Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Internet Archive and the National Emergency Library

The announcement from the Internet Archive got lost in the other news I'm receiving, but perhaps you had seen it.  The Internet Archive said:
To address our unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials, as of today, March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.
Although this archive uses the word "national," it is available to everyone around the world.

Okay...so I missed that announcement, but then articles like these caught my attention:
The Internet Archive responded with "Internet Archive responds: Why we released the National Emergency Library." This has an FAQ and includes information on controlled digital lending (CDL), which they use.  The FAQ is an informative read, including information on the age of the books, the quality of the images, and more. And, yes, the National Emergency Library will sunset, once the emergency is over or on June 30, 2020, whichever is later.

While controlled digital lending is not new, this is likely the first time so many news outlets and people have taken note of it or been impacted by it! (Congratulations!)

I'm glad to see many people - not just the Internet Archive - release content during this period, when people are being asked to stay home. The music, the films, the books, etc. are helping us all survive social distancing and stay at home orders.  Some of the content releases have been bold, like the Internet Archive, while others have been low risk, like unlocking subscription content.  With all of content, I think the "couch potatoes" will get through the pandemic and be a little smarter when it's all over.

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