January 23, 2022

Report from ACRL 2011: "Librarians Talk Google Books, Orphan Works, and What’s Next"

From a Wired Campus/Chronicle of Higher Ed Post by Jennifer Howard:

Librarians are especially keen to figure out what to do about orphan works, which are under copyright but whose rights owners can’t be identified or found. Who gets to make use of those works has been a big issue in the Google case.

“Many of us have those in our collections and would love to make those available,” Ms. [Corey] Williams [associate director of the American Library Association’s Washington office] said. “Some of us do make them available.”


Ms. Williams also raised the idea of the Digital Public Library of America championed by Harvard’s Robert Darnton and others.

“There are lots of competing interests here—commercial, not-for-profit,” she said. “So what do you think? Do you think this is all doable?”

Nobody in the room had an answer. Meanwhile, academic libraries continue their book-digitizing work.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.