Internet Librarian 2021, day 2 #InternetLibrarian

Publishing Models: Paywall vs. Public Access

Michelle Manafy, Digital Content Next, an advocacy group for news publishers

About half of Americans get their news from social media. Often the news we see is disintermediated — headlines, quotes, pictures divorced from context.

At the same time, trust in the news media has gone down.

Misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation. The last is deliberate fake news.

Algorithmic amplification of social harms. Facebook’s 2018 algorithm change actually rewarded outrage.

Google and Facebook eat up 80% of digital advertising.

In response, media companies try to get revenue from paywalls:

We need quality news. How do we pay for it?

Some publishers are allowing users to share an article.

Moderator: I get these industry newsletters, and I don’t even bother to click on the link.

Richard Huffine: I see article for free on aggregators like Yahoo News.

M. Manafy: Those sources are not very lucrative for the publishers. Apple News pays better.

Also, nonprofit news organizations are trying asking for donations (the NPR model).

Automatic writing for structured news like business and sports helps, but doesn’t fill the gap.

Michael Blackwell, director of St. Mary’s County Library (Md.)

Library digital content:

Some publishers won’t sell digital content to libraries at allowing

“Windowing”: limit to one copy per library (Macmillan)

Older content (before 2000) has often not been digitized

Siloing: content only available on one aggregator, but users get used to one and not others

License terms: With physical books, you own it and can circulate them one user at a time, often 50-60 circs over the license. E-books are often more expensive than the print equivalents. An e-book could cost $60 and be limited to a two-year term. It’s a much higher cost per use. This discourages libraries from buying new fiction, some nonfiction, etc. Some publishers offer a set number of circs. None of the big five offer a perpetual license.

Library responses:

Direct advocacy

Controlled digital lending: starting to be used. Guidelines for ILL (using DRM). Library Futures has ideas.

Legislation in Md., N.Y., and R.I. AAUP says these laws are preempted by federal copyright law. Libraries are arguing based on “reasonable terms.” Starts a conversation with publishers and may lead to federal legislation.

SimplyE: open-source software to allow libraries to federate access to multiple e-book providers. Palace Project is another one.

Publishers could offer variable licensing deals. Or even ownership as we do with print books.

Manafy: Gen X not so interested in owning media.

Blackwell: Many people are interested in owning media. Also, libraries have a preservation role.

Richard Huffine, FDIC library (formerly EPA, USGS):

News is something we all consume. Government workers consumer news voraciously. We pay for many obscure subscriptions. Sometimes it’s just not possible to get some news articles.

Agrees that publishers and journalists need to be compensated.

Sometimes copyrighted works are not available for purchase. He has printed them out and put them on the shelf. If it disappears from the internet, he still has his physical copy.

Government and corporate libraries and research publishers are part of the conversation.

Mergers, ownership by hedge funds

Open access, public access. Preprint servers. Public access is when funding agencies require open access. Creative Commons.

Also emphasized libraries’ preservation roles.

Open access copies (e.g., in institutional repositories) need to be indexed in discovery services, DPLA, etc.

Streaming content: difficult for libraries to access or preserve.

Publishers don’t understand the backlist any more. If they do make older titles available, it’s the same price as new books.

Libraries as publishers. Many university presses are coming under the university library.

Data-Driven Decisions: Citing Datasets & Transformation Toolkit

Sara Bond, JPL

Looked at citations of their datasets from PO.DAAC, oceanography datasets

Amy Stubbing, University of Westminster

Author of Data-Driven Decisions

The Future of Libraries Post-Pandemic

Kelvin Watson, Las Vegas Clark County Library

Hybrid model for programs: virtual and in-person

Plexiglass and other measures to limit touching

Digital divide:

  • Internet access
  • Hardware (tablets, hotspots)

Advocating for the library

Independent special taxing district

Digital content usage up c. 30%

Pricing models for digital content (multi-use)

Collaborating with neighboring library districts

Data Analytics for Info Pros

Frank Cervone, University of Illinois, Chicago

  • Descriptive
  • Prescriptive
  • Predictive


  • Natural language processing (e.g., chatbots)
  • Machine learning: learning what an event may signify (e.g., credit risk, fraud detection)
  • Artificial intelligence: making decisions based on the above (e.g., sending you a letter or freezing your credit)


  • Extract
  • Transfer (e.g., fix data errors)
  • Load

Data mining: processing large amounts of data to find patterns

  • Anomaly or outlier detection
  • Association rule learning
  • Clustering
  • Regression analysis
  • Classification

Machine learning: unsupervised and supervised

Black box

Ethical issues:

  • Large volume of data gathered
  • Questionable regulation
  • Unintended consequences

Privacy: de-identifying and re-identifying

Algorithm biases

Voice of the Future: Engaging & Marketing

Emily Binder, WealthVoice

Smart speakers have grown in adoption faster than any other communication medium.

When you ask for a search, it often pulls from the “featured snippets,” which often come from Wikipedia. If you want your content to be featured, use header tags, bold, boxes.

Adoption now c. 40%

Use cases: news, weather, music, asking questions

Smart speakers everywhere: cars.

Spokane Public Library put Echo Dots in libraries to educate people about bond measures

Iowa State University library used Alexa to tell about collections

Alexa flash briefings: 1-3 minute podcasts. Not that many out there. You could be number 1 in your field.

Podcast listening is still going up

If people are doing most of their internet activities with a hands-free, voice-activated device, they aren’t look at ads.

Brains are wired for sound.

Libraries Leading the New Normal & Beyond

David Lankes, UT Austin

“Libraries of all types are functioning in a time unlike any in history.”

John Perry Barlow’s declaration of independence for cyberspace (1996)

Headlines about how freedom is now limited on the internet.

Insurrection, anti-vaxers, laws against what can be taught.

The quote above isn’t true, however. These times are not unprecedented.

Not the ’60s, but 1914. Beginning of World War I, a British ship cut Germany’s undersea cables, which was the internet of its day.

Both Germany and Britain used propaganda to get the U.S. on their side. Britain censored telegrams going to the U.S.

“Propaganda” was not a bad word. It had to do with propagating faith/patriotism.

U.S. committed to “total war”: the draft, urban battlefields. Propaganda and public relations to sell it.

Espionage Act, Sedition Act. Suppressed speech seen as unpatriotic. Also, suppressed information about the 1918 flu. Hatred against unionists, Germans, etc.

Led to demonization of propaganda, isolationism. Punishment of Germany led to the Nazis.

Holocaust denial as it was happening and even now.

Misinformation can far outlast its original purpose.

Society recovered, but not on its own.

It took protestors and politicians, scholars and students to say this is not OK.

“Knowledgable people embracing diversity in a passionate drive for inclusion. Knowledgable? That’s our jam.”

We can’t wait for people to come get our information. We need to be a “distributed cadre of professionals focused on knowledge and learning.”

(I had to stop taking notes and just listen. I may have had water in my eyes.)

It got very inspirational at the end. When they post the video, I will add more quotes to this post.


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