International library news
US appeals court reverses e-reserves copyright ruling
In the US, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its long-awaited ruling in the Cambridge University Press vs. Patton case, also known as the Georgia State e-reserve case, reversing the lower court’s fair use finding in favour of Georgia State University (GSU) and calling for a revised ruling, reports Publishers Weekly. The case was filed in 2008 by academic publishers Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Sage Publications against administrators at GSU. It was alleged that GSU administrators systematically encouraged academics to make unauthorised digital copies of course readings, known as ‘e-reserves’, without paying royalty fees. The practice of e-reserves relies on the concept of ‘fair use’ (copies made by non-profits for educational purposes) and takes its name from the traditional library reserve model, where educators make a limited number of licensed photocopies available to students. The American Publishers Association has praised the reversal, while library supporters say the ruling is in fact a win for GSU and the practice of e-reserves.
US airport installs digital library kiosks
San Antonio International Airport in Texas has unveiled two ‘first of a kind’ digital library kiosks, reports the San Antonio Business Journal. The US$26,000 kiosks were created via a partnership between the San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) and OverDrive, and provide access to SAPL’s entire digital collection. Library patrons will be able to download three items to their mobile devices, which can be used for three weeks before expiring. Out-of-town travellers will be able to download three items for seven days via temporary library cards. The kiosks also function as rapid recharge stations for mobile devices.
UK university library abolishes library fines
In the UK, the University of Sheffield Library has abolished fines for overdue library books, reports the BBC. As part of the new system, books will be automatically renewed to students until another library patron lodges a request for the book. Students will then be asked to return the book and will be denied access to further loans until the book is returned. The University of Sheffield said removing fines is ‘fairer and more efficient’ and that the decision has generated ‘positive feedback from students’. Earlier this year, the Office of Fair Trading informed universities that they could be in breach of consumer law if they refused to award degrees to students with outstanding non-academic debts, including library fines.
Category: Library news