Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Libraries

Protecting Privacy In A Pandemic: A Resource Guide

American Library Association: “This resource guide supplements “Protecting Privacy During a Pandemic,” a town hall hosted by the ALA’s IFC Privacy Subcommittee on May 8, 2020. The recorded session can be viewed online on OIF’s YouTube channel.
Privacy Fundamentals – Even during a public health emergency, libraries should continue to adhere to their mission and stand by the law and ethical standards that govern the provision of library services.

  • A publicly supported library provides free, equitable, and confidential access to information for all people of its community.
  • The law in most states requires libraries to protect the privacy and confidentiality of library users in order to preserve and protect their civil liberties and their right to receive information.
  • Privacy and anonymity are important factors in providing fair and equitable access to the information resources and services provided by the library, particularly for those who are members of marginalized and vulnerable groups.
  • In all cases, access to, and delivery of, library resources and services should not be conditioned on the user’s consent to the collection and use of their information for contact tracing or other purposes unrelated to library service…”

Librarians Recruited as COVID-19 Hunters

American Libraries – Library workers say contact tracing is a good fit for their skills: “Gathering information, educating patrons, hunting down hard-to-find items—it’s all part of the everyday work of librarians. That’s why some cities are turning to them to serve on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic as so-called contact tracers. The work… Continue Reading

Amazon rivals thrive during the pandemic as shipping delays level the playing field

NBC News – “Over the nine months Andy Hunter courted investors for his online bookselling business,, he was repeatedly told it was doomed to be crushed by Amazon. Three months since its launch with less than $1 million in funding, Hunter said the business has already far exceeded levels he’d hoped to achieve by… Continue Reading

COVID-19 & Libraries: Your Questions Answered

DEMCO Ideas & Inspiration: “With all the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no wonder you have questions about how to reopen your library and expand your services safely. To help you plan, we asked pediatrician and librarian Dr. Dipesh Navsaria to address your biggest concerns, including how to quarantine books, what protective measures are… Continue Reading

Don’t Leave Workers Out of the Library Narrative

Library Journal Opinion by Callan Bignoli: “There’s been a trend in articles coming out in major publications about how excited people are to get back to their libraries and how resilient libraries are—something EveryLibrary’s Patrick Sweeney called “happy-go-lucky library stories” at the recent #LIBREV conference. While they pay important attention to the needs libraries are… Continue Reading

Libraries Do Not Need Permission To Lend Books

Medium – Fair Use, First Sale, and the Fallacy of Licensing Culture: “Licensing culture is out of control. This has never been clearer than during this time when hundreds of millions of books and media that were purchased by libraries, archives, and other cultural intuitions have become inaccessible due to COVID-19 closures or, worse, are… Continue Reading

Google censored search results after bogus copyright claims

Reclaim the Net – “We recently did a deep-dive for members about how the DMCA and copyright claims are one of the greatest growing threats to free speech online. Now, an investigation has revealed that Google has fallen victim to fake copyright notices and is taking down several legitimate news articles and similar search results.… Continue Reading

Libraries have spent years reinventing themselves. Will they have to do it again?

Marketplace: “Over the past 15 years, public libraries across the country have been rethinking their role as a public space. They’ve evolved from just a place to check out books into community hubs, and the transformation has come with a lot of new initiatives and programs. The Boston Public Library, for example, has been working… Continue Reading

The race to save the first draft of coronavirus history from internet oblivion

MIT Technology Review – How researchers, archivists, and citizens are racing to preserve a record of how we lived and changed during this strange period of history: “…According to Brewster Kahle, the Internet Archive’s founder, his organization is already collecting about 1 billion URLs a day across the web. Archiving the pandemic means trying to… Continue Reading

What it Means to be a Library During COVID-19

Internet Archive Blogs: “Library directors and staff are facing incredible challenges in meeting their community’s needs during this unprecedented time of library closure. As a recent article by NISO Director of Content, Jill O’Neill, points out “[o]ne take-away from this global pandemic might be the humble recognition that there are existing needs in the marketplace… Continue Reading