State of Emergency


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Key examples of--and responses to--librarians outsourcing their core functions to third-party commercial entities.

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  • State of Emergency

    1. 1. state of emergency K.G. Schneider [email_address] June, 2007
    2. 2. alternate title: The Paranoia Presentation
    3. 3. qualifications <ul><li>reader, writer, librarian </li></ul>
    4. 4. confessions of a serial tramp <ul><li>Atlantic, Vanity Fair, New Yorker, People, The Week, Time, Newsweek, Missouri Review, Poets and Writers, Antioch Review, American Scholar, Sunset, Southern Living, New York Times, Tallahassee Democrat, Slate, Salon, First Monday… </li></ul>
    5. 5. the serial ecology
    6. 6. an essay is born
    7. 7. the serial work product process <ul><li>Reflection, writing: 50-75 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Research: 50 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Revision: 25+ hours </li></ul><ul><li>Workshopping: 25-50 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Submission process: 1 hour </li></ul><ul><li>Final revision: 10-20 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Layout and printing: ? </li></ul>
    8. 8. the small-press economy <ul><li>Income for editor: nominal </li></ul><ul><li>Payment for author: one year’s subscription </li></ul><ul><li>Chance to participate in building the historical record: priceless </li></ul>
    9. 10. what we do is memory work
    10. 11. emergency <ul><li>“ Every profession has a heartland of work over which it has complete, legally established control.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-- Andrew Abbott, The System of Professions </li></ul></ul>
    11. 12. the long slow boiling of the frog <ul><li>Early 1990s: serials prices begin sharp increases </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-1990s: Internet filtering battles begin </li></ul><ul><li>Late 1990s: database consolidation; leasing becomes more common; serials prices continue steep ascension </li></ul><ul><li>1997: Hawaii outsourcing fiasco </li></ul><ul><li>2003: Disney copyright ruling </li></ul><ul><li>2001: iTunes and AAC format </li></ul><ul><li>2004: Google Library Project begins </li></ul><ul><li>2007: Time-Warnerized ruling on postal rates; libraries continue to join the Google project </li></ul>
    12. 13. trends and tensions <ul><li>Vendor-controlled collections </li></ul><ul><li>Buying versus leasing </li></ul><ul><li>Buckets versus titles </li></ul><ul><li>Access versus ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Users versus publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional versus perpetual access </li></ul>
    13. 14. more trends and tensions <ul><li>Narrowing definition of public user </li></ul><ul><li>Private contracts for public services </li></ul><ul><li>Diminution of abstract skill base </li></ul>
    14. 15. access versus ownership <ul><li>Introduces concept of post-cancellation loss of access </li></ul><ul><li>Not in the driver’s seat </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of institutional memory </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Makes collections ephemeral </li></ul>
    15. 16. random question #1 Why are we helping Google build a proprietary book depository?
    16. 17. understanding google <ul><li>Corporation with over 10,000 employees </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate motto: “Don’t be evil” </li></ul><ul><li>Visiting the Googleplex requires an NDA </li></ul>
    17. 18. Siva Vaidhyanathan on Google <ul><li>“ Is it really proper for one company — no matter how egalitarian it claims to be — to organize all the world's information? Who asked it to? Isn't that the job of universities, libraries, academics, and librarians? Have those institutions and people failed in their mission? Must they outsource everything ?” </li></ul>
    18. 19. google will not disclose <ul><li>Its scanning methods </li></ul><ul><li>The nature of its contracts </li></ul><ul><li>How many books it has scanned so far </li></ul>
    19. 20. the UC and UM google contracts <ul><li>“ The university ... can't share, license, or sell its scans to any third party and can redistribute no more than ten percent of scanned material to other libraries or schools , even for educational purposes -- which constrains interlibrary loan.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Library Journal , 9/5/2006 </li></ul>
    20. 21. UM’s google contract <ul><li>“ U of M ... shall also cooperate in good faith with Google to mutually develop methods and systems for ensuring that the substantial portions of the U of M Digital Copy are not downloaded from the services offered on U of M's website or otherwise disseminated to the public at large .” </li></ul>
    21. 22. not in the contracts <ul><li>Public access </li></ul><ul><li>Open formats </li></ul><ul><li>Book search = web search </li></ul><ul><li>Putting a library search box on the google search page </li></ul><ul><li>Quality standards </li></ul>
    22. 23. you know serials are next, right?
    23. 24. OCA: Open Content Alliance <ul><li>A project of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organized as a library under California law </li></ul><ul><li>8 regional scanning centers that are inside libraries — all nonprofit — flexible arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>12,000 books a month, 10 cents a page </li></ul><ul><li>Free membership, sweat equity participation, librarian-driven </li></ul>
    24. 27. interested? <ul><li>Visit a regional scanning center </li></ul><ul><ul><li>San Francisco, Los Angeles, Illinois, Toronto, Austin, New York, DC, London </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Send a note to [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Come visit the OCA in San Francisco </li></ul>
    25. 28. random question #2 Why do we need to pay an organization an annual fee to give us temporary access on a remote server to the content we already bought?
    26. 29. Portico versus LOCKSS <ul><li>Where is the content held? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is the steward? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s at stake? </li></ul><ul><li>What would the library be agreeing to? </li></ul>
    27. 30. LOCKSS <ul><li>Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian-grown innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to protect the interests of librarianship </li></ul><ul><li>Community-built and operated </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable—easy to set up a LOCKSS box--no additional licensing fee </li></ul>
    28. 31. CLOCKSS <ul><li>Controlled LOCKSS – for copyright-controlled content </li></ul><ul><li>“ A distributed, validated, platform-neutral archive to ensure the long-term preservation of digitally published scholarly materials.” </li></ul>
    29. 32. LOCKSS/CLOCKSS Technology, Summarized
    30. 33. free, open-source software, low hardware requirements, & very simple installation
    31. 34. a lockss network has at least six nodes It audits its content and fixes it when it breaks
    32. 35. designed around catastrophe <ul><li>Technology assumes strength in numbers </li></ul><ul><li>System built to repair its content </li></ul><ul><li>Policies design to place content in stewardship of the common librarian trust </li></ul>
    33. 36. CLOCKSS three-fold safety <ul><li>No single copy to disappear </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of community stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Local content puts libraries back in the jurisdiction business </li></ul>oh hai i has replicated ur e-journals
    34. 37. side comment re gummint documents <ul><li>Vast amounts of government documents being “disappeared” from the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Archive embarking on project to preserve these </li></ul><ul><li>Participating libraries will preserve the true government record </li></ul>
    35. 38. random question #3 Why is Time-Warner so greedy?
    36. 39. time warner vs. the small presses <ul><li>Time Warner proposed 11% postal increases for the small presses </li></ul><ul><li>Affects the slender margin of most small presses </li></ul><ul><li>Favors the large presses </li></ul><ul><li>Media mailing goes up as well </li></ul><ul><li>Take action before July 15! </li></ul>
    37. 40. battle lessons <ul><li>The right path is not always instinctive, obvious, or well-marked… and it often requires more work </li></ul><ul><li>Ignore the dazzle and read the fine print </li></ul><ul><li>We need to bring our values to the table </li></ul><ul><li>Possession is not 9/10 th of the law… most of the time, possession IS the law </li></ul>
    38. 41. K.G. Schneider [email_address] 850-590-3370