Tag Archives: Library Laws

Support the campaign “Let Libraries Lend Books”

As we posted last month, Copyright laws are being studied in Europe for their updating to the new technological reality. The EU launched a Public consultation on EU Copyright rules that has resulted in reactions  from different library organizations (like the Right to E-Read campaign organised by EBLIDA).

Now, CILIP has started a campaign for libraries in the UK to be able to “lend ebooks free of charge to the public, as they do printed books”.

You can read all the information and support the campaign through this web page.

Marrakesh Treaty and the European Union

Last Thursday 20th March, IFLA and the Copyright 4 Creativity coalition (C4C) organized a breakfast debate in the EU Parliament to discuss the international and EU copyright frameworks.

We’d like to highlight an important announcement made at this forum by Ms Kerstin Jorna from the European Commission: the European Council approved (the day before, 19th March) the European Commission’s proposal to sign the Marrakesh Treaty ensuring access to accessible format works for the world’s visually impaired and print disabled.

You can access the full text of the Treaty through this link

The new framework of the Czech libraries development

The Conception of the Czech Libraries for the Years 2011-2015 was approved by the Czech government in the session January 11th. The strategic ground of this material is Cultural Policy for the Czech Republic (2009 – 2014) and “EUROPE 2020, a European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”.

Some interim aims answer the main initiatives of the concept:

  • Vision and priorities:
    • library services without barriers, quick and prompt library services, 24 hours, 7 days a week by virtue of digital technology, and online accessibility of library funds and digitization;
    •  comfortable and neutral place for study and free time;
    • skilled and adequate paid librarians.
  • The Conception gives consideration to library effectiveness. The SWOT analysis makes the part of material.
  • The Concept itself defines these areas:
    • a digitization of library collections, protection of cultural heritage,
    • an access to information resources and services,
    • a support of education and reading literacy,
    • equal access to library services,
    • quality, effectiveness and marketing of library services,
    • development of human sources.

The document of the Conception of the Czech Libraries for the Years 2011-2015, including the internetization of Libraries, is available here.

Eva Bartunkova
Department Head of Information Centre for Librarianship
Czech Republic

Travesía – Digital resources for library cooperation

Travesia came into being in 2000 as the Spanish Public Libraries Portal and has since developed into a digital library that supports library cooperation within the Spanish libraries systems.

Objectives of Travesía

  • Publish the necessary regulatory texts for cooperative library projects.
  • Organise, preserve and distribute electronic publications produced or funded by the Subdirectorate General of Library Coordination.
  • Provide unrestricted, open access to complete documents in text and audiovisual formats.

The complete texts of the documents are included, authors rights permitting. Otherwise Travesía gathers all the metadata and links to the document on the publisher’s website.

Travesía has a multi-lingual interface in Spain’s official languages as well as in English.

Communities and collections

Travesía currently has two major blocks of information:

  • Library Standards is a very extensive block which includes the norms, standards, guidelines, recommendations and declarations issued by State regulatory bodies and State and International cooperation bodies in the library area. It has two well-defined collections, one of legislation (European, State and Regional) and a collection of technical standards in use in the library sector.
  • Publications by the Subdirectorate General of Library Coordination with a view to distributing and preserving the publications generated by its coordination activities in the Spanish library sector: monographs, conferences, meetings, standards, etc.

Subdirectorate General for Libraries Coordination
Ministry of Culture

Library laws and the Social order and the essential funding I

Let me begin with a quote from the writer Rafiq Shami:

“Libraries are secret windows; you can look through them to other countries, cultures and hearts”.

This is a fitting picture I suppose even for the German libraries. For years, they work to ensure that these windows are open for as many people as possible. But this is a task that urgently needs some basics. I would like to talk about two of them. Both are current topics of the discussion in Germany.

First: Library laws

At the EU level are already set standards. Two thirds of all countries have library laws. In order to adapt to the rapid development of information society in recent years almost all have been updated. Germany this development is lagging behind. The German Libraries an their Associations therefore work on many levels for the nationwide introduction of library laws. But this is no easy task. Legislative power lies with the 16 German states on this issue. And they take their time, although the Study Commission on Culture in Germany of the German Parliament recommended in late 2007 to adopt library laws and to establish public libraries as a public task and an obvious commitment to finance. After all, there are exceptions: In 2008 is entered as the first state in Thuringia a library law in force. Although the tasks of local libraries are not mentioned as a public duty in this Act – however, it is a valuable beginning. Saxony-Anhalt is the model followed in June of this year. In early September, in Hesse was passed the third law. So does hope that other states will follow. Libraries are the most widely used cultural and educational institutions in Germany. They are forward-looking places of free access to knowledge, learning and research. In a republic of education they deserve reliability. ·

  • There are 10.855 libraries in Germany
  • 303.600 events a year take place in a library
  • There are 660.000 visits to libraries every day
  • 10.82 million readers in the libraries are registered
  • There are 200 million visits to libraries each year
  • 362 million media are in the libraries
  • 466 million media are borrowed annually.

These are the reasons why it is important to talk about another basic need of the libraries.

Bernhard Hoppe