Annoyed Librarian
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Inside Annoyed Librarian

Publishers Against the Dissemination of Research

I have to say I was as surprised and annoyed as other librarians when I read about the Research Works Act, which seems to have shocked and surprised everyone in the academic community except the people who actually produce academic research. For those who missed the furor last week over a bill that was referred to a House Committee in mid-December, the Research Works Act is intended “To ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-reviewed research works by the private sector.” To do that, it would prohibit federal agencies from insisting on open access copies of articles reporting the results of research that has been funded by those agencies, policies like the one the NIH mandated in 2008. The Association of American Publishers is ecstatic about the bill, and one detects the fingerprints of their lobbyists all over it. Here’s the statement that seems to offend librarians the most: The Research Works Act will prohibit federal agencies from unauthorized ...

The Retro Library

After all the relatively bad news regarding ebooks and libraries, I found some hope for public libraries in this article: As The Age Of The Physical Book Retreats, The Cult Of The Physical Book Advances. It might be the case, as I’ve predicted, that with the rise of digital media, publishers of the most popular media that has driven public library circulation from time immemorial will gradually stop providing access to their wares. The recent support of major publishers for SOPA shows they’ll go to ridiculous lengths to protect their ebooks from “piracy.” I feel sorry for them more than blame them. Publishers are suffering as the world realizes it doesn’t really need them anymore, and they’re doing all they can to take libraries and the Internet down with them. Fear and panic are never pretty, even if they’re understandable. But all might not be lost. Printed books aren’t going away, even if the most popular of them won’t be available for lending or purchasing, just ...

Publishers and Writers and Libraries

And a Happy New Year! Warning: this post may have been written under the influence of champagne, or perhaps a sparkling wine hangover. Many of you probably saw the Christmas Day article in the New York Times about publishers and why they hate libraries so much. That’s not quite the way they put it, but it might as well have been. The “executive vice president and chief digital officer" of Simon & Schuster explained why they hate libraries and don’t allow libraries to lend their ebooks: “We’re concerned that authors and publishers are made whole by library e-lending and that they aren’t losing sales that they might have made in another channel.” Which makes a lot of sense, because the sort of people who are willing to be number 99 out of 400 on a wait list for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are pretty likely to buy the book themselves if libraries didn't have copies. The explanation for why Simon & Schuster hates libraries but only for ebooks is ...

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