Here we go again. Another academic librarian received a letter threatening legal action over criticizing a publisher’s practices in a personal blog. But it’s not Edwin Mellen Press that’s the plaintiff this time; Jeffrey Beall, University of of Colorado, Denver librarian and author of the Scholarly Open Access blog, received the letter from OMICS Publishing Group, an OA publisher based in India (with an office in Los Angeles).
Rarely are defendants in a dispute settled out of court enthusiastic about the remedies they’re required to supply. But Elizabeth Dupuis, UC Berkeley Associate University Librarian and Director, Doe/Moffitt Libraries, told LJ that the library is excited by the prospect of unprecedented access. But then, this isn’t exactly your standard adversarial legal case. Print-disabled U.C. Berkeley students David Jaulus, Brandon King, and Tabitha Mancini, represented by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), had entered into structured negotiations—a collaborative problem-solving alternative to litigation—with the university over their inability to access materials.
If you’re an academic librarian, you’re probably already awash, at least peripherally, in news about MOOCs—massive open online courses have been touted as the next big thing in higher ed since they burst on the scene about a year ago. If you’re a public librarian, on the other hand, you may not even have heard of them. Yet MOOCs are bringing unprecedented challenges and opportunities to both kinds of libraries already, and they’re only going to grow.
aBeginning May 8, instructors providing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) via Coursera will have the option to supplement their video lectures with content from major academic publishers Cengage Learning, Macmillan Higher Education, Oxford University Press, SAGE Publications,and Wiley, at no cost to their students. And that’s just the beginning: “Coursera is also actively discussing pilot agreements and related alliances with Springer and additional publishers,” the company said in a statement. This could be a sea change for both MOOCs and publishers’ business models.
Last night I celebrated World Book Night (WBN) by handing out 20 copies of one of my favorite books, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, adjacent to the subway entrance at New York City’s Union Square. Objectively speaking it didn’t take me long at all to give out my copies—my box was emptied in time for me to attend the World Book Night kickoff party across the park at Barnes & Noble, if I hadn’t needed to get home to dinner. But subjectively speaking, it seemed to take much longer, and presented a capsule case study in reasons for, and methods of, rejection.
The Free Library of Philadelphia plans to merge with The Rosenbach Museum & Library, which houses a rare book, fine art, and archival materials collection built around the personal library of noted dealers Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach and his brother Philip. The institutions signed a letter of intent following board approval by each of the organizations on April 16, nearly a year after the Rosenbach first approached the Free Library with the idea.