#EmpoweringLibraries – join the campaign – Internet Archive Blogs

“Libraries have a crucial role in a democratic society. They ensure that marginalized groups have free access to books and that knowledge is preserved for future generations. 

But this role is under threat. We urgently need your support to protect the right of libraries to continue doing their vital work. 

Borrowing digital books is a lifeline for people who cannot physically reach a library, such as those in rural communities or affected by an emergency, as well as for people with print disabilities. 

Libraries rely on a well-established practice known as controlled digital lending to reach these communities. The practice allows libraries to lend out each book they own in either a physical or a digitized format.

Digitizing books also enables libraries to fulfill their age-old role as guardians of cultural posterity. As library shelf space grows increasingly limited due to lack of funding, many valuable collections are saved from landfill only by being digitally archived. 

A new lawsuit by four corporate publishers against the Internet Archive attempts to outlaw controlled digital lending. Libraries would no longer be able to lend digital versions of their books or digitize their collections. …”