Opinion | After the Coronavirus, Libraries Must Change – The New York Times

“As we face tragedy, devastating economic turmoil and dislocation, public libraries will play a key part in the recovery of our country, cities and lives. Libraries offer all people — regardless of background or circumstance — free access to the tools and knowledge they need to open doors of opportunity and be productive members of society. To remain true to their mission, all libraries must undergo radical change. To serve the public in the face of unprecedented challenges, libraries will need to transition their services to the virtual space and explore new avenues to serve the public and bring people together, even while we are apart….”

DPLA partners with state libraries to offer statewide ebooks access | DPLA

“Earlier this month, the DPLA ebooks team met virtually with state librarians from across the country as part of the annual spring COSLA members’ meeting. We enjoyed this opportunity to hear directly from state libraries about their ebook needs, as well as from states who have already adopted SimplyE about how it is helping them expand critical access to ebooks for people across their states. As Washington State Librarian and COSLA ebook engagement group chair Cindy Aden said, “I am happy to see so many COSLA members working with SImplyE. Ebooks have never been more important, as libraries remain closed. Additionally, though, it’s clear that libraries must address the economic issues around ebooks and find a way to successfully work with the entire publishing ecosystem to find licensing models that work for everyone. DPLA and SimplyE give libraries some tools to explore better options.”

SimplyE is an open-source ebook platform developed by the New York Public Library. Over the past year, we’ve seen a wave of interest in SimplyE from libraries who want to provide more diverse content for more people while maintaining control over the patron experience and protecting patron privacy. There are currently more than 150 library systems across the country that have launched SimplyE, and it’s being tested and deployed in Washington, Connecticut, Texas, Georgia, and Montana. In addition, Rhode Island, Hawaii, the Maryland digital consortia, and American Samoa have begun the process of rolling out the platform. We have been working closely with these libraries to put together statewide ebook collections that include a wide variety of materials from different providers, including ebooks with flexible licensing terms and public domain works available through the DPLA Exchange. …”

The Public Library Association and Microsoft announce initiative to help expand internet access in rural communities during COVID-19 crisis | News and Press Center

“he Public Library Association (PLA) and Microsoft Corp. announced a new initiative today to increase access to technology in rural communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Microsoft will provide funding to help public libraries in rural communities extend WiFi access by installing public WiFi access points on or near library grounds….”

The Public Library Association and Microsoft announce initiative to help expand internet access in rural communities during COVID-19 crisis | News and Press Center

“he Public Library Association (PLA) and Microsoft Corp. announced a new initiative today to increase access to technology in rural communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Microsoft will provide funding to help public libraries in rural communities extend WiFi access by installing public WiFi access points on or near library grounds….”

You can now download over 300,000 books from the NYPL for free

“There’s good news for all the New York City-based e-bookworms out there. The New York Public Library has an app that allows anyone with a library card (and an iOS or Android phone) to “borrow” any of the 300,000 e-books in the collection.

It’s called SimplyE and will allow you to read books on your phone, but beware, there might be a wait list for some popular titles, including the Game of Thrones series. (Check out the Harry Potter books, quick!) …”

Accesso Libre: Equity of Access to Information through the Lens of Neoliberal Responsiblization | Semantic Scholar

Abstract:  This paper uses the concept of neoliberal responsibilization, the reductive framing of systemic power dynamics as questions of individual choice and agency, to critically interrogate equity of access to information, a central value of the broader field of library and information science (LIS). Based on a case study of Accesso Libre, a public/private partnership based in a South Los Angeles public library, I argue that equity of access to information is an insufficient concept to evaluate the power dynamics of this (and similar) partnerships, wherein powerful corporations encourage the use of commercial informational resources in minoritized communities. As an alternative, responsibilization directs analysis to different questions about equity, a set of concerns that offer LIS theorists and practitioners a way of reflecting on the ethical commitments at the core of the field. 

 

Accesso Libre: Equity of Access to Information through the Lens of Neoliberal Responsiblization | Semantic Scholar

Abstract:  This paper uses the concept of neoliberal responsibilization, the reductive framing of systemic power dynamics as questions of individual choice and agency, to critically interrogate equity of access to information, a central value of the broader field of library and information science (LIS). Based on a case study of Accesso Libre, a public/private partnership based in a South Los Angeles public library, I argue that equity of access to information is an insufficient concept to evaluate the power dynamics of this (and similar) partnerships, wherein powerful corporations encourage the use of commercial informational resources in minoritized communities. As an alternative, responsibilization directs analysis to different questions about equity, a set of concerns that offer LIS theorists and practitioners a way of reflecting on the ethical commitments at the core of the field. 

 

Knight Foundation invests in Digital Public Library of America to help nation’s public libraries serve communities with technology – Knight Foundation

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced a $750,000 investment in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to create a national cohort of public library leaders and technologists. The group will work together to help advance  libraries’ use of digital technologies….”

Do Publishers Suddenly Hate Libraries?

” In a memo to authors and agents last month, Macmillan CEO John Sargent all but blamed libraries for depressing book sales and author earnings. “Historically, we have been able to balance the great importance of libraries with the value of your work,” Sargent claimed. “The current e-lending system does not do that.”

I’m far from the first to observe this, but the claims in Sargent’s memo are questionable at best….

Do publishers and authors see the library’s relationship to them as more symbiotic, or parasitic?…”

There are dark hints that the hand of Amazon is at work in the current tensions over library e-book lending, including reports that Amazon reps have been showing publishers data to portray library e-book lending in a negative light….”

Tell Macmillan Publishers that you demand #eBooksForAll

“America’s libraries are committed to promoting literacy and a love of reading with diverse collections, programs and services for all ages. Libraries are invested in making sure millions of people can discover and explore new and favorite authors through digital and print collections. Downloadable content and eBooks are often many reader’s front door to accessing material at their local library.

But now one publisher has decided to limit readers’ access to new eBook titles through their libraries.

Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers allows libraries—no matter the size of their city or town—to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release….”