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EBLIDA Newsletter

Issue No. 6. June 2019


The President’s Editorial

Ton van Vlimmeren, President, EBLIDA
Dear colleagues,
Dear friends,
Paraphrasing Tolstoj, we can say that every conference is alike, but every special Conference is special in its own way. Last year’s EBLIDA Annual Conference was special because we were setting up a new Executive Committee with a new President. We were also saying farewell to Vincent Bonnet, who had been Director of EBLIDA since 2010.

This year our Annual Council conference is special because we are approving a new Strategic Plan, which will be in place until 2022. And we are also welcoming Giuseppe Vitiello, new EBLIDA Director since January 2019.

In the last Newsletter we focused on Strand number 3 of the new Strategic PlanPolicy-making and library statistics (Strand number 3).

This issue will be devoted to the presentation of Strand 2: Library legislation, and Strand 4: The Socio-educational Impact of Libraries. I would like to emphasise that any Strategic Plan, however well-conceived and skilfully organised, has little effect if it is not reinforced by the guidance of our experts and the enthusiastic support of our Members.

Our strategy is about legislation, policy, evaluation and open access but looks further in length, size and depth. In length, because it works alongside a 2030 Agenda that compels libraries to work along the double spur of sustainable development and artificial intelligence. In size, because we are fully aware that EBLIDA cannot achieve its objective alone but has to cooperate and find new partnerships. And in depth, because the EBLIDA Secretariat’s work has to align with national activities in legislation and policy so that we can come out – in 2022, but hopefully before – with a fully-fledged common European position.

By “European”, we do not mean to have uniform regulations and / or structures. The responsibility for library funding and development are, after all, a national business. Hence, the idea -  suggested in the Background Paper that has been distributed to our Members – that we have to tackle the issues central to the Strategic Plan by having in mind four catalysts: Libraries as a public democratic space, Copyright, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Artificial Intelligence. Catalysts mean that their impact on European libraries is neither inevitable nor neutral.  It depends on how libraries will tackle with them and whether they will use them to accelerate or, conversely, delay change. EBLIDA Secretariat may inspire, suggest, provide guidance but it is up to national actors to seize the opportunity. And our Members know that the EBLIDA Secretariat will always be there to assist, provide guidance and ensure the transfer of best practices among States while advocating library needs with European institutions.

Welcome to the 27th ELIDA Conference and Council!

Yours sincerely,

Ton van Vlimmeren
EBLIDA President  

EBLIDA Strategic Plan:
Transforming policy into vision and figures into stories

Library legislation, governmental policies and their evaluation, open access in public libraries – is this all dull science? Librarians know the importance of setting up clear and well-formulated policies and how ultimate statistics are to orient the decision-making process. Nevertheless, when you wish to communicate the wide-ranging impact of library legislation and policy to a wider audience, it is not easy to transform policy into vision nor figures into stories.

Do we really need it? Politicians – at least the best ones – are committed to saving the planet. At the European Parliament they may find it hard to link, for instance, library penetration in socially sensitive areas to the flipping point where disaster recovery may start. If we wish to address people in the street, in particular those under the influence of social media, the demand from the public for  stories becomes unrestrainable. But people may rapidly switch off conversations if you start quoting statistics on loans of library material. The risk that a story, for the good and the bad, may prevail over solid policies and raw figures, the possibility of a tweet or an Instagram feed to spoil years of laborious work in libraries is concrete. So, the question is: how to transform, or how to embed, the dull science of library legislation and policy into attractive narratives?

We have recently witnessed the conversion of a convolute piece of legislation into a story enjoying universal attention. Our intellectual property experts and colleagues deserve all our respect and admiration; they have to acknowledge, however, that the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market is not the kind of reading you would suggest for beach libraries.

Nevertheless, the Copyright Directive has become an event stirring passions and raising spirits. Articles 13 and 15 (renumbered articles 15 and 17 in the final version of the Copyright Directive) were turned into mesmerising figures having the power to mobilise. Lobbyist organisations caring for partisan interests became the champions of lofty ideals. What kind of psychological mechanism spurred human minds to transform a discussion of technical nature normally to be held behind  closed doors into a kind of breaking news?

The answer is: story-zation. Around the 32 articles of the Copyright Directive a number of narratives were constructed. People’s imagination was captured by the story of the publishing industry fighting against the resistible rise of information service providers. This story crossed with another narrative, in which filtering was presented as a digital form of censorship. Still another narrative - luckily for libraries, less controversial - is the special role that libraries, teaching and cultural heritage institutions enjoy in the digital single market. All these representations are true and need to find a compromise; their conversion into Weltanschauungen, however, is also the effect of story-zation further amplified by social media.

The same applies to the EBLIDA Strategic Plan: how can we make library legislation, policy and open access in public libraries an attractive theme for larger audiences? 

So far, the rationale for library bills laid mainly in the willingness of the Ministries of Culture to put some order into funding for public reading and library networking. Projects only pursuing this administrative approach have little appeal and may eventually fail. Libraries are the community hub for all library organisations in Europe striving towards an equitable, democratic and sustainable society. Therefore, the strategic aim of EBLIDA cannot be more library legislation and/or policy, but more library in legislation and policy.

In conclusion, a successful narrative consists of transposing policies including the library perspective into non-cultural agendas: in the health, internal, justice, work and employment affairs. The strategic link with non-library sectors is paradigmatically expressed through the reference to the two new catalysts - United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Artificial Intelligence and the two traditional ones - Libraries as a public democratic space and Copyright - that will underpin library evolution in the near future.

Strand number 2: Library legislation

The aim of this Strand is to revise the Council of Europe / EBLIDA Guidelines on Library Legislation and Policy in Europe - approved by the Council for Cultural Co-operation at its 68th Session (19-21 January 2000) and  by the EBLIDA Executive Committee in January 2000 - in the light of the four catalysts described above: Libraries as a public democratic space, Copyright, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Artificial Intelligence.

In defining library legislation we need to look beyond laws that concern themselves primarily with libraries. There is a great deal of legislation relevant to libraries that is present in other legislative frameworks, first and foremost the nation's Constitution, but also in health, internal affairs, justice, work and employment affairs. These pieces of legislation are for non-library purposes, but incidentally exercise important effects on the ways in which libraries develop.
For administrative purposes, libraries are divided into national, academic, school, public or special/community libraries. These categories are getting blurred and a broader policy debate is taking place within some policy domain, from cultural and educational to information, economic, technological and social policy.
A Revised Council of Europe / EBLIDA Guidelines on Library Legislation and Policy in Europe should take into account the following five domains:
  1. Freedom of expression and free access to information
  2. Libraries within the national cultural and information policies
  3. Libraries and the creative and/or knowledge industries
  4. Libraries within the national educational and social policies
  5. The protection of library heritage.
1. A favourable environment for freedom of expression is the one that has found a delicate balance between different viewpoints and attitudes, so that none of them prevails in a determinant way and imposes its own perspective. A theory of tolerance, however, does not permit absolute relativism, but has to set a point beyond which further tolerance would create an unhealthy environment for freedom of expression. It is normally assumed that the frontier between the respect for individual opinions and the limited sovereignty of a theory of tolerance is to be found in the basic beliefs expressed by internationally recognised charter of rights. Reference is made, for instance, to the criteria laid down in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (2000).

Europe has a long tradition in defending human rights. The EU Agenda 2030 recognises the rights and obligations under international human rights law, emphasises that individuals and groups are rights-holders, and that states and non-state actors have corresponding obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights.
UN SD Goal 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, access to justice for all and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. The 2030 Agenda outlines principles that institutions should strive to achieve such as “effectiveness, inclusiveness, and accountability“ (SDG 16), “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels” (target 16.7), “public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms” (16.10).
Against fake news and solutions libraries can organise web pages including possible solutions to real problems. Thanks to their capillary distribution throughout the territory and their networked systems, they are an ideal distribution segment for published and certified information. Nevertheless their control on the distribution process may be undermined by opaque, non-intuitive and difficult to understand AI-based “black boxes”, where information is filtered and organised in pre-formatted ways. The social acceptability of AI tools in libraries may be challenged by ethical and moral issues, apart from increasing the marginal role of libraries in the information chain.
2. Four models of policy for the provision of library services can be detected: concentration, devolution, decentralisation and privatisation. Concentration, or a centralised, State-led way of organizing a cultural policy is a purely theoretical perspective in EU countries. Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus are the smallest States in the EU. Not even in these relatively small states, however, library governance relies on the State only.

Devolution, or “autonomy”, means that a centralised power attributes to a subordinate entity the powers that are needed to manage a given cultural asset along the lines of intervention that are singled out by the same local body. Devolution refers to the movement of responsibility for a government programme to a lower level of government so that the lower level of government has complete autonomy in the financing, performance, policy-making and administration of library activities. Financial means may be derived from local incomes or money transfer from the central government.
The decentralised model is when governments single out goals to be reached through administrative actions and entrust local bodies to carry them out, also providing the means to implement these goals. Decentralisation refers to a situation where the responsibility for performance and administration is to be relegated to a lower level, while policy-making and finance are to be retained at a higher level.
Library privatisation means that part of the budget allocated to libraries comes from public grants, and that libraries have to find other sources of funding in order to carry out their public mission. Each library carries out an active policy of fund-raising with philanthropic associations, foundations and other governmental agencies. Privatisation also means outsourcing, or contracting out library services – a practice that for the good and the bad has become common practice in several states even in ordinary services to encompass many, if not all library activities.
All these models are implemented in a spurious way in EU Member States. Co-operative arrangements among libraries include the administration of library networking under different patterns of development. Cooperation may follow a (supra)regional approach, an administrative orientation (e.g. university vs public libraries), a sectoral approach (for instance, a coordinated system of health libraries) or even a LIS approach, when libraries sharing the same library automated system or the same aggregated resources cooperate to implement services all together. Networking is a need dictated by efficiency, but also by better cooperation between upper and lower government levels.
The implementation of UN SDG requires shared responsibility among all levels of government and coordination in the four dimensions of sustainable development – social, environmental, economic and governance. In particular, state and lower level of governments have to find agreements on common programmes and implementation schemes.
Subnational governments are responsible for 57% of total public investment (2016) on average across OECD countries and for almost 40% worldwide. And It has been estimated that 65% of the 169 targets underpinning the 17 SDGs cannot be reached without engagement of, and coordination with, local and regional governments. On the other hand, the rural dimension is also important. Food security, biodiversity and the resilience of the ecosystems largely relies on sustainable land. Agriculture, for instance, is a significant determinant of at least 13 of the SDGs, including SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 15.
3. In 2000, the Council of Europe-EBLIDA Guidelines suggested that “it is the duty of governments to establish a legal position for libraries”. In the last 20 years, this has translated into exceptions for libraries and archives - fundamental to the structure of copyright since they serve the social, and not the economic objectives of copyright law.

Exceptions in the recently approved EU Copyright Directive, are as follows:
  • Articles 3 and 4 provide mandatory exceptions for research organisations, cultural heritage institutions and other users to carry out text and data mining,
  • Article 5 encourages cross-border teaching activities,
  • Article 6 provides a mandatory exception for digital preservation of cultural heritage; Articles 8-12 facilitate licensing (with a mandatory fallback exception) for the mass digitisation and making available of out-of-commerce works by cultural heritage institutions.
What should therefore be the scope of the exceptions? In this respect information policies may partially conflict with cultural policies. Cultural policies in the publishing sector imply the promotion of creative industries through copyright enforcement. In the publishing sector, cultural policies guarantee the multiplicity and diversity of opinions and expression, through a wide range of measures which also imply massive acquisitions made by public libraries.
In general, cultural policies in favor of the book imply:
a) legal measures, such as the respect of the rights related to intellectual property;
b) fiscal measures (for instance, reduced VAT rate for books and for e-publications),
c) mechanisms for regulating demand (support to textbooks, fixed book price, massive acquisitions made by libraries);
d) support for quality content (grants for translations).
Enforcement of copyright measures goes hand in hand with exceptions for libraries.
Information policy, in particular in scholarly communication, is an all-embracing policy on open access including open data, open education, open knowledge, open science. Open data for textual and non-textual material is the freedom of using, re-using, redistributing and sharing data provided that attribution is made. Any restriction to data is seen as going against the common good and as an impediment to innovation and the progress of science. 
It is why more than dealing with general formats and categories, exceptions for libraries should concern the modalities and finalities of the work reproduction. While there is a general consensus about reproduction made for preservation purposes, interpretations in EU states may differ in relation to the finality (use of copyright-protected works for study and research, or for the private use of the library user), the location (exception only within library precincts) or networked use of cultural content (interlibrary loans and digital delivery). In relation to UN SDGs, limitations based on the finalities of work reproduction address the concept of a functional economy that replaces the idea of selling a good with that of selling the use of a good.

4. The core of the library’s mission is still collection-oriented with an addition of multimedia programmes. Nevertheless, in response to socio-demographic changes and societal transformations, libraries have differentiated their services in the last twenty years and linked them to the community they refer to.

This movement was less the effect of institutional re-positioning than the result of the major trends and chronic emergencies that have featured in European societies. Library functions had to be reconsidered to the point that a new concept has emerged: the social library. A social library may mean to locate libraries along urban axes where a socially impaired population live. A social library also means to re-design the library space so as to make it attractive to marginalised or left-behind populations. Library policy is not concerned with the content of the cultural offer libraries make, but how and where library spaces are built, how library services should be provided, and how they can be major agents for cultural integration and social inclusion.
The library’s transformation from a collection-oriented core business to a socio-cultural centre impacts on two sectors whose activities are largely dependent by library demand. The first is the “library” industry, the range of products and services, mainly of technological nature, provided by private enterprises to meet library needs. The second is the third sector – a large amount of cooperative agencies, also based on voluntary work, which are vital for the fulfilment of the library’s mission.

Introducing AI in libraries means to devise policies both toward the library industry and the third sector. It translates into identifying competences that cannot be replaced by algorithms and setting conversion policies that, through new strategies, concepts, ideas and organisational patterns, consolidate and improve the renewal of the library industry, the improvement of reference communities and job-saving in the third sector.
Robotisation and the platform economy pose a serious threat to many European workplaces. The availability of ready-made "smart automation" tools resulting from the aggregation of data generated by, and relevant to publishing, information service and users, may disrupt library services as well as the industries providing for automated library services. The “social library” – with their jobs and profiles based on human relations and community “conversations” – is an area that cannot be replaced by algorithms, but also needs conversion and requalification.

5. Legislation on library-held heritage is not very different from the framework provisions enforced for museums and archives. Rules for the protection of heritage and relative tasks and duties should be the same for all responsible bodies, whether they are state or local authorities, or third parties with a cultural mission. This means that libraries with a heritage mission are subject to special regulations and permanent control.

One of the problems linked with the conservation and preservation of library material is the definition of heritage. Heritage is unique and has a value for the community; very likely, the economic principle of “the scarcer, the better” is an effective indicator of heritage assets, although every cultural heritage artifact being unique should be considered beyond any economic considerations.
Legal deposit is the usual way through which heritage collections are built up in libraries together with the digitisation of the library heritage. Legal deposit legislations in place in European countries also concern the collect of digital material. National libraries are natural recipients of legal deposit publications and are often pivotal agents for the coordination and active promotion of digitisation of library heritage.
The high cost of digitisation has been instrumental in triggering cooperation with the private sector, and in particular with Google (Google Book Project). Making more information accessible through digitisation is a mission common to both libraries and Google. Their finalities vary, though. For libraries, more information for all is a way of reinforcing democratic participation; massive book digitisation is a mean to place targeted advertisement for Google.
The promotion of library heritage is ensured by Europeana, providing access to digitised books, audio and film material, photos, paintings, maps, manuscripts, newspapers and archival documents that are part of Europe’s cultural heritage. More than 3,000 institutions across Europe contribute to Europeana in what is a very successful EU project. Europeana collects metadata (also including a small picture) about digital objects. These objects are not stored on a central computer, but remain with the cultural institution and are hosted on their network.

Focus on Strand 4: The Socio-educational impact of libraries

The “social” library is such that cultural integration and social inclusion become ordinary activities: non formal and informal learning are an important part of lifelong learning, where people of all ages are helped to develop their skills and knowledge.

Active citizenship and community engagement also target socially excluded groups: minorities, migrants, refugees and other marginalised groups not only in cities but also in rural areas (small and rural libraries may represent 60-70% of public libraries in a country).

Libraries have modified their space and opened homework cafes and other areas in order to better serve less favoured groups of the population. The re-invention of libraries has followed spontaneous patterns meeting the needs of job seekers, computer illiterate people, information poor citizens. One of the results has been to tilt away from the role of information providers only and taking on new responsibilities such as learning centres. The 3-D makers movement, often hosted in libraries, is an indication of this trend.
In Europe most people have attained a minimum living standard. Nevertheless, gaps between and within countries are increasing. A safety net would mean to prioritise at EU and governmental level fast-tracking actions for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds empowering them to climb the socio-economic ladder. It means setting up policies for the poorest and most marginalised in society such as ethnic minorities, refugees and migrants, stateless persons, persons with disabilities, the homeless, as well as children and young people, so that gaps do not widen.
Education through life-long learning programmes in libraries have to be adequately redesigned as a measure to fight poverty from its roots, in order to take account of the digital divide and equip the labour force with stronger problem-solving and soft skills to beat competition from machines.
Options for self-learning are now multiplying with the proliferation of open access research material. Quite a few platforms aggregate research-oriented material in open access. To mention a few: Wellcome Open Research, Gates Open Research and the prospective Horizon Europe. In the private sector mention has to be made of ResearchGate and In human and social sciences, active platforms are Knowledge Unlatched and Openedition. Many of these platforms are alternatives to the hybrid model proposed by STM publishers.
This is not the case for educational material. In spite of a large number of freely accessible MOOCs, tutorials, etc. present on the web, the “market” for educational material in open access is still in a pre-competitive stage. Before Mc Graw Hill and other big sisters active in the educational publishing sector start to be dominant - as Elsevier and other STM publishers are now in the research field - a role may be played by libraries, and in particular by the union catalogues libraries contribute to maintain.
Many MOOCs, tutorials and other educational material are catalogued by libraries and stored in union catalogues. Union catalogues, such as WorldCat, distribute resources with traditional search filters (by Authors, Subject, Category, etc.). A search filter “Open access”, broken down into disciplinary collections and freely accessible with no registration, would immediately enable union catalogues to become the most important gateways to open access publications. When these search filters exist, they are not accessible in an organised way and have none of the features of open access platforms. This is a missed opportunity for libraries even more so that users are normally very active in creating and discovering open access resources – for instance, materials prepared by teachers.
An open access public library should therefore be a flipped library, with open access resources aggregated to those resources that are discovered or originally created by individuals. Hence, the need of promoting in all European countries a self-learning initiative with the title LBY-LHY, Learn By Yourself, The Library will help You.
LBY-LHY can have the following objectives:
  • To increase literacy in groups of people and audiences with freely accessible, open access resources provided by open access providers or discovered/ created by users;
  • To create gateways of open access resources tailored to library users with selections (disciplinary, for instance) that correspond to local needs;
  • To fully exploit the potential of union catalogues as intermediaries of open access content;
  • To fully exploit the added value of libraries as last mile knots of national and international knowledge infrastructures.  

Dublin - a short guide

Dublin has often been seen as being quite apart from the rest of the country. However, in more recent times, a mass movement of people from country areas to Dublin, as well as a significant influx of immigrants during the economic downturn of the 1990s and thereafter, has changed the landscape of the city, not only in how it looks but also in shifting and liberalising attitudes and beliefs.

Ireland has always been associated more with emigration than immigration. Despite many waves of “brain drain” caused by mass emigration, storytelling, poetry and song have continued to play a huge part in Irish history and culture.

In ancient Celtic communities, bards memorised poetry which was then performed life, and their songs and poetry were often the only historical record available. Bards evolved into storytellers called “seanchai”. The “seanchai” travelled from town to town telling their stories, and this is still a part of traditional Irish entertainment, bringing old stories to life for modern-day listeners.

Ireland and Dublin are associated with many world renowned writers, poets and playwrights with James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Edna O’Brien, Anne Enright, Emma Donohue, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Sebastian Barry and most recently, multi award winning Sally Rooney – to name but a few.

Dubliners are proud of their cultural and literary heritage and this is showcased in the many cultural offerings throughout the city. During your visit, if you have some spare time, do consider some of the ideas below.

The Irish Literary Writers Museum opened in 1991. Swift and Sheridan, Shaw and Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett are among those presented through their books, letters, portraits and personal items.
The Book of Kells is proudly housed in the Trinity College Library and should not be missed!

The National Gallery of Ireland has recently undergone a huge renovation and was re-opened to the public 2 years ago, with an entirely new presentation of the celebrated permanent collection featuring master paintings by Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Ruisdael, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Goya, Monet, Gris and Picasso. The Gallery will also display its prestigious collection of Irish art with works by Daniel Maclise, Roderic O’Conor, John Lavery, William Orpen, Seán Keating, Gerard Dillon, Evie Hone, Norah McGuinness, Jack B. Yeats, Louis le Brocquy and William Scott. The National Gallery holds free tours of the highlights of the gallery a few times per week.

You can find out all about the literary associations of Dublin pubs with the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which meets at the Duke, just off Grafton Street. The guides are actors, offering quotes, jokes and literary history during the tour, which lasts a little over two hours.

Or you could hold your very own literary pub crawl - Irish pubs have had both a historic and a current association with writers.  As well as appearing in famous literary works, such as James Joyce’s Ulysses, Dublin’s pubs were frequented by some of the world’s most famous writers. James Joyce liked to hang out in Davy Byrne’s; Neary’s was a favourite of Brendan Behan and Flann O’Brien; and Toner’s was the only Dublin pub visited by poet WB Yeats.

If you still feel like a drink after all that, don’t miss the Guinness Brewery Tour.

Should you prefer to quietly browse the aisles of independent bookshops, don’t leave out The Winding Stairs and/or Chapters,

Enjoy your time in Dublin!

Carpe Diem — Seizing the Day
Transposing the Digital Single Market Directive in your own country

by Barbara Stratton
Chair, EBLIDA Expert Group on Information Law

The new Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive (‘DSM Directive’ analysed here) was published in the EU Official Journal of 17 May 2019 and comes into force today,  7 June 2019. EU/EEA Member States must transpose it into their national laws by 7 June 2021.

EBLIDA member organisations now have a wonderful opportunity to influence how their countries will implement this Directive, which offers great benefits for the delivery of the missions of all libraries, archives, museums — and for education and research. Doing nothing risks losing out on the full potential a good implementation of this Directive could bring to these sectors.

Much of this Directive has major consequences for our sectors and activities, being concerned with matters such as:

  • commercial and non-commercial text and data mining
  • using copyright works for distance learning, online teaching etc
  • digital preservation and preservation networks
  • protection of certain exceptions from contract override
  • amelioration of the rules for complaints about TPMs
  • mass digitisation and making available of out-of-commerce works
  • facsimile images of public domain works of art
  • using small snippets of text (including headlines) from newspaper websites
  • potential platform liability for user-uploaded copyright infringing materials

The DSM Directive’s impact depends very much on the legislative detail and procedural decisions for its transposition that will be made in each Member State, since there is nearly always some scope for interpretation in how a Directive’s provisions may be applied. This Directive contains a number of cross-border provisions, so it is important that national implementations are compatible. It is thus vital that EBLIDA member organisations not only actively engage in the legislative process in their own countries, but share information with their colleagues similarly engaged in the process across Europe.

European library copyright coalition ready to help

EBLIDA and its coalition partners, EUA, IFLA, LIBER, SPARC Europe, COAR, EIFL and Science Europe stand ready to offer support and advice to anyone involved in their national transpositions of the Directive.

  • The coalition has already set up a confidential discussion list which key players, copyright committee or group members and legal experts at national level who are supporting the library, archive, museum, education and research communities in this endeavour are invited to join. Sharing information and experiences with, and asking advice from, colleagues across Europe will help everyone to successfully deal with the more difficult challenges of implementing the Directive. Please let relevant contacts in your country know about the list. The name of the list is EU-DSM and you can apply to join it here indicating your role and affiliation.  
  • It can be difficult to get one size to fit all, but a high level of harmonisation is important to facilitate the rapid growth in cross-border cultural, educational and research activities in the digital environment. To that end, the coalition intends to provide member organisations and national experts with information on the development and intention of the Directive and general guidance and recommendations concerning its implementation.
  • We also need to be advised by national experts of the current provisions in your laws, any peculiarities that might apply and how they think it best to proceed in their countries. On behalf of the coalition, our colleagues at IFLA are seeking to build a resource of relevant Member State legal experts and other copyright experts involved with policymaking for our sectors from whom we can seek occasional advice. We ask that, with their permission, you share with the coalition the names and emails of key individuals and experts as well as of relevant groups in your country, that you suggest we approach for this purpose. Please contact Ariadna Matas at IFLA.  
  • In Dublin’s fair city’ the coalition is offering its own LIBER 2019 pre-conference workshop on the morning of 26 June 2019. It will cover the DSM Directive, GDPR, PSI, Horizon Europe and Plan S. If you are attending the conference but not already attending this workshop, do consider swapping to ours!

The Ship of State waits for no-one

There will be many competing interests in the national transposition processes. Other players, such as publisher organisations, reproduction rights organisations and major tech services providers, may be better financed and also better resourced, possessing in-house lawyers and advisers who are very familiar with the responsible lawmakers, meeting them regularly and arguing their positions effectively. 

Nevertheless, national organisations and institutions in our sector have a crucial front-line leadership role to play in negotiating with officials and other lawmakers to make our sector’s voice heard cogently — loud and clear at the heart of the legislative process. Even if new to this, they can get themselves into the room and seriously listened to. Asking for private meetings with relevant officials, ministers and other lawmakers as appropriate, attending wider consultation meetings and responding to government consultations is absolutely par for the course. If your government is one that doesn’t formally consult, do still put your organisations out there! Write early on to outline the outcomes you expect from the transposition and to ask for meetings to discuss it further. Keep in close touch with lawmakers and keep an eagle eye out for any announced or unannounced appearance of relevant consultations or draft legislation.

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Events and Dates


10-13 Berlin, Germany
Open Repositories 2019
17-20 Basel, Switzerland
European Association for Health Information and Libraries Workshop
17-19 Glasgow, Scotland
10th International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference (EBLIP10)

20-21 Brussels,

International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO) Conference 2019 - Low Countries
24-25 Dublin, Ireland
27th EBLIDA Annual Council Meeting & EBLIDA-NAPLE Conference
26 Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Icepops: International Copyright-Literacy Event with Playful Opportunities for Practitioners and Scholars
27-28 Dublin, Ireland LIBER Annual Conference
Stay informed, sign up today!

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