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. …”

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!) …”

It’s No Secret – Millions of Books Are Openly in the Public… | HathiTrust Digital Library

“Since 2008 the HathiTrust Copyright Review Program has been researching hundreds of thousands of books to find ones that are in the public domain and can be opened for view in the HathiTrust Digital Library. Over the past 11 years, 168 people across North America have worked together for a common goal: the ability to share public domain works from our libraries. As of September 2019, the HathiTrust Copyright Review Program has performed copyright reviews on 506,989 US publications; of those, 302,915 (59.7%) have been determined to be in the public domain in the United States. The opening of these works in HathiTrust has brought the total of openly available volumes to 6,540,522.

The Copyright Review Program, now an operational program of HathiTrust, began as a grant-funded ambition of the University of Michigan Library, under the leadership of Melissa Levine. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded three consecutive grants enabling the University of Michigan Library and grant collaborators to build a copyright review management system. The program is still going strong eleven years later, resulting in hundreds of publications determined to be in the public domain each week.

One way the Copyright Review Program determines the copyright status of items in the HathiTrust corpus is to determine whether they were properly renewed. In the United States, the copyright in works published between 1924 and 1964 had to be renewed about 28 years after the item was published; works could move into the public domain when their initial term of protection expired. The Stanford Copyright Renewal Database was one of the first to host monograph renewal records in an open access database, but much of the initial copyright registration information remains difficult to search. …”

Data-mining reveals that 80% of books published 1924-63 never had their copyrights renewed and are now in the public domain / Boing Boing

“But there’s another source of public domain works: until the 1976 Copyright Act, US works were not copyrighted unless they were registered, and then they quickly became public domain unless that registration was renewed. The problem has been to figure out which of these works were in the public domain, because the US Copyright Office’s records were not organized in a way that made it possible to easily cross-check a work with its registration and renewal.

For many years, the Internet Archive has hosted an archive of registration records, which were partially machine-readable.

Enter the New York Public Library, which employed a group of people to encode all these records in XML, making them amenable to automated data-mining.

Now, Leonard Richardson (previously) has done the magic data-mining work to affirmatively determine which of the 1924-63 books are in the public domain, which turns out to be 80% of those books; what’s more, many of these books have already been scanned by the Hathi Trust (which uses a limitation in copyright to scan university library holdings for use by educational institutions, regardless of copyright status)….”

Data-mining reveals that 80% of books published 1924-63 never had their copyrights renewed and are now in the public domain / Boing Boing

“But there’s another source of public domain works: until the 1976 Copyright Act, US works were not copyrighted unless they were registered, and then they quickly became public domain unless that registration was renewed. The problem has been to figure out which of these works were in the public domain, because the US Copyright Office’s records were not organized in a way that made it possible to easily cross-check a work with its registration and renewal.

For many years, the Internet Archive has hosted an archive of registration records, which were partially machine-readable.

Enter the New York Public Library, which employed a group of people to encode all these records in XML, making them amenable to automated data-mining.

Now, Leonard Richardson (previously) has done the magic data-mining work to affirmatively determine which of the 1924-63 books are in the public domain, which turns out to be 80% of those books; what’s more, many of these books have already been scanned by the Hathi Trust (which uses a limitation in copyright to scan university library holdings for use by educational institutions, regardless of copyright status)….”

New collaborative effort to develop a national digital ebooks platform for libraries announced | DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), The New York Public Library (NYPL), and LYRASIS are pleased to announce a new collaboration to help provide all public libraries with a free, open, library-controlled platform for managing their ebook and audiobook services….

The DPLA Exchange (https://exchange.dp.la), launched in 2017 and now providing access to over 300,000 titles including thousands of openly-licensed works, offers a new model for a library-centered marketplace for ebooks and audiobooks. …”