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Digital Public Library of America Podcast via Radio Berkman

December 23rd, 2011 by Michael Winter

The Digital Public Library of American (DPLA), to be released to the public in two years, held a meeting in October of 2011. The link included here enables us to listen to a podcast of a session on digital libraries generally, and focuses particularly on the question of centralized vs distributed collection building strategies.  Here is what Brewster Kahle had to say: “…the answer of having one library for everybody is not a good approach,” for reasons he and other speakers further discussed.  I was struck by one speaker’s observation that the best example of a centralized digital library can be found in South Korea–which in fact combines geographically-sited facilities with digital ones.

American Factfinder redesigned

December 22nd, 2011 by

The familiar version of American Factfinder will be discontinued January 20, 2012.

Data from the 2005-2010 American Community Survey, 2005-2010 Puerto Rico Community Survey, 2006-2009 Annual Population Estimates, and 2004-2010 Economic Census and Annual Surveys are available at Datasets for earlier years will be available in an archived format.

The new version of American Factfinder will become the “official” source for the latest Census data.

Factfinder2 is quite a bit different in looks and functionality from the original American Factfinder Census data delivery system.

We’ll try to help you with Census data from the new and legacy American Factfinder.  Please contact us:

Marcia Meister, or Juri Stratford,

Factfinder2 home page image below:


December 12th, 2011 by Daniel Goldstein

The Visual Resources Association, the international organization of image media professionals dedicated to furthering research and education in the field of image management, has released a Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study. The Statement describes six uses of copyrighted still images that the VRA believes fall within the U.S. doctrine of fair use. The six uses are: 1) preservation (storing images for repeated use in a teaching context and transferring images to new formats); 2) use of images for teaching purposes; 3) use of images (both large, high-resolution images and thumbnails) on course websites and in other online study materials; 4) adaptations of images for teaching and classroom work by students; 5) sharing images among educational and cultural institutions to facilitate teaching and study; and 6) reproduction of images in theses and dissertations.

This Statement on the Fair Use of Images draws from the academic community’s longstanding practice of relying on fair use for teaching and learning, and highlights one area – the use of images in theses and dissertations – where the Association believes the community should return to its previous practices of being more assertive. The Statement also relies heavily on recent fair use jurisprudence and aims to provide image users within the educational and cultural heritage communities with greater certainty when relying on fair use.

The Statement was developed by the VRA’s Intellectual Property Rights Committee, with the guidance of a Legal Advisory Committee of preeminent copyright scholars and legal experts, whose members include: Robert W. Clarida (Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman), Jeffrey P. Cunard (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP), Jackie Ewenstein (Ewenstein & Young LLP), Georgia K. Harper (Scholarly Communications Advisor, The University Libraries, University of Texas at Austin), Virginia Rutledge (PIPE Arts Group) and Jule Sigall (Associate General Counsel – Copyright, Microsoft; Formerly Associate Register for Policy & International Affairs, U.S. Copyright Office).

Maureen Burns, VRA President, noted the Association’s aims in producing the Statement: “An important aspect of VRA’s mission is to inform educational image users about, and to help form consensus around, best practices in the field of visual resources. These guidelines reflect a consensus (albeit largely unwritten to date) within the Association – and by extension the broader educational community – that the practices described within the guidelines are reasonable assertions of fair use. Our hope is that this document will help to ensure that images are robustly and widely used to facilitate uninhibited academic inquiry.”

For more information about the Statement, please visit the Intellectual Property Rights Committee page on the VRA website at or go directly to the document here:

Understanding the Occupy Movement

December 8th, 2011 by Michael Winter

The Berkeley Journal of Sociology “has just created a forum by gathering a collection of links to essays, critical commentary, and research ideas of social scientists on the Occupy Movement. As analyses and “spin” of Occupations grow, we confront the sort of public issue to which a social science response is urgently needed. Accordingly, the BJS has organized this forum addressing the underlying social, political, and economic issues surrounding Occupy and its broader implications.”  For more information and direct access to the links, go to