• Sessions

Working Group Session I

Thursday, 1:30-3:00pm

For the last two years here at the Library Leaders Forum, we’ve been discussing a collaborative digitize-and-lend service. This year, we’re moving ahead—from talk to action—on this important initiative, renamed Open Libraries. Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Join us in a series of Working Groups that will help shape the services, technologies and policies of Open Libraries. Select one of these groups in each session:

Curation: in the Boardroom

One of this project’s most exciting opportunities is to select which four million books—the equivalent of a major public library—to carry forward for today’s online learners. How do you curate millions of books in a way that is inclusive, responsive to the community and transparent?  We need Working Group members to draft the plans for meaningful book selection. Join us!

We will start with core lists serving diverse segments of our society: K-16 students, public library patrons, people with disabilities, Spanish-speakers. Curation at this scale is mostly about parsing data. Doing overlap studies may give us a prioritized wish list of books but computers alone cannot build a good collection. That’s why we are working with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Curation Corps and the Digital Library Federation (DLF), which will lead a transparent process for community feedback called the “Inclusive Curation Project.”  That’s the theory–come help us map out the reality!

Led by: Hannah Scates-Kettler and Wendy Hanamura


Service Plan: in the Strategy Room

Members of this Working Group are the early adopters who have operational responsibility to get the Digitize-and-Lend service up and running. What are the features for minimum viability in order for you to turn it on? The goal of this session is to come up with a short list for what a minimally viable service must include.

Led by: Jim Michalko

Legal Q & A: in the Archive-It Room

You’ve heard the panel discussion. You’ve read the Statement on Controlled Digital Lending of Physical Library Collections. But you know your legal counsel will have more questions. What strategies for risk management have other institutions used? What does the ReDigi case mean for digital lending? What if a digital version of a title we own is available for sale or license by the publisher?

Join this first Legal Working group session with some of the nation’s top copyright experts who will do their best to answer your questions. The goal of this session is to help you to increase the understanding of this legal framework within your institution and to better understand what additional legal support you need to convince decision makers that there is a legal path forward.

Led by: Lila Bailey & Michelle Wu

Technology—Digitization: in the Annex

To succeed, the Internet Archive must increase book digitization capacity, while seamlessly shipping and tracking millions of books. The Internet Archive currently digitizes approximately 1,000 books per workday (250,000 per year). This project requires expanding our digitization capacity to peak at 750,000 books in 2020, 2021, and 2022. We will be refining our own hardware, the TableTop Scribe scanner, while we refine and expand the capacity of the software that converts the page images into digital books.

If your library is on board to digitize tens of thousands of books through our Asian Super Scanning Center, join this Working Group. Help us map out a workflow for transport, ingest, digitization, OCR, and book storage that works for everyone.

Led by: Brewster Kahle, Ken LeTran, and our Head of Digitization

Working Group Session II

Thursday, 3:30-5:00pm

The work continues with a different set of Working Groups. Please select one of the following to help shape the services of Open Libraries.

Legal Part 2 — Statement Adoption & Dissemination: in the Great Room

What next steps do you see to convince your institution and others to sign on? How do you explain this to your legal team and other decision makers? How can we best disseminate the Statement on Controlled Digital Lending of Physical Library Collections to a broader audience of potential library partners?

Join the Legal Working Group as it lays plans for driving greater adoption, additional signatories, and how to spread the word about a growing legal consensus around Controlled Digital Lending.

Led by Lila Bailey & Michelle Wu

Accessibility Part 1: in the Archive-It Room

TOPIC: Authentication, and packaging/delivery for accessibility; how do we incorporate the accessible books that already exist or that others have created?

GOALS: 1) Define and characterize levels of technical partnership with regard to authentication and integration (between IA and Partners; and among partners).
2) Create a prioritized list of preferred formats and packaging technologies for delivery of modern content for users with print disabilities;

led by John Gonzalez and Andrea Mills


Sustainability & Business Model: in the Boardroom

With or without a $100 million infusion of capital, we want to build and sustain Open Libraries. In the service flow, there are several places where there could be chargeable transactions. The goal of this Working Group Session is to get your early feedback on the pros and cons for various business opportunities. By years 3-5 of the project, we plan to research, create business plans and test various services to make this system sustainable for the long-term.

Led by Jim Michalko


Technology—Circulation & Presentation (Part 1): in the Annex

Sure, the Internet Archive has millions of books. But are they the ones you want? How do you know? And how do you go from a list of overlap editions to having your patrons settle down on a comfortable couch, your books appearing in their tablet browser?

The goal of this session is to walk through the key milestones and technologies involved in the book pipeline, so that you have a better understanding of the options available to you for accessing the millions of books held by the Internet Archive.

We’ll cover overlap studies and collection building; circulation, discovery, and lending; and the various in-browser and off-line options available for reading digital books. This will also be your chance to provide feedback to us about what you would need to integrate with our books. Perhaps there is a tool or API that would simplify the process or grease the rails. Come and let us know!

Led by Brenton Cheng & Brewster Kahle

Collection Development: in the Strategy Room

Selecting the right books is only half the challenge. Next we have to find them. That’s the question before the Collection Development Working Group: how do we procure the books on our curated lists? We will buy as many ebooks as we can from publishers and authors. Others we will buy from booksellers as hard copies and digitize them. In many cases, libraries will give us an extra copy of the books that they are weeding. The third category is publishers such as MIT Press who are willing to digitize and lend their backlists in order to reach more people.

The goal of this Working Group is to pool our knowledge and come up with a list of strategies to source the 3 million books we will need as quickly and cost effectively as possible. 

Led by Wendy Hanamura & Alexis Rossi 


Working Group Session III

Friday, 11:00-12:30pm

You have the opportunity to build a new collaborative service bringing millions of books to global communities. In this final session, we combine some groups for strategic collaboration. Please join one of the following Working Groups to help shape the services of Open Libraries.

Legal Part 3 — White Paper: In the Fishbowl

This Working Group session will be devoted to a deep dive into drafting a white paper with a more robust discussion of the legal authorities underlying the Statement on Controlled Digital Lending, and identifying other tools needed to communicate this legal framework effectively. We invite copyright scholars, lawyers and practitioners to join us in planning next steps for drafting this additional documentation.

Led by Lila Bailey & Michelle Wu

Discovery, Citations & Snippets for Education: in the Archive-It Room

In this era of disinformation, ready access to trustworthy sources is critical. Library books are trusted sources for lifelong learning. By bringing them online, we empower journalists, educators and Wikipedia editors to cite “snippets” directly, grounding readers in the vetted, published record.

What are the features for minimal viability for Wikipedia citations?  For use in Open Educational Resources (OER) or other “last mile” platforms for discovery? We’ll generate a list of possible discovery platforms for Open Libraries digital books and prioritize them by feasibility, impact, and traction.

led by Mark Graham & Lisa Petrides

Service Plan + Sustainability & Business Model: in the Boardroom

Armed with a list of features for minimal viability and some ideas on how to sustain the service, we’ll join these two Working Groups for a deeper dive into the services Open Libraries can provide and how we might support them. What deliverables and milestones do we want to hit in six months? In the next year?

Led by Jim Michalko

Technology—Circulation & Presentation (Part 2): in the Annex

Technology Working Group members will cover the full book pipeline from overlap studies, to lending platforms, to presentation of the books. Armed with an understanding of the essential technologies that facilitate the lending of Internet Archive books, we’ll now take a deeper dive into how these technologies might interact with the systems that you already have in place. If you are the library staffer tasked with integrating Open Libraries technologies, this is the session for you.

Led by Brenton Cheng & Brewster Kahle

Curation + Collection Development: in the Strategy Room

Curation and procuring the books go hand-in-hand. We combine these two Working Groups to discuss how the work of curators will flow into that of collection development. How should we prioritize the books in the pipeline?  How should we evaluate collections that become available to us opportunistically?  Ones that don’t appear on any list?

The goal of this Working Group is to compare our work flow assumptions, and streamline the process from identifying a book to procuring it.

 Led by Hannah Scates-Ketter, Wendy Hanamura & Alexis Rossi 

Accessibility Part 2—Sharing Books Globally: in the Great Room

All over the world, groups are improving ePubs and creating more accessible versions of digital books. How can we facilitate the collaborative improvement and distribution of these materials worldwide?

Our goal is to define concrete next steps for IA to support a central repository for improved texts; what do we need to do to best serve you? Brainstorm additional possibilities for crowdsourcing improvements to content at a global scale.

led by John Gonzalez and Andrea Mills