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EBLIDA Newsletter
Issue No. 11 November 2016

The President’s Editorial

Jukka Relander, EBLIDA President
The word advocacy makes me feel somewhat alienated. In many languages ”advocate” refers to a lawyer, trying to push forward the interests of his or her client by bending the legal structure as far as the judge allows or fails to see. It makes me feel as if I really should enjoy wearing a collar shirt and would think of an excel as perfect means of human communication.

It's lobbying, what we do. Loud and clear. Say it: it is lobbying.
The word comes from lobby, where unauthorised guests of the members of the parliament are allowed to roam, drink coffee and chat with momentously unemployed assistants and advisors of the decision makers, who are busy signing their ten thousand Christmas cards to the potential voters.
I do it for my job, for my hobby and in my spare time. For my job I have been lobbying the case of publicly owned companies for waste management, against the interests of their private rivalries. This is just one of the potential cases on my desk, but it has employed me more than anything else since last April. As my hobby I lobby for libraries. As fun as this is, I am not getting paid to wait in the lobby of the European parliament or the echoing entrance hall of its Finnish counterpart. And when I really want to relax, I dedicate myself to lobbying for migrating fish and the well-being of their wet habitat.
I don't do advocacy, I do lobbying.
Ok. Those who use the term advocacy do have a point. The actual event of meeting decision makers is less than 10% of the job. As it is with lawyers, who are mostly engaged in searching for background information, reading the law and googling for anything that might help the case. To make a case, we need facts. At least sometimes they are useful, and very seldom they do harm. 
This simply means that we have to do our homework – before lobbying.
Part of the business is generating publicity, or other kind of wide spread attention to the case. On a national level this is manageable, but for EBLIDA this is the wall we keep banging our heads against. Popular European publicity is virtually non-existent, so we should manage a simultaneous public debate in 28 different countries in, say, 35 different languages, to have a deep impact on the decision making process.
One of the peculiarities (and this is a scary one), of EU is that very few people are fully aware of what is going on in Brussels. EP is covered very poorly by most of the national newspapers, and even if the reports are informative, they are read by the educated elites, but not by majority of voters, who might as well think, that Boris Johnson is an option.
Lobbying understandably is a bit of a dirty word. It reminds us of big companies whispering their selfish agendas to morally flexible politicians, to make money in the process of destruction of the planet. But if the bad guys are lobbying, shouldn't we do it, too? I mean, lobbying itself is neutral, it is the goal that matters. And all the good things, like the democracy, people’s fundamental civil rights, society's needs, and all the cuddly teddy bears on the planet are on our side?
Those, whose interests are against libraries, are lobbying. We have to do the same. And enjoy every minute of it.
So say it: it is lobbying.

Your sincerely,

Jukka Relander
EBLIDA President


Great Success Generation Code: Born at the Library…

Generation Code: Born at the Library / Be there!
The exhibition and event organised by PL2020 was a great success that attracted over 100 conversations with MEPs who stopped by the booths for short visits and chats. You can find pictures at

The event was hosted by 4 MEPs who were present at the opening: Antanas Guoga from Lithuania (you can check his interesting biography here), Eva Paunova from Bulgaria, Michał Boni from Poland and Sean Kelly from Ireland.
The opening of the exhibition was also attended by MEPs, high-level representatives of the European Commission, HRH Laurentien of the Netherlands and the Commissioner for Education and Culture, Tibor Navracsics, who underlined the importance of libraries for the EU. One of the important statements by Navrarcsics was that libraries are beacons of our society.
You can also read a blog post by Clair Bury, deputy Director General of DG Connect on how libraries help with coding.
Eventually, Catherine Stihler officially launched the MEP library lover group who are ambassadors who believe that libraries support literacy and lifelong learning, build communities, are the great equaliser, protect our right to know, promote authors and reading for pleasure.
During the two days, EBLIDA was well represented with our Vice-President Barbara Lison, Treasurer Jean-Marie Reding, one EC member Steen Bording Andersen, and our Director Vincent Bonnet, all of whom interacted with different MEPs and underlined the crucial role of public libraries in the daily social and cultural life of European citizens.

Copyright Reform: the exceptions that prove the rule… and for the event Copyright Reform: the exceptions that prove the rule

Over 100 participants attended the event hosted by Therese Comodini-Cachia (Malta) (via Skype), Catherine Stihler (UK) and Kaja Kallas (Estonia).

The panellists were Erna Winters (Kennemerwaard Public Library), Ben White (British Library), Stuart Hamilton (IFLA) and Inge van Nieuwerbergh (University Library of Gent).
It was moderated by Ilona Kish (PL2020).
The audience was varied and included representatives of the EU Commission Copyright Unit Giorgio Mongiat (Policy Officer) and Marco Giorello (Deputy Director of the Unit) who were addressed during the discussion. It was the first public participation of the Copyright Unit at such a debate since the EU Commission launched its proposals on 14 September.
The idea behind the event was to check whether the EU Commission proposals allow libraries to make their content more accessible.

Of course, copyright reform is not only about libraries, it deals with a lot of other entities (including sme’s and startups), but the impact of copyright reform on libraries is important. It’s a first step though as the copyright framework needs to be updated.
MEP Comodini-Cachia opens the discussion highlighting that the Commission proposal is a step forward, and that now MEPs are in the process of assessing the proposal and receiving comments and feedback from stakeholders.
MEP Kallas noted that people’s behaviour has changed, and that the existing model is not appropriate in the digital age, and that we need to consider the future of libraries in general.
MEP Stihler gave the example of the Library of the EU Parliament’s 100 books that count in Europe where only 6 of them are available as e-books, and underlined that she would like the 94 other books to be available as e-books as well.
The library community fears an overreliance on licensing solution.
The cost of licences (especially for university libraries) has increased substantially and questions the sustainability of libraries collections.

In addition, contract terms often remove by the back door the exceptions and limitations that are enshrined in the law. At the same time, library representatives fear that library users (and potential users) could be attracted by using websites such as Sci-Hub that gives easy access to millions of scientific articles but is copyright-infringing.

The audience was reminded that public libraries play a core role in providing access to content to millions of users, thereby helping them to discover new authors, new horizons, but that the situation with digital collections, and in particular with e-books, was not satisfactory.

This was backed-up by reactions in the audience, and in particular by EBLIDA Board Member Steen Bording Andersen who talked about cultural enlightenment and questioned why can’t we share in the digital world as we do in the physical world.
Indeed, despite not being part of the copyright package, e-lending also came in as a hot issue, and all were waiting for the final ruling of the CJEU on 10 November (see below).
To conclude, MEP Comodini-Cachi underlined that it is the beginning of the process and that libraries have a say in it. She is well aware that copyright reform is challenging because of polarised positions.

She underlined 3 key points:
  • On TDM, the Commission is not aiming at undermining the right to mine.
  • Lending (including e-lending): is a big debate, and she is curious about the court ruling.
Authors are a complex issue that requests to find a balance between broader access while ensuring authors and creators can enforce their rights including their rights to remuneration.

EBLIDA to participate at a meeting of the EU Commission Media Literacy Expert Group (MLEG)

Marit Vestlie
new Member of the EBLIDA Literacies Expert Group will take part in the next meeting of the EU Commission Media Literacy Expert Group in Brussels on 15 November 2016.

The meeting covers four topics:
  1. Media literacy: coordination and synergies with other EU policies within the European Commission;
  2. Media literacy: building bridges between the media industry and the education sector to develop and disseminate critical thinking tools;
  3. Media literacy in the digital era: how to empower citizens who are active in on-line platforms with critical thinking tools?
  4. Presentation of the mapping of media literacy practices in EU-28 prepared by the European Audio-visual Observatory.
To be continued...

Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy – Brussels, 14 October

Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy
EBLIDA was invited to take part in the high-level Launch of the Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy.
As described in the invitation letter, “The Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy (IFCD) has been developed with the help of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and with support from the Council of Europe Member States and the European Cultural Foundation.

It examines the multifaceted relationship between culture and democracy and has already identified strong relationships between a number of dimensions such as active cultural engagement and democratic openness; political engagement, trust in society and well-being. The IFCD will provide policy makers with feedback on cultural policy performance which they can map and adjust as desired. Its findings can also be used to produce thematic reports and in-depth analyses at national or international level.

The IFCD interactive data explorer, guidebook and a first thematic report on culture and democracy will be presented on 14 October to a dedicated audience from the world of cultural policy making, international cultural co-operation, cultural research and advocacy.”
During the event, a presentation was made of the beta version of the framework that should help policy makers.


CJEU rules out on the lending of e-books

CJEU CaseToday, 10th November 2016, the CJEU rules out on e-book lending in the case Case C-174/15 Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken v Stichting Leenrecht.

The Court Case was initiated by the Dutch Public Library Association (VOB) with the view that the book lending regime should also apply to e-books.

In its Press Release, the court recognises that the lending of an electronic book (e-book) may, under certain conditions, be treated in the same way as the lending of a traditional book.
See excerpt below: “ In today’s judgment, the Court of Justice first notes that there is no decisive ground allowing for the exclusion, in all cases, of the lending of digital copies and intangible objects from the scope of the directive. That conclusion is, moreover, borne out by the objective pursued by the directive, namely that copyright must adapt to new economic developments. In addition, to exclude digital lending entirely from the scope of the directive would run counter to the general principle that a high level of protection is required for authors.
The Court then goes on to verify whether the public lending of a digital copy of a book under the ‘one copy, one user’ model is capable of coming within the scope of Article 6(1) of the directive.
In that respect, the Court notes that, given the importance of the public lending of digital books, and in order to safeguard both the effectiveness of the exception for public lending referred to in Article 6(1) of the directive and the contribution of that exception to the promotion of culture, it cannot be ruled out that that article may apply where the operation carried out by a publicly accessible library, in view of, inter alia, the conditions set out in Article 2(1)(b) of that directive, has essentially similar characteristics to the lending of printed works. That is the case as regards the lending of a digital copy of a book under the ‘one copy, one user’ model.
The Court therefore holds that the concept of ‘lending’, within the meaning of the directive, also covers lending of this kind […]”.
The VOB had published a press release that you can read in English and in Dutch.
EBLIDA would like to congratulate the VOB for its victory in this case. It should help pave the way for more legal certainty for libraries at European level as well.
Meanwhile, EBLIDA will now take some time to analyse the text of the ruling and come up with a sound proposal on enabling e-lending in Europe.
Access to the CJEU press release is here
At the time of issuing the newsletter the access to the final judgement was available in Dutch and in French only.
Other languages soon accessible on the Curia website at


Final report on the Library Advocacy 4 EU project to be soon accessible

Library Advocacy 4EU Throughout this year, we kept you informed of developments surrounding the advocacy event Library Advocacy 4 EU that form part of a project jointly managed with the Latvian Library Association.
Information about the project, its development and achievements have been detailed in every monthly newsletter since January 2016. You can track the information back at that time. In our previous newsletter we published the result of the survey on informal and non-formal training in libraries in Europe on the EBLIDA Knowledge and Information Centre.

We hope to provide you with the full report on the whole project in December.

Reminder: Next EBLIDA NAPLE Annual Council and Conference, 3-4 May 2017

Aarhus, European Capital of Culture 2017
As announced in our previous newsletter, year’s EBLIDA NAPLE Annual Council and Conference will be held at the brand new public library in Aarhus, Dokk1, (winner of "Public Library of the Year 2016" award), Denmark on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th May, 2017 respectively.

Please save the dates on your calendar. We recommend you to book your hotel as soon as possible as Aarhus has been appointed European Capital of Culture for 2017 and will attract millions of visitors.

The Steering Committee of the EBLIDA-NAPLE Annual Conference 2017 is busy preparing the programme.
Several keynote speakers have been identified and contacted, and we are now down to the selection process. We will name our keynote speaker and other details the December edition of the newsletter.
We hope you will join us in Aarhus to rethink together.

EBLIDA Expert Group on Information Law meeting in London, 08-09 November

Representatives of different library associations and countries in Europe gathered for the Autumn meeting of the EBLIDA Expert Group on Information Law (EGIL).

With copyright reform actually on-going within the European Union, members of the group have a lot to work on, and the timetable for the coming months is very full.


World Intellectual Property Organisation, Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in Geneva

The Library and Archive Delegation will be attending the 33rd WIPO SCCR that will be held in Geneva from 14 to 18 November 2016.

Once again, exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives are on the WIPO agenda, and EBLIDA will be among the delegation to move forward the agenda for libraries. We will emphasise the importance of a minimum set of exceptions and limitations available to libraries, archives and their users globally to navigate the information environment.

Membership Enquiry

Events and Dates


November 10, Do it Yourself! NVI, Ngi-NGN and SOD Congress
Place: Nieuwegein, Netherlands
Sponsor/Organizer: KNVI, Ngi-NGN and SOD

November 12 – 15, 35th International Istanbul Book Fair
Place: Istanbul, Turkey
Sponsor/Organizer: Tüyab Fairs and Exhibition Organisation Inc.

November 14 – 18, 33rd Meeting of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
Place: Geneva, Switzerland
Sponsor/Organizer: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

November 15, Meetings of the EU Commission Media Literacy Expert Group
Place: Brussels, Belgium
Sponsor/Organizer: EU Commission Media Literacy Expert Group (MLEG)

November 15 – 16, From Behind the Scenes to Front and Center: Social Media for Technical Services and Collection Development Librarians (ALCTS E-forum)
Place: Online only
Sponsor/Organizer: Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS)

November 16, Advanced Journal Development: Strategic development for journal managers (ALPSP Training Course)
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)

November 16 – 17, 8th National Congress of Public Libraries
Place: Toledo, Spain
Sponsor/Organizer: General Office of Library Coordination, Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain

November 17 – 20, 12th International Conference on Information Assurance and Security (IAS): "Innovative Cyber Security: Protecting Nations Beyond Borders"
Place: Paris, France
Sponsor/Organizer: Machine Intelligence Research Labs (MIR Labs)

November 19, 2nd International workshop on Educational Knowledge Management (EKM 2016)
Place: Bologna, Italy
Sponsor/Organizer: Organizing Committee

November 19 – 23, 20th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (EKAW 2016)
Place: Bologna, Italy
Sponsor/Organizer: Organizing Committee

November 21 – 22, 11th Annual Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing
Place: Tromsø, Norway
Sponsor/Organizer: Organizing Committee

November 22 – 25, 10th International Conference on Metadata and Semantics Research
Place: Göttingen, Germany
Sponsor/Organizer: Göttingen University Library; Department of Library Science and Information Systems, Alexander TEI

November 24, UKeiG Training: Twitter and Blogging: Improvers Workshop
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: UK eInformation Group

November 24-25,  AIB - 59. Congresso Nazionale
Place: Roma, Italy
Sponsor/Organizer: Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (AIB)

November 25,  What can public libraries do for refugees?
Place: Athens, Greece
Sponsor/Organizer: Instituto Cervantes in Athens and the Goethe-Institut

November 28 – 30, Semantic Web in Libraries (SWIB16)
Place: Bonn, Germany
Sponsor/Organizer: German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz)

November 30, Search Solutions 2016: "Innovations in Search & Information Retrieval"
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Information Retrieval Specialist Group of the BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT) and ISKO (International Society for Knowledge Organization)

November 30 – December 1, Acting on Change: New Approaches and Future Practices in Digital Preservation
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: PERICLES Consortium

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