LSC 555 Blog Post #6

Reflections on Vaidhyanathan (2007) and Gambles (2010).

Although much of the Google Books copyright issues have been laid to rest, the experience surrounding that case, remain at the forefront of social issues and information technology (IT). Perhaps more significantly, this case along, with the Open Access movement, raises the potential partnership and strategic alliances between libraries and IT leaders.

Vaidhyanathan (2007) notes the copyright trifecta of publishers, IT leaders (e.g. Google), and libraries (e.g. University of Michigan digitization projects). Here, the author raises the copyright issue that pitted the academic publishers against both Google and the University of Michigan libraries. Although there was a lot of debate between Google and libraries, this case brings to the forefront the role of publishers.

Publishers, particularly academic publishers, have been reticent to change. Unsurprisingly, in the current market, publishers gain income and rights to academic works without much competition or contestation from other parties. Changes (in the form of Open Access and digitization projects) severely cut into publishers income flow. In some ways, these issues have brought into focus the commercial publication market and opened up a reason for libraries and IT leaders to consider some form of strategic alliance. One approach to building on this alliance or partnership is provided in Gables (2010).

Gables article outlines an IT strategy for libraries. This is a notable approach because too often libraries do not think about applying new technologies and applications through a strategic lens (I wrote a similar post on this issue here). When we visited the Library of Congress, we met with a representative from Office of Strategic Initiatives who spoke about social media initiatives from a strategic policy standpoint. What was refreshing about this presentation was that there is a clear pathway of how social media can and should be implemented. While some may view this as terrible bureaucracy, having a social media strategy forces librarians to think and justify implementing social media and what information they are sharing and what they want to get out of this IT interaction.

References

Vaidhyanathan, S. (2007). The Googlization of Everything and the Future of Copyright. http://lawreview.law.ucdavis.edu/issues/40/3/copyrightcreativity-catalogs/DavisVol40No3_Vaidhyanathan.pdf

Gambles, B. (2010). Rewriting the Book: On the Move in the Library of Birmingham. Ariadne, 64, http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue64/gambles 

This blog post fulfills an assignment for a library school course and includes readings related to information systems. 

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