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Weekly News Digest

February 15, 2022 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

'Librarian's Lament: Digital Books Are Not Fireproof' by Chris Freeland

Chris Freeland, director of the Internet Archive’s Open Libraries program, writes the following for ZDNet:

The disturbing trend of school boards and lawmakers banning books from libraries and public schools is accelerating across the country. In response, Jason Perlow made a strong case … for what he calls a ‘Freedom Archive,’ a digital repository of banned books. Such an archive is the right antidote to book banning because, he contended, ‘You can’t burn a digital book.’ The trouble is, you can.

A few days ago, Penguin Random House, the publisher of Maus, Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, demanded that the Internet Archive remove the book from our lending library. Why? Because, in their words, ‘consumer interest in “Maus” has soared’ as the result of a Tennessee school board’s decision to ban teaching the book. By its own admission, to maximize profits, a Goliath of the publishing industry is forbidding our non-profit library from lending a banned book to our patrons: a real live digital book-burning. …

In the summer of 2020, four of the largest publishers in the U.S.—Penguin Random House among them—sued to force our library to destroy the more than 1.4 million digital books in our collection. In their pending lawsuit, the publishers are using copyright law as a battering ram to assert corporate control over the public good. In this instance, that means destroying freely available books and other materials that people rely on to become productive and discerning participants in the country’s civic, economic, and social life. 

For more information, read the article.



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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