Internet archive blogs a blog from the team at archive.org gas after eating dairy

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In November 2016, the U.S. elected a new president who had sworn to roll back important environmental protections, dismantle the EPA, and who had once called climate change a “ hoax .” In the context of warming global temperatures, rising tides, and oil pipeline battles, a dozen colleagues at universities and nonprofits across the country got together online, and decided to do something. We were concerned about the continued existence of federal environmental agencies—particularly in their abilities to protect the most vulnerable among us—as well as the preservation and accessibility of important environmental and climate data. electricity generation in usa More broadly, we were concerned with the collective investment in public research and agencies.

From our initial email we grew into the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (pronounced “edgy”), today a North American-wide network that includes 175 members from more than 30 different academic institutions, 10 nonprofits, and caring and committed volunteers who come from a broad spectrum of work and life backgrounds. Our work has included crowd-sourced archiving federal environmental datasets, monitoring and reporting on changes to federal environmental agency websites, and interviewing employees at EPA and OSHA. Major news outlets have reported on us, from the Washington Post to CNN to the New York Times , and we have contributed to and helped shape an ongoing, national discussion on the value of federal environmental protections, and the need for accessible and accountable data infrastructures and publicly-engaged forms of data stewardship.

So much of what we have been able to accomplish over the past two years is enabled by the Internet Archive, and in particular the Wayback Machine. For example, our first event in December 2016 sought to archive EPA websites, prior to Trump’s inauguration, by nominating key pages and datasets for inclusion in the Wayback Machine. This project grew over the subsequent 5 months, as over 49 DataRescue events were held across the country, and over 63,000 web pages from environmental agencies like EPA, NOAA, NASA, and OSHA were nominated to the archive. 8 gases The DataRescue project ended in June 2017, but not before raising important questions about the politics of data accessibility and stewardship.

Through DataRescue we began partnering with the Internet Archive, which has become essential in another EDGI project: tracking ongoing changes at federal agency websites . Initially using a fee-based software program, Versionista, to crawl government web pages (currently crawling 42,000 URLs), we have been able to locate and report on the removal or alteration of web content on climate, non-renewable energy sources, and important environmental treaties. This kind of work increasingly relies on the Wayback Machine, and our reports systematically include references and screenshots from it. In our commitment to building participatory and responsive civic technologies and data infrastructure (partly inspired by the Internet Archive), we also developed our own web monitoring software, called Scanner, that is free and open-source, and which we plan to turn into a public platform. We are partnering with the Internet Archive to develop its functionality.

On October 18 more than 50 library leaders from across the U.S. and Canada joined us at our headquarters in San Francisco for our Open Libraries Forum . We’ve been holding an annual forum for more than ten years, using the opportunity to bring together thought leaders from across library communities and cultural heritage organizations to envision a digital future for our collections and services.

This year we focused specifically on advancing the Open Libraries program, and its vision of digitizing four million modern books. Discussions focused on the legal and operational issues related to delivering digital books and services for the print disabled community; integrating our controlled digital lending service with emerging ebook platforms and consortia; and building a digital library that is widely used, frequently cited, and representative of the diverse voices in our communities. To learn more about the discussions, we’ve assembled the breakout reports given at the end of the day in a publicly available Google Doc. gaz 67 Takeaways

The recent nomination and appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court offered a timely opportunity to demonstrate how controlled digital lending can be used by libraries to circulate digital copies of books that are out of print or not widely held. The basic premise of controlled digital lending is “own one, loan one”—rather than loaning a physical book in their collection, libraries can choose instead to loan a scanned version of that book to one user at a time, while the physical book remains on the shelf.

A key player during the confirmation hearing was Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh’s who wrote the book Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk , describing his raucous, alcohol-fueled high school years. Judge’s memoir was published in 1997 by Hazelden Publishing, the publishing arm of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which runs the recovery centers where Judge was treated for addiction. electricity deregulation The book had a limited print run and subsequent shelf life—it was not widely held by libraries outside of those focusing on addiction and recovery. Interest skyrocketed once Judge’s book entered the public consciousness, but because the book was no longer being sold by the publisher and used copies were scarce, when available at all, its price on Amazon.com topped out just under $2,000 .

Boston Public Library (BPL), a long-time scanning partner with Internet Archive, located a copy of Wasted in their research stacks. Those books are only available for use within the library, so the book was never going to circulate. Tom Blake, Manager of Content Discovery at BPL, sent the book down to be scanned by Internet Archive book scanners in their in-house digitization center. Internet Archive staff digitized the book using the same procedures and equipment that have been used to digitize more than 55,000 books from BPL’s collection since the partnership with Internet Archive began in 2007. gas bloating diarrhea Using existing workflows and post-production processes, the physical book was scanned and turned into a digital book complete with page images, OCR text, and mobile-friendly formats before being placed online at https://archive.org/details/wastedtalesofgen00judg .

Wasted is currently still under copyright but out-of-print. BPL reached out to the publisher, Hazelden, to ask whether Wasted could be made available digitally without restrictions. In the years after the book was published, however, copyright had reverted from the publisher back to Judge, so Hazelden was unable to grant permission. Because BPL wanted to fulfill its mission in providing access to a book of cultural and political significance, BPL put the non-circulating copy it owns into Internet Archive’s controlled digital lending service, where it can be digitally loaned to users one-at-a-time. electricity and circuits Books in controlled digital lending follow the same circulation patterns as those in a traditional library; a user has access to the book for 14 days, and if a book is checked out users can join a waitlist for their turn to read it.

As BPL’s copy of the book was being digitized and published online, two electronic copies of Wasted were uploaded to the Internet Archive’s Community Texts collection, which does not have the same access restrictions as controlled digital lending. Instead, user uploads are governed by the Internet Archive’s Copyright Policy . One copy was noticed by Twitter users and its URL was widely circulated online, drawing considerable interest from the public and media. electricity recruitment 2015 At this point, there were three copies of Wasted available: two uploaded by users into Community Texts with no access restrictions, and one scanned by BPL and available to one user at a time. During the few days that all three copies were online, several news outlets began noticing the different modes of access. Slate offered perhaps the best analysis of making Wasted available via controlled digital lending, reaching out to academics and legal scholars about the legality of the move, with the general agreement that the Archive’s actions were very likely to be legal.

Mark Judge eventually e-mailed Internet Archive and requested that the copies of Wasted be taken down. Internet Archive takes prompt action on takedown requests. In this case, given that the book was out-of-print, we made an appeal to him to allow the book to be made available without restriction. Judge denied our request, as he is working on plans for the book to be republished. Ultimately, we came to agreement that only the two openly downloadable copies in Community Texts would be removed; the copy made available from BPL through controlled digital lending would remain online.

Before the two unrestricted copies were taken down, they were viewed more than 27,000 times. Compare that with the 28 borrows to date that have occurred with the BPL copy, and the wait list that numbers more than 400, and you’ll quickly come to realize that for controlled digital lending to work at scale, more physical copies are needed to loan against, especially for titles like this that enter the public zeitgeist and become part of a major news story.

The takeaway here is that controlled digital lending is a viable, but limited, way for libraries to provide digital access to the physical copies on their shelves. This case study demonstrates the ways in which controlled digital lending works, and its limitations of scale for titles with wide appeal. A significant way of addressing those limitations is for more libraries to join Open Libraries and lend digitized versions of their print collections, making more copies of books available for loan and getting more books into the hands of researchers and readers all over the world.