May 27, 2016

GSU e-Reserves Decision | Peer to Peer Review

Kyle_Courtney

The infamous Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case (Cambridge University Press v. Patton) emerged last month from its long winter slumber to give us yet another 200+ page decision which librarians, lawyers, and publishers have begun to parse and analyze. And, like me, they are probably asking themselves: What does this decision actually mean?

KY Appeals Court: Library Taxes Legal

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Library officials across Kentucky exhaled with relief on Friday, March 20, after the state Court of Appeals ruled that systems in two northern counties correctly and legally set their annual tax rate based on a decades-old law that allows revenue to be raised without voter approval. The decision reversed two lower-court verdicts and means the Campbell and Kenton County systems will not have to roll back their tax rates 35 years or more, which would have triggered staff layoffs, branch closures, and other draconian cuts.

Suit Convinces Eighth PL to Revise Meeting Room Policy to Allow Religion, Politics

Lawrence Public Library, MA 
Photo credit: Daderot. Licensed under CC0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lawrence_Public_Library_-_Lawrence,_MA_-_DSC03595.JPG#/media/File:Lawrence_Public_Library_-_Lawrence,_MA_-_DSC03595.JPG

A public library in Lawrence, MA., has changed its meeting room policy, eliminating restrictions against religious or political expression in that space, after the city settled a lawsuit brought by Liberty Counsel, a non-profit Christian organization that has championed a number of high-profile conservative political causes in recent years.

Ousted Queens Library Director Files $2 Million Suit

Tom Galante

Former Queens Library (QL) president Thomas W. Galante filed a $2 million suit against his former employer on November 1. Galante, who was placed on administrative leave by the library board of trustees in September 2014 and fired in December for alleged misconduct and mismanagement of library funds, is claiming breach of employment, among other points.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas Retain Control of Alamo Library Collection—for Now

Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
Compliments of DRT Library

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) in September won at least a temporary victory in an ongoing battle for the control of the historical items held at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library—now known as the Alamo Research Center (ARC)—located in the historical Alamo complex in San Antonio. The dispute over the collection’s ownership began in July, when the Texas General Land Office (GLO) assumed ownership of the Alamo complex. On September 22 the 407th Judicial District of Bexar County granted the DRT a temporary injunction against the GLO until ownership of the 38,000 books, maps, and flags, artwork, and manuscripts collected by DRT over 70 years can be assessed.

U.S. Appeals Court Rules Google Book Scanning Is Fair Use

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The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled on October 16 that Google’s library book scanning project is protected by fair use and so does not constitute copyright infringement. The decision, which rejects the latest challenge in Authors Guild v. Google, a class-action lawsuit first filed in 2005, also held that Google’s provision of digital copies of the scanned books to participating libraries is non-infringing.

Update: Librarians Embroiled in Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Harassment

In a Statement of Claim dated July 15, 2014, Joe Murphy—a 2009 LJ Mover & Shaker—named librarians nina de jesus and Lisa Rabey as defendants in a civil lawsuit filed in Toronto, Ontario (de jesus is a Canadian citizen). Murphy is suing the two for $1.25 million in damages–$1 million for general defamation, and $250,000 for aggravated exemplary and punitive damages. On March 25, 2015, de jesus and Rabey both published retractions and apologies to the Team Harpy website, which had previously hosted their joint legal defense fund, as well as to their personal blogs and Twitter accounts.

Boston College Oral History Project Faces Ongoing Legal Issues

Babst Library, Boston College

After years of ongoing legal issues, Boston College’s (BC) Belfast Project is again in the news. The Project, launched in 2001, is an oral history collection consisting of recorded interviews from participants in Northern Ireland’s 30-year civil conflict known as the Troubles.

One Kentucky Library District Upheld, But More Still in the Balance

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The McLean County Public Library, a one-branch system in the tiny rural community of Livermore, KY, is a valid special taxing district, a state appeals court affirmed in a Jan. 30 decision, enabling it to continue raising revenue without voter approval. McLean County is one of almost 100 county library systems in Kentucky operating as a special taxing district, so the decision was welcome news for the entire Kentucky library community, which is still awaiting the outcome of another pending appeals court case challenging the funding mechanism.

Following Dismissal, Thomas Galante Sues Queens Library

Thomas Galante

Within 24 hours of being dismissed by the recently reconstituted Queens Library (QL) Board of Trustees on the evening of December 17, former QL President and CEO Thomas Galante announced via his lawyer Hillary Prudlo that he would sue for wrongful termination. The reorganized board had placed Galante on indefinite, paid administrative leave on September 11, citing an ongoing audit of QL’s finances by New York City comptroller Scott Stringer, and investigations by the city Department of Investigation (DOI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding construction contracts awarded by the library.