On How Physical and Electronic Differ for Library Materials

I’m reading the notes from the Atlanta OLE Project regional workshop and right up at the top are these two statements that struck me as insightful. The first gets to the heart of how physical items in a library are different from digital items with respect to library service commitments:

With print items, we’re trying to give people access; with electronic trying to keep them out.

This stems, undoubtedly, from the first sale doctrine in copyright law; the library has purchased the item and chooses to lend it to others for a period of time. With electronic items, though, we typically agree to licenses, which — as contract law — trumps the rights given by copyright; those license are more restrictive in what we can and cannot do with the digital versions.

OLE Project Webcast, Workshops Scheduled

Coming out of the face-to-face meeting in Rutgers earlier this month, the OLE Project has posted a number of announcements for upcoming events. The first is a webcast on Nov. 20, 2008 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm Eastern Standard Time, US, free of charge and open to anyone. The webcast topics are:

  • Update on the project
  • Timeline and topics for remaining project activities
  • Overview of upcoming OLE workshops and invitation to attend
  • Overview of working groups and invitation to participate
  • Q&A

Registration is required; directions for accessing the webcast will be emailed to those who register. There is a limit of 200 participants (the maximum the webcast service allows), and the session will be recorded for later playback.