Friday, 16 January 2009

Big Issues for Libraries

In the recent ALIA survey of members, lobbying and advocacy were given as an extremely high priority. This was unexpected (for me, anyway) but it did prompt me to urge you all (Rebecca has proven that a plural audience might be assumed) to do some reading.

Here are three big issues.

Copyright, and the debate is hotting up about the settlement in the US between Google and the publisher and author organisations. Bernie Sloan, posting to the liblicense list, refers us to a
resource compiled by Timothy Vollmer, an IT policy analyst in DC. You can find it here. Many of the items listed relate to libraries, and the example of a report by OCLC Research on the impact on libraries is given.

Online content regulation (censorship) is interesting too, and there has been a recent article by Derek E Bambauer of the Brooklyn Law School which summarises, in a brief 30 pages, the development of the Australian Government's filtering plans. If development is the right word.

Finally, all of you interested in broadband and things related will want to read the consultation paper issues by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, just out. There is a link from here, and comments are due by 11 February.

There's a lot going on which might concern us, and one element in successful lobbying and advocacy is being informed. In the meantime, if you are interested in these kinds of issues, or just in helping to put together a library viewpoint, let me know.

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