Current Cites

March 2020

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Warren Cheetham, Peter Hirtle, Edward Lim Junhao, Nancy Nyland

Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research  (13 March 2020)( - Can you teach a college course without access to a library? As university teaching shifts to online learning, the resources of now-closed libraries must also move online. Thanks to the huge amounts that libraries spend on licensed electronic resources, many items are available remotely to faculty and students. Many more items, however, are not accessible in digital form. Fortunately, those items can also be used when the proposed use is a fair use. To help librarians and educators think about the copyright issues involved with online teaching, a group of copyright "lawyerbrarians" prepared this statement. School Library Journal has noted that the statement's analysis of copyright law would apply to K-12 education as well. The Internet Archive's National Emergency Library is an even more aggressive assertion of fair use. It has generated some opposition from rightsholders, but to date no legal action. - PH

Chan, Seb. "Fresh and NewFresh and New  (March 2020)( ). - Email newsletters are the hot new blogging platform? If so, here is another gem. Seb Chan is the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Seb has also worked as Director of Digital&Emerging Media, at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. As Head of Digital, Social&Emerging Technologies at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, his teams pioneered work in open access, mass collaboration, web metrics and digital engagement. All this rich experience working with cultural institutions and digital change and renewal is shared through his email newsletter Fresh and New. There is a free email sign up, and these messages are ephemeral, they may be public for just a few days. Patron subscribers get access to the full archives. There’s enough free content in the archives to give you an idea what you’re signing up for. Lots to read, learn and ponder here. - WC

Cohen, Dan. "Humane IngenuityHumane Ingenuity — Archive  (March 2020)( - Dan Cohen is a name familiar to most people working in, or interested in the intersection of libraries and digital changes. He was the founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America, and is currently Vice Provost for Information Collaboration, Dean of the Library, and Professor of History at Northeastern University. Dan has a regular email newsletter called Humane Ingenuity, currently sitting at 19 editions. Each email contains a treasure of thoughts, ideas, and links to projects and articles covering the broad field of humanities, cultural institutions and the digital world. The latest newsletter links to the fascinating Digital Restoration Initiative, which has been developing a way to scan and read ancient text that was written in black ink on a scroll that was then roasted to a uniform, black crisp, and made so brittle it can never be unrolled (from Herculaneum libraries burned by Mount Vesuvius). - WC

MacFarlane, Andrew, Sondess  Missaoui, and Sylwia  Frankowska-Takhari. "On Machine Learning and Knowledge Organization in Multimedia Information RetrievalKnowledge Organization  47(1)(2020): 45-55. ( - Media and multimedia objects have so many individual features that could potentially constitute some form of metadata that indexing them through artificial intelligence is, in some cases, not possible. Some features are subjective and can only be recognized and assigned by human indexers, but not all. The authors propose a system of “knowledge organization” that begins by sorting identifiable qualities of art, music and video into high-level, middle-level and low-level features. Low-level features "can be extracted using machine learning technologies, whilst high-level features … require the use of human intervention..." (p. 50) Advances in technology increase the possibility of indexing with artificial intelligence, such as graphical processing units (GPU), which "are particularly useful for image processing..." (p. 46) The authors seek to help information professionals see artificial intelligence as "an opportunity rather than a threat," and a "technology to improve the multimedia services they manage." (p. 53) - NN

Tay, Aaron. "A belated look at Campus Activated Subscriber Access (CASA) or Musing about librarianship  (10 March 2020)( - This feature seems to have gone under the radar. In a nutshell, publishers work with Google Scholar to recognize institutional users even when they are off-campus so as to provide convenient full-text access. This setting can be found in your Google Scholar settings under off-campus access, and is valid for 30 days. The end result is that you'll see a dark grey box next to your scrollbar when viewing journal articles (of participating publishers). Thanks Aaron for bringing this to our attention! - ELJ