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Category Archives: Libraries

Justices debate allowing state law to be “hidden behind a pay wall”

Ars Technica – “The courts have long held that laws can’t be copyrighted. But if the state mixes the text of the law together with supporting information, things get trickier. In Monday oral arguments, the US Supreme Court wrestled with the copyright status of Georgia’s official legal code, which includes annotations written by LexisNexis. The defendant in the case is Public.Resource.Org (PRO), a non-profit organization that publishes public-domain legal materials. The group obtained Georgia’s official version of state law, known as the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, and published the code on its website. The state of Georgia sued, arguing that while the law itself is in the public domain, the accompanying annotations are copyrighted works that can’t be published by anyone except LexisNexis. Georgia won at the trial court level, but PRO won at the appeals court level. On Monday, the case reached the US Supreme Court. “Why would we allow the official law to be hidden behind a pay wall?” asked Justice Neil Gorsuch. Georgia’s lawyer countered that the law wasn’t hidden behind a paywall—at least not the legally binding parts. LexisNexis offers a free version of Georgia’s code, sans annotations, on its website. But that version isn’t the official code. LexisNexis’ terms of service explicitly warns users that it might be inaccurate. The company also prohibits users from scraping the site’s content. If you want to own the latest official version of the state code, you have to pay LexisNexis hundreds of dollars. And if you want to publish your own copy of Georgia’s official code, you’re out of luck…”

Libraries 2020 – campaign to support libraries

“Libraries 2020 is a national campaign to build support for local libraries in order to help them keep their doors open. But how does a national campaign and fundraising for EveryLibrary benefit local libraries like yours? We are dedicated to working in conjunction with other library advocacy organizations and to providing all of our tools,… Continue Reading

Books May Be Dead in 2039, but Stories Live On

The New York Times – Opinion: On the 600th anniversary of the Gutenberg press, we can still celebrate how stories are shared. By Alix E. Harrow, author of  The Ten Thousand Doors of January. “In 1439, an eccentric German goldsmith cast the Latin alphabet in lead, smeared the letters with oil-based ink and squashed them… Continue Reading

Books on wheels – When the library comes to the homeless shelter

Christian Science Monitor – “The bookmobile has a history of bringing the written word to people who can’t get to a library building. Queens has taken that ethos further, parking its mobile library at homeless shelters in the borough…Over the past decade, scholars and social workers have noted how public libraries around the country are… Continue Reading

NYPL 2019 Best Books for Adults

“Welcome to the 2019 Best Books for Adults. The New York Public Library is a premier resource for connecting readers with great books, with a staff dedicated to spreading a love of reading and sharing their book expertise. Our librarians—through their experience recommending books to patrons and as readers themselves—have highlighted their picks for 100… Continue Reading

1,000 U.S. Government PowerPoint Slide Decks

Library of Congress Blog – The Signal: “The Digital Content Management section has been working to extract and make available sets of files from the Library’s significant Web Archives holdings. The outcome of the project is a series of web archive file datasets, each containing 1,000 files of related media types selected from .gov domains.… Continue Reading

Internet Archive and Boston Public Library to digitize and preserve over 100,000 vinyl LPs

Internet Archive Blogs – “Imagine if your favorite song or nostalgic recording from childhood was lost forever. This could be the fate of hundreds of thousands of audio files stored on vinyl, except that the Internet Archive is now expanding its digitization project to include LPs.  Earlier this year, the Internet Archive began working with… Continue Reading

ALA’s Report to Congress on Libraries and the Ebook Industry: A Primer

ALA’s Report to Congress on Libraries and the Ebook Industry: A Primer George H. Pike – InfoToday – “ALA recently made a case to Congress that the ebook publishing industry has been engaging in anticompetitive behavior at the expense of libraries and library patrons. Congress has been involved in an ongoing series of hearings and work… Continue Reading

Univ of Texas Libraries Launch Access Tool for Digital Collections

“The vast digitized collections of the University of Texas Libraries are now becoming available through a new web portal. A new access point on the Libraries’ website – the Collections portal – allows users to undertake remote research and study utilizing rich resources that have previously only been available in person or through more time-intensive… Continue Reading

The 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years

Slate’s books team selects the definitive works of reporting, memoir, and argument of the past quarter-century. “…Slate’s list of the definitive nonfiction books written in English in the past quarter-century includes beautifully written memoirs but also books of reportage, collections of essays, travelogues, works of cultural criticism, passionate arguments, even a compendium of household tips.… Continue Reading