“On February 16, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted a preliminary injunction of Maryland’s library digital book law in the case of Association of American Publishers v. Brian Frosh. The legislation, which went into effect on January 1, 2022, requires publishers who sell e-book licenses to Maryland consumers to also sell licenses to Maryland public libraries “on reasonable terms.” Court proceedings continue towards final adjudication of the complaint by the Association of American Publishers.
The American Library Association (ALA) issued the following statement from ALA President Patty Wong:
“The American Library Association is disappointed that the court issued the preliminary injunction. Regardless of the legal technicalities, the proceedings thus far have established that there is a definite injustice in library access to digital books.*
“The Maryland legislature, which voted unanimously in favor of the legislation, rightly sees the unfairness in the marketplace and used its legal authority to correct it. ALA sees the unfairness to our public libraries, which have paid for e-book licenses on unreasonable terms for far too long. Most importantly, libraries see the unfairness for Maryland residents, who rely on them for access to e-books.
“Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA): 1. affirms that open educational resources can be as effective, authoritative, and of academically rigorous quality as traditionally published learning materials; 2. encourages library workers to support initiatives that promote the creation, discovery, dissemination, awareness, and preservation of open educational resources; and 3. encourages library workers to advocate for initiatives at all levels of government that support open educational resources.”
“IIPA [International Intellectual Property Alliance] attacked subsection 12D7(a) as a threat to “academic freedom” because it gives the author of a scientific article that is the result of a research activity primarily funded by the government the right to make the article available on an open access basis. This is a truly Orwellian argument. How does preserving a scientist’s right to make her research publicly available undermine her academic freedom? The statute doesn’t obligate her to provide open access, although the Government certainly has the authority to do so as a condition of its providing the research funding. Indeed, the United States government conditions it research grants on making the resulting articles available on an open access basis. So do the EU and many other research funders around the world.
“Over 35,000 open access academic books are now cataloged in the Directory of Open Access Books. This is, however, a subset of the titles becoming available thanks to increased funding, in both the US and Europe. Many are of extremely high quality and from well-known as well as innovative new publishers. Because library vendors struggle with the business model, there are obstacles for libraries in trying to acquire these titles. This session will explore the changing landscape of OA ebooks and describe successful strategies adopted by libraries to add them to collections, support their publishing, discovery, and use. Many libraries are interested in supporting open access, but they are challenged by both budgetary issues and workflow exceptions. This session will provide a manageable and pragmatic way forward for academic libraries of all sizes. The speakers will share how their institutions are supporting open access book publication while also adding valuable new resources for their campus communities — free of the familiar use restrictions that are so frustrating to librarians when working with ebooks….”
session part of American Library Association virtual conference, June 23-29, 2021
“If writing a book seems like a daunting task, writing one in an open access format might seem even more so, since many of the details of editing and production that are usually handled by publishing houses now fall to authors. Nevertheless, books remain a popular format for librarians who want to contribute to the profession, and publishing is a necessity for faculty and librarians with faculty status. Librarians and others in higher education have increasingly critiqued the rising costs of textbooks as a contributing factor to student debt, and new library publishing services frequently emphasize open monograph and textbook publishing alongside other open access content. As champions of open access, librarians and others publishing in the field of LIS should consider publishing their own works in open platforms as a way to improve access to information, learn the systems more deeply, and model practice for their patrons.
In this session, the panelists will walk participants through the process of developing and producing an open access book, from the initial proposal through production and publication. The panel will include published authors of both traditional and open-platform texts and single-authored and collaborative books, as well as individuals with expertise in open publishing platforms and library-based publishing services. Presenters will discuss reasons for considering open access and will address some of the main concerns of creating an open access book, including finding a publisher and choosing a publishing platform, reconceptualizing editorial responsibilities, dealing with production elements like layout, addressing universal design and accessibility issues, and marketing the finished publication….”
session part of American Library Association virtual conference, June 23-29, 2021
“IFLA has affirmed that comprehensive open access to scholarly literature and research documentation is vital to the understanding of our world and to the identification of solutions to global challenges and particularly the reduction of information inequality. Coalition S which is hosted by the European Science Foundation, has stated that full and immediate Open Access to research results can provide fast answers to protect lives and curb disasters. It is time to make full use of that potential for other global crises that are threatening us. UNESCO is promoting and supporting the online availability of scholarly information to everyone, free of most licensing and copyright barriers—for the benefit of global knowledge flow, innovation and socio-economic development.
Join us for an event with library leaders and learn about how they are managing Open Access efforts in the midst of COVID-19 to move forward research and access to information free of barriers during these times when libraries are deeply impacted by the pandemic. …”
“On behalf of the undersigned national and regional library, research, publishing, and advocacy organizations, we are writing to express our commitment to ensuring that American taxpayers are guaranteed immediate, free, and unfettered access to the results of scientific research that their tax dollars support, and to encourage the Administration to support continued progress towards this shared goal. We strongly endorse updating existing U.S. policy to eliminate the current 12-month embargo period on articles reporting on publicly funded research, and to ensure that they are made immediately available under terms and conditions that allow their full reuse. To unlock the full value of our collective investment in science, the underlying data needed to validate an article’s conclusions, along with any corresponding software or code, should also be made immediately available….”
“The American Library Association has issued the following statement in response to the decision by the Citrus County (Florida) Board of Commissioners to not allow the Citrus County libraries to buy a digital subscription to the New York Times after one commissioner labeled the Times as “fake news”:…”
“The American Library Association (ALA) has delivered a written report to the House Judiciary Committee telling lawmakers that “unfair behavior by digital market actors,” including Amazon and some major publishers, is “doing concrete harm to libraries.”
The report, delivered last week to a House antitrust subcommittee investigating competition in the digital market, comes as lawmakers are taking note of the growing backlash to Big Five publisher Macmillan’s decision to impose a two-month embargo on new release e-books in public libraries. In a September 13 letter to ALA executive director Mary Ghikas, the House Judiciary Committee asked ALA to respond to a set of questions in connection with its ongoing investigation, an invitation that came just days after an ALA press event at the Nashville Public Library kicked off a public awareness campaign calling attention to issues in the library e-book market. As of this writing, an ALA online petition opposing Macmillan’s planned embargo, launched at that press event, is approaching 150,000 signatures….”
“In July, Macmillan announced that come November, the company will only allow libraries to purchase a single copy of its new titles for the first eight weeks of their release—and that’s one copy whether it’s the New York Public Library or a small-town operation that’s barely moved on from its card catalog. This has sparked an appropriately quiet revolt. Librarians and their allies quickly denounced the decision when it came down, and now the American Library Association is escalating the protest by enlisting the public to stand with libraries by signing an online petition with a populist call against such restrictive practices. (The association announced the petition Wednesday at Digital Book World, an industry conference in Nashville, Tennessee.) What’s unclear is whether the association can get the public to understand a byzantine-seeming dispute over electronic files and the right to download them….”
“As we move toward a more openly accessible research environment, progress is often framed in terms of increasing access to original studies and associated data published in peer reviewed scholarly journals indexed in databases like Web of Science and Scopus. However, there is a growing awareness that a large body of high quality research from the Global South (aka developing countries in Latin America, Africa, & much of Asia) is not part of that scholarly communications environment. Much of this research is already open access, but because major western databases don’t index most of those journals, it does not register in terms of traditional bibliometrics that use citation counts to measure the impact of authors, their articles and the journals they publish in. For example, just 4% of Latin American peer reviewed journals are included in Web of Science. What can libraries do to help increase the visibility and impact of this large and growing body of research from the Global South? This panel gathers researchers, librarians and policy experts to explore new and innovative ways to change the ways we both access and assess research outputs, and why that is important….”
“The ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC) is seeking community input on proposed revisions to the ACRL Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians, approved by the ACRL Board of Directors during the 2016 ALA Annual Conference….
Please review the draft revision (PDF) on the ACRL website and send your feedback by July 1, 2018 to Steven Harris (email@example.com)….”
“If you’re reading this, then you probably know something of Issa’s record on #openaccess. For those familiar with that history, this looks like giving Donald Trump the Feminist of the Year Award because he once said, “Nobody respects women more than I do.” …”
RUSQ disseminates information of interest to reference librarians, information specialists and other professionals involved in user-oriented library services. The decision to move RUSQ from subscription based to open access was based on many factors, most notably the open access movement strongly supported by librarians. Other factors include ensuring a continued pool of strong authors and articles, ease of access for readers as well as broader worldwide access as the cost for professional journal subscriptions is extremely prohibitive.