Darnton discusses future of libraries 2012-08-20


“Despite a number of obstacles, the Digital Public Library of America, an open-access digital library, is projected to launch in April 2013, making the United States’ cultural heritage available worldwide, according to Robert Darnton, a Harvard University professor and the director of the Harvard University Library. Darnton spoke in Filene Auditorium in Monday’s inaugural Donoho Colloquium titled ‘The Digital Public Library of America and the Digital Future.’ The DPLA will allow the public to access information without dealing with the costs of accessing it, Darnton said. Although more knowledge is constantly produced, an increasingly small percentage of it is accessible to the public, he said. ‘The cost of academic journals, in general, has increased at four times the cost of inflation since 1980,’ he said. The hyperinflation of periodical prices creates ‘a dent in a library’s budget,’ leading librarians to buy fewer monographs, which are important to the study of the social sciences and humanities, Darnton said. Meanwhile, journal publishers often report profit margins of 20 to 40 percent, according to Darnton. ‘The market is being manipulated and monopolized,’ he said. ‘Private gain has eclipsed the public good.’ The success of Google Books Search demonstrates that new technologies can be harnessed to create a unique kind of library, despite being declared illegal, Darnton said.‘Google chose the path of commercialization when confronted by the issue of infringement of rights,’ Darnton said. ‘We must now take up where Google left off. Nothing like [the DPLA] has ever existed.’ As it develops, the DPLA will struggle with scope and content, costs, legal issues, technical structure and governance, according to Darnton. Legal issues are ‘the most important problem of all,’ Darnton said. ‘The DPLA will and must respect copyright.’ To avoid copyright infringements, the DPLA will initially include only materials in the public domain, he said.‘[DPLA] would not threaten interests of publishers and authors who are understandably trying to make a profit on the publishing of books,’ he said...”



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.licensing oa.comment oa.ssh oa.copyright oa.libraries oa.costs oa.pd oa.books oa.librarians oa.prices oa.budgets oa.dpla oa.libre



Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 14:48

Date published:

02/29/2012, 20:00