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International library news

US library develops ereader app

In the US, the Queens Library in New York has developed its own ereader app for Android and iOS, reports Good Ereader. The app gives users access to the library’s collection of ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines and newspaper, as well as offering a catalogue search, an ISBN barcode scanner and event booking. The app has been downloaded more than 5400 times on iOS and more than 3300 times on Android, and Queens Library is reportedly considering developing the app for other libraries.

Russian Presidential Library to create Wikipedia alternative

The Russian Presidential Library has announced plans to create a free online portal for Russian reference materials that will act as ‘an alternative to Wikipedia’, reports RT. The library said it has collected more than 50,000 books and archive documents from 27 regional libraries, which will be digitised and made available online. ‘The integration of unique materials about the regions in a single electronic encyclopedia will allow to objectively and accurately portray the country, its population, the diversity of state and national arrangements, the library said in a statement, adding that Wikipedia has been ‘unable to provide reliable and detailed information about Russian regions’. The library is collaborating with the Russian National Library and a library union on the project.

Publishers appeal ‘win’ in e-reserves copyright ruling

In the US, the publisher plaintiffs in the long-running Cambridge University Press vs. Patton case, also known as the Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserve case, have asked for a full hearing by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, despite the fact that the court of appeals last month reversed a previous verdict against the publishers, reports Publishers Weekly. In a statement, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) praised the court’s reversal of a 2012 district court verdict, but criticised its underlying analysis, which it said ‘contradicted Supreme Court and Eleventh Circuit precedent’. AAP president and CEO Tom Allen called the litigation a ‘test case’ that will ‘inform application of fair use’ in the academic setting. The case was originally 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.


Category: Library news