I arrived too late at NJLA to catch the pre-conference from George at It’s All Good. He sums up his thoughts when asked about the future of non-dynamic libaries and Meredith shares her thoughts about what will happen to libraries that are resistant to change and wither, and those that embrace change and thrive.
I feel for librarians who are full of ideas for improving services to patrons but are stymied at every turn by either their colleagues or the powers that be. I think it is probably the biggest problem libraries have in retaining young/new librarians (with pay being a close second). And more than losing passionate, tech-savvy new-ish librarians, these libraries are alienating entire generations of potential library users â€“ people who believe that libraries are dinosaurs of the pre-digital era, because those are the only libraries theyâ€™ve known.
What do you do when you’re using CIPA-approved filters in your library and patrons or politicians want you to use filters that will block ALL pornography? In this case, in Pennsylvania, it looks like the local paper gets it right.
article: Allegheny County Councilman Vince Gastgeb, R-Bethel Park, hopes libraries across the county will adopt even stricter measures to prevent similar incidents. He wants the eiNetwork, the computer network that links the 44 public library systems of the Allegheny County Library Association, to use filters capable of blocking all pornographic or inappropriate material found on the Web.
editorial: With such an alarm sounded, someone might think libraries in the county are hotbeds of vice. In reality, they are centers of serious learning and improvement presided over by librarians, who rank among the most respectable members of society. It would be hard to find any group of people more dedicated and less inclined to tolerate those who would pollute their sanctum.
Jason has a good example of how DRM can affect libraries. Can you count the different ways this ebook is not like a real book?
Speaking of DRM, let’s look at what ten years of it have done so far. I’ve been reading the Intellectual Property & Social Justice blog this morning and they have a summary of an EFF white paper on the subject. The IP-SJ blurb does a great job of giving some “in a nutshell” descriptions both of what DRM is, as well as what is wrong with it, especially for libraries and educators and anyone who has an obligation to provide content to all the public. I’ve excerpted the list of negative effects DRM has had for libraries, in the developed world where the EFF states “it has been in wide deployment for a decade with no benefit to artists and with substantial cost to the public and to due process, free speech and other civil society fundamentals.”
- The success of the information society depends on digital content being accessible. Digital content must not locked up behind technical barriers.
- Libraries must not be prevented by DRM from availing themselves of their lawful rights under national copyright law and must be able to extend their services to the digital environment.
- Long term preservation and archiving, essential to preserving cultural identities, maintaining diversity of peoples, languages and cultures and in shaping the future, must not be jeopardized by DRM.