Never Neutral

After the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, many of the faculty librarians are struck by the systemic failure of institutions to condemn white supremacist hate speech and fascism. Champions of ‘both sides’ represent a key point of rhetorical failure, as though it were possible to have a productive conversation with someone who believes you shouldn’t exist. Continue reading “Never Neutral”

The New York Times website goes behind a pay wall

Photo by Flickr user JFINGAS

On March 28th, the New York Times implemented a new subscription plan for consumers of its online newspaper. Readers who enjoy visiting the Times’ website will now have limits imposed on their free access to content of the site. Visitors will be able to read 20 free articles from the Times’ website per month, but on the 21st attempt, they will directed to a page asking the user to subscribe to one of three digital subscription options for the website, mobile app or tablet app. Subscriptions start at $15 for four-week access to content on the New York Times website.

Students, faculty and staff still have full access to the New York Times current content through several Milne Library databases:
• From 1980-present in:   Lexis Nexis Academic and ProQuest National Newspapers
• From 1985-present in:   Academic OneFile, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Gale General One File, InfoTrac Newsstand, and Newspaper Source Plus
• From 6 months ago-present we have a print newspaper subscription; today’s copy resides in Books’n’Bytes café

For those students and faculty who use the New York Times Article Archive, the articles previously available from pre-1923 and post-1986 on the New York Times website will be subject to the 20 article per month limit.  Milne Library owns the microfilm of the entire run of the New York Times back to 1857 for those interested in articles pre-1923.

Photo by: Flickr user sjsharktank

At this time, there is no site license available for an institution-wide subscription to the digital content of the New York Times website, but the publisher indicated they are working on a licensing model for institutions such as colleges and libraries, to be introduced in the near future.

Readers who use search engines such as Google or Yahoo and are directed to content on the New York Times website will be limited to reading 5 free articles per day, but if you are in Facebook, on Twitter or visiting other social media sites such as blogs, you will be able to view and read articles for free. These will not count toward the monthly limit.

For more information, visit the New York Times’ blog, “The Learning Network” and read their post about the new digital subscription plans: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/a-note-to-our-readers-about-digital-subscriptions/.

Some libraries reject Google’s offer to digitize book collections

On October 22, The New York Times ran a front page article about several large research libraries’ rejection of Google’s offer to scan and digitize large portions of their collections. The Boston Public Library, University of Connecticut and the University of Massachusetts are among several of New England’s largest libraries to refuse the offer.

Instead, many of these libraries are working with an organization called Open Content Alliance to make “…the material available to any search service…”, and not just limited to Google, who forbids libraries to make their collections available to other commercial search services when Google scans the materials.

Is this a mistake? Does it matter who is providing the service as long as patrons (aka students, faculty, staff) get the material they need? Or, as the refusing libraries counter, does this provide an alternative to Google and ensure that material is openly available and access is unhindered by corporate restrictions set by one search service?

Give us your thoughts and post a comment.