December 10, 2017

Residents Sue Escondido Over Library Outsourcing

Roy and Mary Garrett, residents of Escondido, CA, and longtime library patrons, are suing the city over its decision to privatize the Escondido Public Library (EPL). Officials voted in August to turn library operations over to Library Systems and Services (LS&S), a private for-profit company that manages public libraries, to forestall a projected citywide pension shortfall. In October, the city council voted to enter into a ten-year contract with the firm. Many residents have opposed the move from the beginning, noting that city officials pursued the plan without asking for input or presenting alternatives.

Lakewood, OH, Mom Sues Library Over Teen’s Rough Treatment

The mother of a Lakewood, OH teenager has filed suit against an off-duty police officer serving as security who broke her daughter’s jaw on November 7, 2016, during an incident at the Lakewood Public Library’s Madison Branch. The lawsuit was filed on Monday, June 5, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

LSU and Elsevier: A Tale of Two Contracts | Peer to Peer Review

In a May 2 statement, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) announced that Louisiana State University (LSU) filed a lawsuit against academic publishing company Elsevier for breach of contract on February 27. According to the complaint, Elsevier cut off the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s (SVM) access to content that was legally licensed by LSU Libraries. For many reasons, especially Elsevier’s often contentious relationship with libraries over the decades, this will be one of the more interesting cases to watch unfold.

The Right to Link is Challenged Under EU Law

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the chief judicial authority of the European Union, on September 8 issued a landmark ruling in a case called GS Media v. Sanoma (C-160/15), concerning hyperlinking and potential copyright infringement. This interesting case expands upon a theme that has been present in Europe for some time—a copyright crackdown on linking, news snippets, and other content.

Sci-Hub Controversy Triggers Publishers’ Critique of Librarian

The website repository Sci-Hub, which enables users to freely download scholarly articles that normally require institutional subscriptions or individual payments, has found itself at the center of a series of conflicts over the past year. Many publishers are increasingly angry at the theft of copyrighted material, with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) going so far as to censure an academic librarian for his comments on Sci-Hub during a panel at the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Orlando in June.

Judge Dismisses Final Lawsuit Between Orland Park PL, Bloggers

On May 16 U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp Jr. dismissed a second amended complaint filed by Bridget Bittman, former public information director of the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL), IL, against New Jersey–based blogger Dan Kleinman, who describes himself as a “library watchdog” on his website SafeLibraries

Cincinnati PL Board Votes Not To Support Coverage of Gender Confirmation Surgery

In a decision that could have reverberations for library employees across the country, the board of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC) announced at its June 14 meeting that the library will not add a rider to its health plan that would cover gender confirmation surgery for Rachel Dovel, who has worked at the library for more than a decade. The seven-member board cited the rider’s additional costs, which would be passed on to the library and its employees.

GSU e-Reserves Decision | Peer to Peer Review

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

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

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.