s fault it is. In digital rights management, you can’t help patrons make this work easier. It’s frustrating.

She tried to borrow her book — it’s available through Overdrive — she got an error message. But eventually, it was much easier to check out — and one click.

And even “stealing” is complicated. Legal gray area.

We want to be able to share things with a lower hassle level. Librarians should be doing this. We speak the systems and platforms. Librarians are empowered by the legal environment, and the cultural shift is heading librarians’ way (open access/fair use). The lawsuits have percolated up to where they are supposed to and are siding more and more on fair use/open access side.

Without a Net: Librarians bridging the digital divide book

But… Concerns about digital content/fair use….

  • insecurity and hesitation=staff costs, mission deformed
  • fair use would help, but it is under-used
  • risk aversion substituted by for fair use analysis

Having best practices helps keep you safe.

Jo Budler’s taking on of Overdrive and owning eContent and reading the licenses.

The Big 6 eBook Page (from SLK)

So on a planet where…

  • Amazon buys Goodreads
  • Elsevier buys Mendeley
  • Random House buys Penguin
  • Librarians buy aspirin… (or something else :))

Layers of hassle, authentication, etc., digital nonsense, un-understandable rights….

Librarians advocate for fair use, but could also advocate for even more, even if shaky on copyright grounds, as legal decisions have started shifted to librarians.

DPLA and Open Library — how do older patrons use these? Testing these with real users.

Is a ghost ship of eBooks are a library? Little Free Library? It’s an outdoor bookshelf with a roof…. She loves the Little Free Library project. It’s not a library unless librarians are running it, and doing things in the building. There are building, content, programs, it belongs to the community, and everyone in the community.

Gift economy is different from cultural institution economy.

Access to knowledge is defined by not just who has access and who they get access, someone has root access. For libraries, we are that root access to content in our communities.