January 4th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

#3 ALA eBook bestseller Jan-Feb 2015

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July 25th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

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January 10th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Streamed live on Jan 9, 2014

The Future of Libraries: What’s Your Vision? We’re thrilled to have Innovative Interfaces as a sponsor for this episode. David Lee King will lead our expert panel in an open discussion on the challenges and changes we’ll see in our libraries in the near and distant future.

David Lee King, Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
Bohyun Kim, Digital Access Librarian at Florida International University Medical Library
Marshall Breeding, Library Technology Consultant, Speaker and Author
Joe Murphy, Director of Library Futures at Innovative Interfaces

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December 27th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Books are weapons in the war of ideas

See all of them @ Gizmodo.com.

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October 2nd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

sauers_burns_cover_rev1It’s been a long time coming but Google Search Secrets authored by yours truly and my NLC colleague Christa Burns is done and, according to ALA, off to the printer. We should see our copies by the end of the month and it should be available for purchase in early November. (However, you’re welcome to pre-order it from ALA or Amazon right now.)

Posted in Books, Writing Tagged with: , ,

September 4th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Cory DoctorowAt the start of the summer, I traveled to Chicago for the annual national conference of the American Library Association. It was great. There are many utterly baseless clichés about librarians – the shushing spinster who prefers the company of books to humans is a creation of pure and unimaginative fantasy. But there is one way in which librarians live up to their reputation: they are superbly organized. I’ve been to many library conferences – national, regional, even Europe-wide – and the one thing I can report about all of them is that they ran like clockwork.

While I was in Chicago, I sat down with some of the ALA strategists to talk about how libraries are getting a raw deal on e-books. When libraries want to buy an e-book from the publisher, they find themselves paying as much as five times the price you or I pay for the same book. Literally – librarians are paying $60-80, and sometimes more, to include current release frontlist titles in their collections. Each of these e-books can only be lent to one patron at a time, which means that libraries are sometimes buying a dozen – or more – of these overpriced text-files.

Not only that, but libraries have to buy these books with DRM on them, and invest in expensive, proprietary collection-management software from companies like Overdrive in order to ensure that only one patron at a time can check out any given e-book. These e-books come with restrictions that don’t appear on regular print books; they can’t be sold on as used books once their circulations drop below a certain threshold; neither can they be shared with another library’s patrons though standard practices like interlibrary loan, a mainstay of libraries for more than a century.

Read the full article @ Locus Online.

Posted in ebooks, Libraries Tagged with: , ,

August 6th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

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June 29th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Declaration for the Right to Libraries

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June 28th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

a4le logoAre you an author? Do you want all eBooks to be available to all libraries?

Our nation’s readers and libraries need your help.

Did you know that many ebooks are not available to most libraries at any price? Of those we can buy, libraries frequently pay 150 to 500% more than the consumer price, forcing us to purchase fewer copies for library readers to discover. As more books appear only in electronic form, the situation will become intolerable for our nation’s readers.

Authors benefit when libraries have the ability to buy and lend ebooks. Libraries help authors through:

  • Exposure. Libraries help people find you. Readers discover new authors, topics, and genres in our libraries. Libraries help authors get noticed: we host you at author events; we feature your books at book clubs; and we spotlight your titles on our websites.
  • Sales. Research shows that our loans encourage people to buy your books. Additionally, many libraries now provide an option for people to click and “buy-it-now” from our websites.
  • Respect. Libraries honor your work. We protect copyright, and we pay for what we use. We want you to keep writing, and make a living at it.
  • Love of reading. Libraries help grow readers – and writers.  Library lending promotes literacy, exploration, creativity, and innovation.

The Authors for Library Ebooks campaign seeks to add author voices to those of librarians and readers in support of equitable access to digital content through libraries. There are many ways you can support this effort:

  • Sign on to the Authors Stand with Libraries statement.
  • Help us raise awareness of this issue with publishers, other authors and the general public.
  • Learn more about what’s at stake.

Literature and knowledge—in all their forms—are essential. We must protect access to them for all people through libraries. Stand with libraries as we seek sustainable solutions for our nation’s readers, thinkers, writers and dreamers.

Check it all out @ http://www.ala.org/transforminglibraries/a4le.

Posted in ebooks, Libraries Tagged with: , ,

April 21st, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Librarians Against CISPA(Re-posted from Facebook.)

Libraries, privacy, freedom go hand in hand just like cats and the internet.
Tell President Obama: Protect My Privacy, Veto CISPA
From ALA’s Letter.

Earlier this year, many of our organizations wrote to state our opposition to H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013 (CISPA). We write today to express our continued
opposition to this bill following its markup by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Although some amendments were adopted in markup to improve the bill’s privacy safeguards, these amendments were woefully inadequate to cure the civil liberties threats posed by this bill. In particular, we remain gravely concerned that despite the amendments, this bill will allow companies that hold very sensitive and personal information to liberally share it with the government, including with military agencies.

CISPA creates an exception to all privacy laws to permit companies to share our information with each other and with the government in the name of cybersecurity. Although a carefully-crafted information sharing program that strictly limits the information to be shared and includes robust privacy safeguards could be an effective approach to cybersecurity, CISPA lacks such protections for individual rights. CISPA’s information sharing regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like internet records or the content of emails, to any agency in the government including military and intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency or the Department of Defense Cyber Command.

Developments over the last year make CISPA’s approach even more questionable than before. First, the President recently signed Executive Order 13636, which will increase information sharing from the government to the private sector. Information sharing in this direction is often cited as a substantial justification for CISPA and will proceed without legislation. Second, the cybersecurity legislation the Senate considered last year, S. 3414, included privacy protections for information sharing that are entirely absent from CISPA, and the Obama administration, including the intelligence community, has confirmed that those protections would not inhibit cybersecurity programs.

These included provisions to ensure that private companies send cyber threat information only to civilian agencies, and a requirement that companies make “reasonable efforts” to remove personal information that is unrelated to the cyber threat when sharing data with the government. Finally, witnesses at a hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence confirmed earlier this year that companies can strip out personally identifiably information that is not necessary to address cyber threats, and CISPA omits any requirement that reasonable efforts be undertaken to do so.
We continue to oppose CISPA and encourage you to vote ‘no.’


Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. The courts have established a First Amendment right to receive information in a publicly funded library.  Further, the courts have upheld the right to privacy based on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.  Many states provide guarantees of privacy in their constitutions and statute law.  Numerous decisions in case law have defined and extended rights to privacy
In a library (physical or virtual), the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf.

Protecting user privacy and confidentiality has long been an integral part of the mission of libraries. The ALA has affirmed a right to privacy since 1939.   Existing ALA policies affirm that confidentiality is crucial to freedom of inquiry.  Rights to privacy and confidentiality also are implicit in the Library Bill of Rights’ guarantee of free access to library resources for all users.”

Learn more Here. 
CISPA Explained
What Privacy? CISPA Passes in Closed Door Vote
CISPA: A Prehistoric Bill
Targeted Hacker Jacob Appelbaum on CISPA, Surveillance & the “Militarization of Cyberspace”
An Open Letter From Security Experts, Academics and Engineers to the U.S. Congress: Stop Bad Cybersecurity Bills
Looming Cyber-Security Bill Could Have Ruined Reddit’s Boston Investigation
Legislation Preventing Employers From Asking for Facebook Passwords Defeated
Cybersecurity Policy – A Primer
CISPA Renders Online Privacy Agreements Meaningless, But Sponsor Sees No Reason To Fix That
CISPA permits police to do warrantless database searches
Film ‘War for Web’ warns of CISPA, SOPA, future threats
CISPA Passes House; Obama Threatens Veto
Save The Internet

Posted in Politics & Law Tagged with: , ,