“The Internet Archive’s Open Library (https://openlibrary.org) does not face the same local pressures that many school districts or school libraries do. At a time when students and teachers may be encountering limited access to content in their local community, the Internet Archive acquires and digitizes material for its online library, and lends a wide array of books for free to anyone, anytime. For example, the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books in the past decade are available in a curated collection. Among the titles: The Glass Castle by Jennette Walls, banned for offensive language and sexually explicit content; The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, cited as being insensitive, anti-family and violent; and Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin, challenged for its LGBTQIA content and the perceived effects on young people who would read it….”
“Nothing better promotes the progress of science and the arts than access to knowledge, especially during a global pandemic. COVID-19 has highlighted how our society has changed in the past few decades and how much it needs to change in the decades to come. As schools and workplaces, law firms included, went partially or completely remote, connectivity and access to online resources became more important than ever. It is in this environment that several publishers chose to bring litigation against Internet Archive (IA) in Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive.
Open Library is a non-profit digital library founded by IA that offers online access to more than 1.3 million books that it has digitized into a PDF format. Operating under the Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) model, Open Library lends out only as many books as it has physical hardcopies of. Essentially, the basis of CDL is that a book must be owned to be loaned. …”
“Claremont School of Theology has donated about 250,000 religious studies volumes to the Internet Archive to be placed in their Open Library for “controlled digital lending.” These volumes include many very important and very recent resources in the field. … Look for these books to begin appearing the Open Library beginning around Jan. 1. The digitization of the entire collection is scheduling to take place within the next two years. CST has made this donation as it relocates to Salem, OR to embed within Willamette University. The CST board approved this donation in large measure to increase global access to religious studies scholarship….
If libraries wish to be even more radical in their stand of solidarity with the Open Library and their commitment to Controlled Digital Lending, cease licensing ebooks altogether going forward. Despite the deceptive marketing of ebooks, libraries never actually buy or purchase them anyway. Licenses give a fraction of the rights available to libraries under First Sale. The more libraries have shifted to ebook licensing, the more voluminous the bleeding of paying more and more money for less and less rights. Going forward, only buy print books, and partner with the Open Library to ensure they are digitized and that the digital analogs of each print book are made available to the global public. Only in this way can libraries continue to obtain and exercise their full bundle of First Sale rights.”