Canadian Libraries Respond to ‘Globe and Mail’ Essay Attacking Public Libraries

“Contrary to Whyte’s assertions, public libraries are in fact good for bookstores, publishing, and authors. Public libraries purchase and promote a diversity of material from a wide range of sources, including books by local authors published by independent Canadian presses. And research shows library borrowers are also book buyers. Booknet Canada researched the intersection of library use and book buying and found that Canadians who both buy and borrow books from the library purchase more books on average per month than buyers who do not use the library at all. By exposing people to ideas and content they wouldn’t otherwise think to purchase, libraries help people read more. Libraries are not taking away market share from bookstores, we are making the market bigger for everyone.

Whyte also goes on to make the rather astonishing claim that, “the dirty secret of public libraries is that their stock-in-trade is neither education nor edification. It’s entertainment.” Furthermore, he suggests it’s entertainment for the middle and upper classes, who can surely afford to buy their own books.

 

This implies that “the benighted underclass,” as Whyte calls them, do not deserve or should not have access to recreational material. That kind of wisdom harkens back to the 19th century, when civic leaders established the precursors of public libraries for their workers in the hope that edifying lectures and educational books would reduce crime, and keep people out of bars and brothels—but, no novels! It also suggests that the middle class have ample disposable income and should not be using the library at all, despite the fact that they, and all taxpayers, are paying for it….”

Open Access in Africa, Institutional Repository Development and Open Science Challenges | Open Research Community

“In Africa, despite the presence of regional frameworks for the promotion of Open Access and Open Research, such as LIBSENSE comprising local and international stakeholders, e.g., the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN), National Institute of Informatics (Japan), and OpenAIRE, their outcomes include networking workshops, regional surveys and policy and metadata guidelines. This could be due to a lack of national Open Access policies, the insufficient development of institutional repositories and below par funding and expertise levels in individual countries….

Nevertheless, Côte d’Ivoire has successfully launched a country-level Open Access repository, in Ethiopia university and government ecosystems have managed to implement effective Open Access policies for repositories, journals and infrastructures and other African countries, such as Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda, have finalized their national policies for data and repository management. Yet, in this region, the progress of Open Science is likely to be slowed by language barriers, such as the prevalence of Arabic in North Africa and French in Western and Central Africa….”

MIT, guided by open access principles, ends Elsevier negotiations | MIT News

“Standing by its commitment to provide equitable and open access to scholarship, MIT has ended negotiations with Elsevier for a new journals contract. Elsevier was not able to present a proposal that aligned with the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts. 

Developed by the MIT Libraries in collaboration with the Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research and the Committee on the Library System in October 2019, the MIT Framework is grounded in the conviction that openly sharing research and educational materials is key to the Institute’s mission of advancing knowledge and bringing that knowledge to bear on the world’s greatest challenges. It affirms the overarching principle that control of scholarship and its dissemination should reside with scholars and their institutions, and aims to ensure that scholarly research outputs are openly and equitably available to the broadest possible audience, while also providing valued services to the MIT community. …”

Illinois Open Publishing Network – digital publishing from the University Library

“The Illinois Open Publishing Network (IOPN) is a set of digital publishing initiatives that are hosted and coordinated at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. IOPN offers a suite of publishing services to members of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community and beyond. We aim to facilitate the dissemination of high-quality, open access scholarly publications. Our services include infrastructure and support for publishing open access journals, monographs, born-digital projects that integrate multimedia and interactive content.

IOPN is committed to publishing high-quality open access works of lasting scholarly value across multiple disciplines, regardless of institutional affiliation. We particularly invite innovative digital publication projects that bring together multimedia and text. We additionally welcome partnerships with University Presses or other publishers in order to publish companion websites (such as a digital exhibit of related primary source materials) for traditional text monographs and articles….”

Publisher Decries Damn Libraries Entertaining The Masses Stuck At Home For Free | Techdirt

“For years and years we’ve pointed out that, if they were invented today, copyright maximalist authors and publishers would absolutely scream about libraries and probably sue them out of existence. Some insisted that we were exaggerating, but now we’ve seen nearly all of the big publishers sue the Internet Archive over its digital library that acts just like a regular library.

But, perhaps the most frustrating part in all of this, is that whenever these copyright maximalist authors and publishers are confronted about this, they twist themselves into knots to say “well, I actually love libraries, but…” before beginning a bunch of arguments that show they do not, in fact, like libraries. Sometimes, however rarely, a maximalist just comes out and admits the facts: they fucking hate libraries.

The latest example of this is Kenneth Whyte, a small publisher of Sutherland House Books in Canada, who seemed to think now was the time to take to the pages of The Globe & Mail to whine about libraries competing with book stores that sell books. …”

Publisher Decries Damn Libraries Entertaining The Masses Stuck At Home For Free | Techdirt

“For years and years we’ve pointed out that, if they were invented today, copyright maximalist authors and publishers would absolutely scream about libraries and probably sue them out of existence. Some insisted that we were exaggerating, but now we’ve seen nearly all of the big publishers sue the Internet Archive over its digital library that acts just like a regular library.

But, perhaps the most frustrating part in all of this, is that whenever these copyright maximalist authors and publishers are confronted about this, they twist themselves into knots to say “well, I actually love libraries, but…” before beginning a bunch of arguments that show they do not, in fact, like libraries. Sometimes, however rarely, a maximalist just comes out and admits the facts: they fucking hate libraries.

The latest example of this is Kenneth Whyte, a small publisher of Sutherland House Books in Canada, who seemed to think now was the time to take to the pages of The Globe & Mail to whine about libraries competing with book stores that sell books. …”