Magazine article Information Today

Five-Year Plans, EU Copyright Exemptions, and Electronic Mosquitos

Magazine article Information Today

Five-Year Plans, EU Copyright Exemptions, and Electronic Mosquitos

Article excerpt

Five-year plans tend to have a whiff of the Stalin-esque about them, but that can't be said about the National Library of Ireland's (NLI), which was recently unveiled. This 5-year plan has five priorities: developing NLI collections, modernizing library premises, improving relationships with users, taking an innovative approach to digitization, and improving collaboration with third parties. It runs until 2021.

Sandra Collins, the NLI's director, says, "Our 2016 digitisation programme enabled us to share our archives with the world. Our priority now is to create opportunities to maximise our impact, through collaborative partnerships and through new funding models." The NLI, which was founded nearly 140 years ago, hopes to boost visits to its digitized collections to 30 million annually and to get 500,000 people through its doors. In 2015, almost 250,000 patrons entered the NLI's Main Library, there were 21.1 million online visits, and some 12,887 books were added to the collection.

The NLI's funding and staffing should also increase after falling in the years following the 2008 financial crisis, which hit Ireland particularly hard. A 10 million [euro] (about $11.2 million) renovation of the Main Library, backed by the Irish government, should start soon.

The Technical Library

Elsewhere, a specialist library in South Africa is learning to stand on its feet after becoming independent of its host, the Anglo American mining company. The Technical Library now provides services to interested mining and engineering companies worldwide as well as to its former host, which was founded in 1917 by Ernest Oppenheimer and U.S. bank J.P. Morgan & Co. Publications held by the library date to the late 1800s.

Debbie Lievaart, collections manager for The Technical Library, says the institution is "the custodian of the Anglo American library collection which has been built up over 75 years, and the South African Chamber of Mines library which was established in 1889. The collections [focus] on technologies around mining, engineering, metallurgy and geosciences."

According to Lievaart, The Technical Library's finances will be based on agreements with companies, institutions, and societies that pay a monthly fee, which gives their staffers discounted rates on library services. Individual memberships are also available, including a pay-as-you-go option. She says that publications are added to the collection monthly in hard copy and digital formats "so that the collection is current and relevant. We believe we have a unique set of information products and services that we will continue to make available by expanding our client base locally and internationally."

Copyright Exceptions

Meanwhile, the European Commission (EC) recently released a draft proposal for a directive on copyright and the digital single market. On the face of it, this looks like it may be good news for those who want text and data mining (TDM) reforms that ease the lot of, for instance, researchers and research libraries. The proposal acknowledges that the "the optional nature" of exceptions and limitations provided by current directives "may negatively impact" the functioning of the internal single market. The EC says this is especially important for cross-border research in the European Union (EU).

The proposal notes that existing exceptions and limitations in EU law that are relevant for scientific research, teaching, and the preservation of cultural heritage should be reassessed. It says, "Mandatory exceptions or limitations for uses of text and data mining technologies in the field of scientific research, illustration for teaching in the digital environment and for preservation of cultural heritage should be introduced. …

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