The EBLIDA Newsletter is published monthly on European library & information society issues, programmes, news and events of interest to the library, archive and cultural heritage community.
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EBLIDA Newsletter
Issue No. 3.  March 2016

The President’s Editorial

Jukka Relander, EBLIDA President
Dear all,
We are coming closer to our Annual Council and Conference that will be hosted on 9 and 10 May respectively 2016 in The Hague, World Library Capital!
It will be my pleasure to welcome you there, and in order to do that, please be sure to register as soon as possible for at least 3 reasons:
  • EBLIDA-NAPLE conference is a European scale conference with many opportunities for close-knit networking;
  • benefit from the early bird price until 31st March, and
  • book your hotel, since the Dutch EU Presidency means that The Hague will be quite packed at that time of the year!

    To EBLIDA Members: I count on meeting as many members as possible for my first chairing of an EBLIDA Annual Council as President and I am excited to chat with you and exchange thoughts and ideas on EBLIDA issues in person.
    The official invitation to the Council together with the Agenda have been sent out this week by snail mail to all our members. If you haven’t yet received it, don’t worry, it’ll arrive any day now.
    Right after the Council, we will have the pleasure to enjoy a relaxing moment together with our colleagues from NAPLE at the reception kindly organised by the Public Library of The Hague, and for those interested in joining, please come for the dinner on the lovely, and unpronounceable for many,  Scheveningse Strand (the beach of Scheveningen). I wouldn’t want to miss a Dutch sunset in May (we are holding out for a sunny evening)!
    The next day, we have great pleasure to share with our NAPLE colleagues our annual Conference, on the theme of Empowering Europe ! Libraries opening up new perspective where we will exchange and work on how libraries can become more open in order to better meet the current challenges they are facing. See information under EBLIDA Council and Conference.
    There are of course many issues on the table, and together with the office and my colleagues of the Executive Committee, we are following-up closely on the EU copyright reform process.
    At EBLIDA’s request, two Members of the European Parliament asked a Parliamentary Question to the Commission on Copyright, and an answer was provided (see further down).
    We have also been keeping a close eye on the question of e-lending since the CJEU in Luxembourg organised a hearing on 9th March (see further down in this Newsletter)
    The Executive Committee members had a very intense working meeting in Valencia (Spain) with interesting input provided by FESABID and COBDCV. You can read the report further down in the Newsletter.
    I hope you enjoy the last days of Winter and I’m thrilled that next month we’ll be well into Springtime!

    Enjoy your read!

    Yours Sincerely,
    Jukka Relander
    EBLIDA President


Reform of copyright for libraries, answer from the Commission to a Parliamentary Question

European Commission

In December, further to European Commission’s Communication towards a modern, more European copyright framework, EBLIDA contacted European Parliament Vice President Sylvie Guillaume to ask a parliamentary question to the Commission.

Ms Guillaume together with Ms Roziere agreed to ask the below question to the Commission:

Subject:  Reform of copyright for libraries

The recent publication of the Commission Communication on the modernisation of copyright in Europe shows that the Commission wishes to move towards a greater harmonisation of exceptions and limitations with regard to copyright in Europe.
We appreciate the fact that exceptions and limitations linked to knowledge, research and education are a key priority for the future.
In view of the above, will the Commission say how it intends to address:

  • The issue of e-lending through libraries, as set out in Article 53 of the European Parliament’s own-initiative report adopted in plenary sitting on 9 July 2015 (2014/2256 (INI));
  • The issue of an exception allowing libraries to digitise content for the purposes of consultation, cataloguing and archiving (Article 54 of the European Parliament's own-initiative report) and that of the protection of legal exceptions and limitations that cannot be waived by contractual terms;
  • The issue of cross-border access to library content?
The answer came from Commissioner Oettinger on 2 March as below:
P-000652/2016 Answer given by Mr Oettinger on behalf of the Commission (2.3.2016)

As announced in its Communication of 9 December 2015, the Commission will consider legislative proposals on exceptions and limitations to copyright in the area of access to knowledge, research and education in 2016.

Regarding exceptions for libraries and other similar institutions, the Commission is now assessing different options in order to determine how to:
  • allow preservation by cultural heritage institutions, reflecting the use of digital technologies for preservation and the specificities of born-digital and digitised works;
  • support remote consultation, in closed electronic networks, of works held in research and academic libraries and other relevant institutions, for research and private study.

The cross-border functioning of these exceptions across the EU is one of the objectives of this review. The Commission will assess the impact of different options on libraries, users and right holders, taking into account existing licensing solutions provided by the market. A decision on the scope of an eventual legislative initiative on exceptions and limitations has not been made yet.

In the meantime, there is a pending preliminary reference on whether the current copyright acquis in particular the Rental and Lending Directive already permits e-lending. Case-174/15 remains to be seen what the judgment of the Court will be.

Unsurprisingly, the European Commission doesn’t provide a clear message on exceptions and limitations to copyright for the benefit of libraries.

EBLIDA will continue its work to advocate for a modern, more European copyright framework that ensures libraries can continue to fulfil their missions in the 21st century.

The information is available in other European Languages on the Parliament website.

E-Books: Evolving markets and new challenges

European Parliamentary Research Service

The European Parliamentary Research Service (European Parliament's in-house research department and think tank) produced and released on 15 February a briefing document on e-books that contains interesting information.
Here’s the summary:
With an estimated value of US$151 billion, book publishing gradually evolved into a truly global business early in the 21st century. As yet, however, e-books are nevertheless significant only in a relatively small number of markets. These are led by the United States (13% of the book market) and the United Kingdom (11.5%), with Germany (5%) developing more recently. The e-book market in the EU has taken off only in recent years, and in 2014 it still represented only 1.6% of the total book market in the leading EU markets.

The advent of e-books transformed the usual linear supply chain into a global network, with competing distribution channels and retail outlets, pushing publishers and booksellers to establish a digital strategy. Indeed, e-books face specific challenges with regard to protection from piracy, lending, and copyright issues. More importantly, multinational digital companies choose to set up European headquarters in specific Member States due to their favourable tax regimes and/or lower value added tax (VAT) rates. To partly offset this phenomenon, the EU introduced new rules from 1 January 2015, according to which VAT on electronic services is levied where the customer is based, rather than where the supplier is located.
In contrast to print books, e-books cannot enjoy reduced VAT rates, since they are classified as ‘electronically supplied services’. While the average VAT rate for print books across the EU is 7.6%, the corresponding rate for e-books stands at 19.9%, thus placing them at a disadvantage. The European Commission has already begun a reflection on the VAT regime, including considering the application of reduced VAT rates and is to announce its conclusions by the end of 2016.
The briefing highlights libraries’ issue with e-books in relation to copyright as follow: The impact of copyright provisions on libraries and e-lending is increasingly becoming a major focus of concern for libraries. Print works are conventionally sold or donated to libraries. Invoking the first sale/exhaustion doctrine, libraries could lend their legally purchased print copies. Digital works, in contrast, are typically licensed, not sold, to libraries and consumers by publishers. In general, the number of times an e-book can circulate and/or the amount of time it can remain within a collection before a library's licence expires is restricted. Many publishing houses do not issue licences for lending e-books for security reasons and interlibrary loans are generally not admitted for e-books, therefore paradoxically resulting in e-books being locked up behind digital bars. In 2010, the UK passed legislation allowing library users to download digital editions to e-book readers without infringing copyright. However, practitioners argue that e-books need a wider range of channels to maximise market value – following the example of cinematic releases. In 2015, the EP, in an assessment of current EU copyright legislation, invited the Commission to assess introducing an exception, allowing public and research libraries to legally lend works in digital formats for personal use, while fairly compensating authors for e-lending.
The full briefing is accessible here.


Preliminary Court hearing on Case C 174/15 between VOB and Leenrecht

European Court of Justice in Luxembourg

The European Court of Justice in Luxemburg is organised an audience on March 9 on the case C-174/15 between the Dutch Public Libraries Association and the Foundation Leenrecht on the question to know whether the current copyright acquis, including the Lending and rental directive applies to elending.

A report from Charles Noordam, EBLIDA EC member.

Further to the test case on e-lending launched by the Netherlands Public Library Association (VOB) in the District Court of The Hague in 2013, the case was transferred to the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg (see EBLIDA newsletter #4 of April 2015). The prejudicial questions to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg led to a plea session before the court on Wednesday the 9th of March.
Mr Dirk Visser, lawyer, pleaded on behalf of the Dutch association as did representatives of Dutch publishers and authors. The authors largely back the Netherlands Public Library Association (VOB), except for the matter of  exhaustion of copyright on sold e-books.
The publishers of course were vehement against the position of the association.
Three member states - France, Greece and the Czech Republic - also pleaded against, preferring a legal solution above the creation of a law by the court.
Then the representative of the European Commission pleaded: surprisingly the commission took the position that the lending clause is also applicable to e-lending!
This is quite a surprise since the European Commission has not shown any sign in this direction in the intentions for the new copyright directive.

The judges had questions for the different parties for clarifying purposes. Most interesting was the question for the Commission about coherence of law also in perspective of international treaties.

On June 2 the auditor general of the court will present his conclusions. Probably later this year the EU court will rule and send answers back to the court in The Hague on their prejudicial questions. And the process will continue in The Hague.

In Conclusion: the work of the VOB at national level supported be the work of EBLIDA in Brussels is paying off: we seem to have convinced the commission!

For those who understand Dutch, you can also read the online article of the Dutch Public Library Association on the topic.
To be continued.


Council of Europe Recommendation on the Internet of Citizens

Council of Europe

EBLIDA, the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations, welcomes the adoption of Council of Europe Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)2 on the Internet of Citizens on 10 February 2016.
As highlighted in the Press Release of EBLIDA, the Internet of Citizens promotes the human and cultural dimension of the internet as a complement to the Internet of Things. It is a new notion which calls for a people-centered approach to the Internet, in particular to empower everyone who uses and relies upon it for their everyday activities.

Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the Internet of citizens.

EBLIDA President Jukka Relander said:

I am proud of EBLIDA’s contribution to the recommendation of the Internet of Citizens. Whereas we are working closely with the European Commission and Parliament on greater harmonisation of exceptions and limitations available to library and archives in Europe’s member states and continue to advocate for better access across Europe’s borders, the Internet of Citizens recommendation of the Council of Europe is a milestone in promoting equal access to information and use of digital opportunities for the citizens of Europe and in recognising the key role of cultural institutions such as libraries in shaping the digital future of access to information.

Under the motto of building a culture of democracy, democratic citizenship and participation and a human rights approach in relation to digital culture, the Internet of Citizens provides policy guidelines of particular interest for the library and archives community.

The recommendation highlights in particular:

  • The modernisation of cultural institutions, and their role in shaping the future digital ecosystem, (…) notably through the promotion of creativity and the permanent preservation of all relevant human creative expression for future generations through mass digitisation programmes for libraries (...)
  • The role of the citizen in creating and participating in the new digital environment (prosumers), and the need to reinforce people’s access to creative material where this has been hindered through the imposition, for example, of costly commercial access models,
  • The importance of multiliteracy skills for access to, creation and management of digital culture.

EBLIDA will ensure that the Internet of Citizens and the human rights approach to the digitisation of culture is fully considered through the full participation of the European library community.
To learn more about the recommendation, read the full version here.

German Libraries – a report for the International Community

KNB The Network of Excellence for Libraries has produced information in early January on the situation of libraries in Germany with an English version of the latest edition of the German Library Association’s “Report on the State of Libraries”.

As mentioned in the communication from Mr Guido Jansen (head of International relations) “This concise yet authoritative publication assesses the status quo and lists the German Library Association's related positions and demands.
In addition to offering selected facts & figures, the report highlights the most urgent issues libraries are currently facing in Germany, suggests appropriate measures and solutions and provides supportive statements by politicians from the federal and European level.

Topics covered include e-books, media & information literacy, school libraries, library services for refugees, improved public library funding for the provision of social services and the design of a sustainable library landscape”.

You can download the report at

Copyright reform, the position of the European University Association

EUALast month, the European University Association, a representative organisation of universities and national rectors’ conferences in 47 European countries, with offices in both Brussels and Geneva, published its position on the European Commission Communication towards a modern, more European copyright framework.
It is interesting to note that most of their recommendations aligned with libraries’ position, as the two recommendations below testify:

  • restricting a text and data mining (TDM) exception to public interest research organisations and for scientific research purposes is inhibiting collaboration among various stakeholders. The EC should thus make sure that a mandatory exception enables those who have legal access to content to mine it with their tools of choice;
  • exceptions for research and teaching should not be overridden by contracts or licences with third parties or by technical protection measures such as Digital Rights Management (DRM). This would remove rights granted by the legislation and would render any reform meaningless;

Such a statement from the European University Association gives EBLIDA and the broader library community additional support in our call for a Copyright reform.
The full statement is available at:

EBLIDA thanks Harald Müller for having flagged this information. .


Follow-up on Library Advocacy for EU Event

Library Advocacy 4EU

Library Advocacy for EU Event in Brussels – great success on many levels with enduring value!
A report from Kristīne Pabērza, President of the Latvian Library Association and co-organiser of the event.
It is already a month since the Library Advocacy for EU Event in Brussels, “Increase the power of your influence: individually and collectively”. The event gathered 26 Library Association Presidents, Directors and Public Library Directors from 19 countries in Europe to equip these Library Advocates with improved advocacy skills while supporting EBLIDA’s work at European level as well as to provide a platform for active networking and knowledge sharing.
We spent the last month reflecting back and evaluating the success of the event. Read below what we learned, including a few testimonials!

Networking is the keyword!
All participants agreed that the participation at the training expanded their informal networks, helped to build new contacts and strengthened relationships.
The opportunity to network in a meaningful way with a great group of colleagues who I found interesting, intelligent and inspiring.”
“I made real connections with 100% of the participants – and not the usual 30-50%”.
Time spent at individual /personal level was helpful!
Many participants didn’t expect the agenda and exercises to also be focused on individual change and personal effectiveness but in the end among other takeaways they reported on the importance of taking care of themselves on a  personal level to be able to develop their professional power of influence.
“It strengthened me as a person, even gave me more self-confidence.”
“I learned about my strengths and behavioural change from colleagues and this was very helpful.”
“How can you be a leader if you are stagnant. It is a great opportunity to get more power, self-confidence and update knowledge.”
Sharing advocacy stories and improving messaging is the way to go!
Sharing advocacy success stories, best cases and learning from each other’s stories were ranked at the top of exercises that participants believe helped to increase their individual power of influence and advocacy capacities. The most powerful exercise enabling an increase in our collective power of influence and advocacy capacities, as ranked by participants, was messaging exercise during which we developed advocacy messages in 5 important areas including copyright, social value of libraries, data collection, digital literacy, reading and e-reading.
“Creation of a toolbox is a great idea. Deeply elaborate messages are what we need. A common strategy in delivering the right messages is mandatory.”
“The event gave me the opportunity to gather information from colleagues scattered in Europe.”
We can help each other in our joint efforts!
One third of the event participants are engaged with EBLIDA’s daily work. Knowing this we are happy to learn that the other two thirds admit that the participation at the event enhanced their understanding of ELIBDA’s priorities and the way advocacy work can contribute to these. Almost half of the participants said that this event will make a difference in the way they undertake actions on EU level that would be beneficial to EBLIDA and other EU organisations. We also can expect national organisations to benefit from Library Advocates of LibA4EU network (7 out of 10 participants reported that this event will make a difference in the way they undertake actions at the national level).
“Everything on the agenda was helpful to me professionally and in my role as a national library association representative, and I took away many practical tips on how to plan and carry out library advocacy initiatives.”
“EBLIDA was something on EU level, now I know EBLIDA, the importance and the possible benefits to national organisations.”
Follow up is important!
Some of the questions that participants believe still need  further discussing are: What to do if we are not successful? What challenges are there ahead of us? To whom will our initiatives be a burden? How to coordinate this network with other existing networks (such as PL2020 Advocacy lab, PL2020 Research Group on Public Libraries, etc.) and how to ensure that the creation of additional networks doesn’t end in a pilling-up of groups working in silo, or not working?
“I think the event was a great success on many levels with enduring value and it would be well worth following up on the plans initiated and networks formed”
“We will be special friends forever!”
To be continued.

Collecting data on non-formal and informal learning activities in public libraries

As part of the Library Advocacy for EU project, together with the Latvian Library Association (LLA), we are now surveying public libraries to collect data on non-formal and informal learning activities. At the moment the LLA is carrying out the pilot study in Latvia.

Once the pilot is  completed, EBLIDA will take over the data collection initiative by surveying public libraries in other EU countries and updating its Knowledge and Information Centre accordingly.

Data focussing on non-formal and informal learning activities in public libraries as well as its impact on citizens and communities will be useful to strengthen our arguments and messages when advocating on the role of public libraries in non-formal education and contribution to the EU Education and Training Strategy 2020.
We are looking for both quantitative figures and qualitative evidence:
  • Numbers of trained individuals and numbers of non-formal & informal learning events
  • Non-formal training target groups
  • Scope of partnerships with third parties in non-formal training
  • Validation and certification of non-formal learning outcomes
  • Information about most important non-formal educational offer and training programmes delivered by public libraries
  • Impact of non-formal and informal learning activities on citizens and communities
To be continued.

EBLIDA Executive Committee Meeting, Valencia, 22nd and 23rd February 2016

Biblioteca PublicaFor the first meeting of the calendar year (but actually already the 4th meeting of the Executive Committee since its election in May 2015), EC members gathered in the beautiful Biblioteca Valenciana, a magnificent building with a rich history and important historical collections.

According to their duties of managing the association, EC members talked through a busy agenda for one day and a half, exchanging information on the copyright situation in different countries in Europe, challenging the question of e-lending, making budgetary decisions, discussing strategy and also meeting with Spanish colleagues both from library associations and companies working with libraries thanks to  FESABID (Federación Española de Sociedades de Archivística, Biblioteconomía, Documentación y Museística, i.e. Spanish Federation of Archives, Libraries, Documentation and Museum Associations) and COBDCV (Col.legi Oficial de Bibliotecaris - Documentalistes de Catalunya, i.e. Institute of Catalonian Librarians and Documentalists).
Executive Committee members in the Bibliotheca Valenciana, Valencia, Spain
Executive Committee members in the Bibliotheca Valenciana, Valencia, Spain.

EBLIDA thanks and appreciates the generous support of FESABID, COBDCV and the and Valencian Department of Culture.

24th EBLIDA Annual Council and Conference

REMINDER - Save the Date:
24th EBLIDA Annual Council and EBLIDA-NAPLE Conference
The Hague, Netherlands
9 - 10 May 2016


  I want to register now!   

24th EBLIDA Annual Council Meeting & EBLIDA-NAPLE Conference



Programme Overview

Day 1 – Monday May 9th 2016

EBLIDA Council Meeting (for EBLIDA members only)EBLIDA
Time: 13.30 – 16.30 hrs. (incl. coffee); welcome 13.00 hrs.
Venue: The Hague Public Library, Haagse Lobby,10th floor

NAPLE General Assembly (for NAPLE members only)NAPLE Forum
Time: 09.30 – 16.30 hrs. (incl. coffee)
Venue: National Library of the Netherlands, room B
ReceptionThe Hague Public Library offered by the city of The Hague
Time: 17.00 – 18.30

Conference Dinner on the beach of Scheveningen
Optional – Fee: € 40

Day 2 – Tuesday May 10th 2016

2016 Conference:
Empowering Europe! Libraries opening up new perspectives

Conference registration: 9.00 – 9.30*
                Conference: 9.30 – 16.00* (lunch/coffee included)
Place: National Library of The Netherlands
                * time subject to change

Online Registration
Early registration fee (before 31st March)
- EBLIDA or NAPLE members: € 60
- non members: € 70
- students :  € 30

Standard registration fee (from 1st April):
- EBLIDA or NAPLE members: € 75
- non members: € 85
- students : € 35

More information on the detailed programme are available on the Conference website.


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Events and Dates


March 9 – 11, Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group (PASIG) 2016 Meeting

Place: Prague, Czech Republic
Sponsor/Organizer: Open Preservation Foundation

March 9 – 12, IFLA Public Libraries Section Mid-Term Meeting: "The interaction between library users and librarians"
Place: Zagreb, Croatia
Sponsor/Organizer: IFLA Public Libraries Section

March 10, Developing Open Access and Hybrid Journals
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)

March 10 – 11, 10th International Workshop on Value Modeling and Business Ontologies (VMBO2016)
Place: Trento, Italy
Sponsor/Organizer: Organizing Committee

March 14, Organizing information: roles, skills and training for the future (ISKO UK Annual General Meeting)
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: International Society for Knowledge Organization, UK Chapter (ISKO UK)

March 14 – 17, 6th Triennial Library Congress: "Library Spaces – Digital and Real"
Place: Leipzig, Germany
Sponsor/Organizer: Organizing Committee

March 15, Next steps for European media policy: the UK audiovisual industry and impact of Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) reform
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Westminster Forum

March 15, Next steps for European media policy: the UK audiovisual industry and impact of AVMSD reform
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Westminster Media Forum

March 16, Data Protection: Compliance issues for publishers
Place: London, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)

March 16 – 17, University Press Redux Conference
Place: Liverpool, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Liverpool University Press

March 17 – 18, SMX Munich
Place: Munich, Germany
Sponsor/Organizer: Third Door Media

March 17 – 18, Typefi User Conference
Place: Brighton, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Typefi Systems Pty Ltd

March 17 – 20, Leipzig Book Fair
Place: Leipzig, Germany
Sponsor/Organizer: Leipziger Messe GmbH

March 18 – 21, 36th Paris Book Fair
Place: Paris, France
Sponsor/Organizer: Reed Expositions France

March 20, 1st International Workshop on Recent Trends in News Information Retrieval (NewsIR'16)
Place: Padua, Italy
Sponsor/Organizer: Organizing Committee

March 20 – 23, 38th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR)
Place: Padua, Italy
Sponsor/Organizer: Organizing Committee

March 21, Text and Data Mining Developing Policies and Practices in a Changing Discovery Landscape
Place: Online only
Sponsor/Organizer: National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS)

March 21 – 23, Librarians Information Literacy Conference (LILAC) 2016
Place: Dublin, Ireland
Sponsor/Organizer: CILIP Information Literacy Group

March 22, Understanding eJournal Technology
Place: Oxford, UK
Sponsor/Organizer: Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)


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