Daily Archives: March 9, 2007

Are Academic Libraries Ready For Kids Who Read?

Uh oh. Now that we’ve dumped all our books and installed wireless everywhere, it turns out that kids read! Call them the generation born with Harry Potter in their head. Is your library ready and do your librarians have the skills to deal with them?

“Kids are buying books in quantities we’ve never seen before,” said Booklist magazine critic Michael Cart, a leading authority on young adult literature. “And publishers are courting young adults in ways we haven’t seen since the 1940s.”

All of which leads Cart to declare, “We are right smack-dab in the new golden age of young adult literature.”

Who Owns Conference Presentations?

Here’s a nice little brouhaha. It seems that the American Political Science Association has appropriated the copyright of papers presented at its annual conference as a condition of presenting. An APSA conference presenter recently found one of her papers for sale on a for-profit site called AllAcademic Inc. and wrote about it in outrage at the blog Crooked Timber. More outrage by others followed in the comments to her post. In response to the comments, the executive director of the APSA wrote in and said the papers were posted to AllAcademic Inc. by mistake and that they would be taken down. He continued to assert copyright, however, and maintained that the papers would be accessible for free in an open access archive. From the point of view of distribution, this seems like a good outcome, except some profs are still miffed at the claim that they have surrendered copyright as a condition of presenting at the conference. Perhaps rightfully so.

Who should own copyright to this work and what should they do with it? I heard Kenneth Crewes speak on copyright recently, and one of the most provocative things he said was that a very good case could be made that the scholarly work that professors do is really work for hire, and therfore their college or university could make a strong claim to owning the copyright. He backed off immediately, saying most university administrators would be crazy to push this, as it would enrage the professoriate, roil the whole system, and in fact make a lot more work for them. And yet, wouldn’t it be interesting…

(Note to self: look into ALA’s policy on conference presentations and go back and read the emails about the copyright of this blog.)