February 17, 2018

NYPL Settles With iBiblio

By LJ Staff

The New York Public Library (NYPL) has reached a settlement with iBiblio, "the public’s library and digital archive" at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, for harvesting records from its Research Libraries catalog, which it claims is copyrighted. Heike Kordish, NYPL Humanities Library director, said NYPL had sent a cease and desist letter to UNC because of a 1980s Australian harvesting effort that then turned around and resold the NYPL records. Simon Spero, iBiblio employee and technical assistant to the assistant vice chancellor at UNC – Chapel Hill, said NYPL requested that its library records be destroyed, and the claim was settled with no admission of wrongdoing.

"I would characterize the New York Public Library as being neither public nor a library," Spero said. Ironically, the cease and desist letter comes at a time when NYPL is making arrangements under private agreement to allow Google to scan its book collection into full text, yet it is jousting with other research libraries over MARC records.