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EBLIDA Newsletter
Issue No. 1 January 2017

The President’s Editorial

Jukka Relander, EBLIDA President
Happy new year and I wish you the very best for 2017.
And now, down to business..
There are some libraries in Finland where you can borrow not only books, but also a drilling machine. Yes, you understood it correctly: a drilling machine. In Helsinki alone there are two of them available.
And why not?

It does not happen very often that you really need to make a hole somewhere. So why should everybody own one of their own? Why can't we have these rarely used necessities in the libraries as well? For heaven's sake, libraries are the only existing public institution specialised in lending.
There is one problem. The drilling machines are threatening the identity of the libraries.
Journalists write the news for their job. And by definition ”news” means  stories about something new. Nobody gets excited if you tell them that there are books in the library nearby – that you can walk in, make your choice, and actually borrow a book and keep it home for a certain amount of time. I don't see big headlines in this. Whereas a story about something NEW in the library gets wide coverage. Now you can borrow a drilling machine in your local library. That really is a piece of news. Imagine, a drilling machine!
So every time newspapers are writing about libraries, they remember to mention that by the way, now you can also borrow a drilling machine from a library. And after that, I received tons of messages from the library users, who are utterly concerned, because it seems that libraries are not focussing on books anymore, because they have these drilling machines. My patient, and usually unsuccessful,  reply is that, in the libraries of Helsinki alone, there are 10 million books and two drilling machines. ”Yes”, they say, ”but why aren't you focussing on books anymore?”
This ongoing discussion popped into my mind when I thought about EBLIDA’s  forthcoming  conference in Aarhus, Denmark.
Our theme is “Rethink”. I like the theme, and I think that is precisely what we have to do. Furthermore, there is no better place on our planet to get together and rethink libraries than Aarhus, Denmark. They are the people to listen to, if you want to rethink a library up to date.
At the same time I am perfectly aware, that our best allies in the world, that is, the heavy users of libraries, do not want us to rethink. They do not necessarily want us to think at all. They want to keep the libraries as they have been for decades.
We have to find a way to rethink and conserve the libraries at the same time, and communicate this effectively to users (or clients, or visitors, whatever they are according to contemporary linguistics).
So let's get together and rethink. Our challenge is, that we want to keep the position of the libraries as it was in the youth of our heavy users, in circumstances that have changed radically. To be the same, we need to be different. So I guess we have no alternative but to do some hard rethinking!

Jukka Relander
EBLIDA President


Malta Presidency of the EU

Council of the EU Presidency, Malta takes over from Slovakia

On January 1st, Malta took over from Slovakia Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Maltese Presidency will end on 30 June 2017.
As detailed on The Maltese Presidency website, during the next 6 months, the presidency will focus on 6 key areas: Migration, the Single Market, Security, Social inclusion, Europe’s neighbourhood and Maritime.
The priorities are detailed here.

Malta holds the Council of the European Union Presidency for the next 6 months and the key rapporteur for the copyright reform proposals is the Maltese MEP, Therese Comodini-Cachia.
Therefore in 2017, Malta is at the heart of the European Union.

For that reason, EBLIDA will gladly set-up our first Executive Committee of the year in Valetta (Malta) at the end of February (see further down for our item Inside EBLIDA).

A European People Party (EPP) Hearing on Copyright

A European People Party (EPP) Hearing on Copyright
The European People Party organised a hearing on copyright on 11th January in the European Parliament. It was introduced and moderated by Therese Comodini Cachia, rapporteur for the JURI committee on the copyright proposals.
The event featured an introduction from Tibor Navracsics (by  video link), European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and was then divided into 2 panels.
Panel 1 focused  on publishers’ rights (i.e. ancillary right for press publishers),  an issue on which EBLIDA has given an opinion in June 2016.

Speakers included: Tomas Kamenec, head of the legal department, Petit Group, Wout van Wijk, Executive Director, News Media Europe, Prof Dr Mireille va Eechoud, Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Raegan MacDonald, Mozilla, Dr Cédric Manara,  Google, Prof Dr Thomas Höppner, professor of civil law and intellectual property law, Dr Giancarlo FROSIO, CEIPI, Giuseppe Abbamonte, director for media policy (copyright) at DG CNECT, European Commission.
As always in public hearings, we heard polarised positions between those against and those in favour of a new right. It is to be noted though that Ms Van Eechoud from the IVIR, did a study on this question,  revealing that most of the respondents were against a new right for publishers.
She herself believes that such a right would risk increasing the concentration of media into the hand of big players and as a consequence would pose a threat to the freedom of expression.
The second panel focused on Value Gap. The speakers included Adam Kinsley, Sky, Burak Ozgen,  Gesac, Patrick Ager, ECSA, FERA, EFJ, FSE, EWC, Tobias McKenney, Senior Advisor on Intellectual Property, Google, YouTube, Merritt Farren, SoundCloud, Dr Christina Angelopoulos,  Cambridge UK, Olivia Regnier, IFPI, Maria Martin-Prat, Head of Unit, Copyright, DG CNECT, European Commission.
At the end of the event, Roberto Viola, Director-General, DG CNECT, European Commission underlined the importance of finding fair solutions that would benefit all Europeans and then handed over to Therese Comodini Cachia, who concluded by thanking all the speakers for their participation.
The detail programe can be read at:

The JURI Committee exchange of views on copyright proposals

On 12 January, the JURI Committee is organising an exchange of views of interest to the library as a community on the issue of Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

During the same meeting later on the afternoon, JURI Committee members will go through amendments consideration in the relation to the Marrakesh Treaty Regulation (point 17 of the agenda entitled Cross-border exchange between the Union and third countries of accessible format copies of certain works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled) and Directive (point 18 entitled Permitted uses of works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society).

For EBLIDA’s  position, please see our latest statement from December on the Marrakesh Treaty here.

European Parliament Copyright directive proposals - European Parliament committees in charge

5 committees in total are working on the case.
The lead committee is the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee in charge of the draft.
The 4 other committees to give an opinion are:
  • Culture and Education (CULT);
  • Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE); and,
  • Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) [Associated Committee (Rule 54) for Article 13 and Recitals 37, 38 & 39]; and,
  • Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) (Rapporteur and Shadow Rapporteurs still to be appointed).

Germany tries to cripple “right to read” EU Marrakesh Treaty legislation for visually-impaired persons with a “publishers compensation right”

An article by David Hammerstein of the World Blind Union.
The German Permanent Representation to the EU has proposed to MEPs and to the Council to include in the draft Directive for implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty an article that would grant economic compensation to secondary rightsholders such as publishers. This would greatly weaken the “right to read” objectives of Marrakesh Treaty as an exception to copyright for print-disabled persons. Germany proposes to integrate “article 12” of the European Commission´s new general copyright proposal draft that has not yet been considered by the European Parliament which says:

“Member States may provide that where an author has transferred or licensed a right to a publisher, such a transfer or a licence constitutes a sufficient legal basis for the publisher to claim a share of the compensation for the uses of the work made under an exception or limitation to the transferred or licensed right.”
Germany has asked for a compensation right which does not exist in present EU law and which contradicts both the spirit of the Marrakesh Treaty and the letter of the European Commission proposed Directive and Regulation now being considered by the European Parliament (which harmonizes EU law without compensation nor remuneration clauses) . In most EU member states this compensation right does not apply when implementing an exception to copyright. In Germany article 45a of its copyright law does oblige blind organizations and libraries to pay (11.50 euros) for every printed book available for lending despite the fact that this law was opposed vigorously by German visually-impaired persons and librarians. Now Germany wants to cripple the cross-border lending of books inside and outside the EU with a double financial burden: blind persons organizations would have to pay both the high production costs of producing books in accessible formats and pay compensation to publishers. In most EU countries this would make the Marrakesh Treaty totally unworkable and make the sharing of books with poorer countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia almost impossible due to the added cost.
According to Wolfgang Angermann, President of the European Blind Union, Germany´s proposal violates international law because “no compensation can be justified, unless it is connected to the clearly stated profit of the respective entity because article 21 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons states that accessible information must be made available without additional cost.”.
We ask Germany and other EU member states, along with MEPs, to respect the spirit of the Marrakesh Treaty and the right to read of millions of visually-impaired persons by not supporting this “compensation right” or other forms of remuneration in the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty into EU law.
World Blind Union


IFLA - International Advocacy Workshop, 14-16 December 2016, The Hague (The Netherlands)

IFLA organised its 4th regional workshop of the International Advocacy Programme (IAP) in Europe in December.
The event welcomed 24 participants from 12 countries, 4 trainers, 5 representatives from IFLA Headquarters, and 3 representatives of participating library organisations, among which EBLIDA.

"The IFLA IAP aims to establish an engaged community of advocates who will clearly articulate the significant opportunities to increase the profile and impact of library and information professionals in the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDG’s).

Within the context of IFLA’s IAP, four regional workshops are being held in Asia Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe from October to December 2016”.

It was an interesting event to better understand how further cooperation at European level surrounding the issue of the SDG’s, and how EBLIDA could leverage IFLA work.

There were also opportunities to connect with new colleagues and to potentially attract new members.

During the event, it was confirmed that the next IFLA President meeting of 3rd April 2017 where all the professional units of IFLA will gather, will take place in Athens (Greece).

More to read on the IAP Workshop on the IFLA website.

EU Copyright Reform: LIBER Joins Leading Research Groups In Call For More Change

On January 10, LIBER along with 4 other Research organisations released a position paper “(…) calling on legislators to modify current EU copyright reform proposals, giving Europe the opportunity to become a global leader in data-driven innovation and research”.

The Liber website mentioned that in their statement “(…) LIBER, CESAER, EUA, LERU and Science Europe — which together represent hundreds of universities, libraries, funders and research performing organisations — say amendments in five main areas are critical if Europe wants to be at the forefront of a prosperous and growing digital society, the vision set out by the European Commission in its strategy for a Digital Single Market (…).”
The whole statement is available here.


EBLIDA Membership Campaign 2017 starts now!

Jean-Marie Reding, EBLIDA Treasurer
We are calling on all EBLIDA members, to engage with us in our membership campaign.

Very soon, members will receive a very important message from us, where we will ask for your help in recruiting new members. As part of this campaign, our Treasurer, has kindly adapted a history of EBLIDA, which will be including in the communication to members, and also available to the public on our website here.

(Jean-Marie Reding, EBIDA Treasurer)

Reminder: Next EBLIDA NAPLE Annual Council and Conference, 3-4 May 2017

25th EBLIDA Annual Council Meeting & EBLIDA-NAPLE Conference, Aarhus, Denmark
Programme overview :

Please note that time is subject to change
Day 1 - Wednesday May 3rd 2017
EBLIDA Council Meeting 2017
(For EBLIDA members only)
13.30 – 16.30 (incl. coffee)
Venue Dokk1 – Store Sal
Programme will be made accessible to members only via a secured website.

NAPLE General Assembly
(For NAPLE members only)
13.00 – 17.30 (incl. coffee)
Venue Dokk1 – Lille Salen
Programme – See
Expert Meetings
(By invitation only)
10.00 – 13.00 (incl. coffee)
Venue Dokk1 – Meeting room 1 & 2
Social programme
Reception May 3 2017
Optional, host Aarhus Municipality
18.00 Aarhus City Hall
Dinner May 3 2017
Optional, price 40 EURO
20.30 – 23.00
Visit Aarhus by yourself
Museums etc
Visit a library by yourself
Dokk1 and branches
The Royal Library Aarhus
Day 2 – Thursday May 4th 2017
2017 Conference:  “Let’s Rethink”
Conference registration: 8.30 – 9.30*
Conference: 9.45 – 16.10* (lunch/coffee included)
Venue: Dokk 1
* time subject to change
Early registration fee (before 17th March)
- EBLIDA or NAPLE members: 100 € 
- non members: 120 € 
Standard registration fee (17 March to 1st May):
- EBLIDA or NAPLE members: 130 €
- non members: 150 € 
Registration now open!
Check all necessary information at
Read more on the Let’s Rethink conference
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of EBLIDA. Since 1992 and the date of its inception, the environment in which libraries exist has dramatically changed.
It is not a single change, but a multiple that have impacted on the information sector at different levels and these factors together have combined to accelerate the transformation of our institutions.
25 years is therefore the right time to rethink.
Let’s rethink is the actual theme of Aarhus, European Capital for Culture 2017, and it seemed fitting to adopt this motivating theme and make it ours after 25 years of existence to rethink our work, our mission and our impact through a one-day conference on 4 May 2017.
Design thinking, 24/7 information accessible everywhere, from all devices, hyper-connected citizens, the Internet of things, big data, smarts cities, information overload, artificial intelligence, androids, mass-digitisation, books, music, movies, literacy, trans-literacy, e-books etc.  Those are some of the key words that are used in our daily environment and are having an impact upon the ways in which librarians work.
Besides these usual suspects, the global shift towards digitisation disrupts traditional ways of working.
It offers new opportunities for us to better serve our patrons but it also presents new challenges, as new business models compete with the services that libraries offer.
Ultimately, European society (and more broadly, society as a whole) is facing new challenges in the form of unemployment, illiteracy, migration and terrorism to name but a few, while communication from one end of the earth to the other has never been easier.
In this ever evolving environment where human attention is now a scarce commodity, librarians need to rethink their role and how their missions can benefit citizens.
During the day in addition to the keynote speech, we will be working through 3 main sessions.
  • A round table that will address the issue of Rethinking in a competing environment;
  • A world café to Rethinking Library Advocacy.
  • A session in the form of a retroactive look throughout the years to Rethink our achievements and the way forward.
This conference is jointly organised with the National Authorities of Public Libraries in Europe (NAPLE), and supported by the Danish Library Association and the City of Aarhus.
In addition to our Keynote-Speaker Vincent Chapdelaine (see our previous edition), the Steering Committee of the EBLIDA-NAPLE Annual Conference 2017 drafted an exciting programme for you. Check it out here. The combination offers a rich mix of sessions that will allow the audience to actively contribute to the debate.
Again we remind you to please save the dates on your calendar. We recommend you to book your hotel as soon as possible as Aarhus has been appointed European Capital of Culture for 2017 and will attract millions of visitors.
We hope you will join us in Aarhus to rethink together as well as to participate at the Annual Council meeting of EBLIDA or NAPLE General Assembly on Wednesday 3rd May.

Next EBLIDA Executive Committee Meeting – Valetta (Malta) – February 2017

As announced in the article about the Maltese Presidency of the EU, EBLIDA will host its 1st Executive Committee Meeting of the year in Valetta, Malta.

The event is been organised with the support of MaLIA, the Maltese Library Association and the National Library of Malta.

We will take the opportunity of this meeting to strengthen our connections with our Maltese colleagues, and are also preparing a special library event for Maltese MEPs who will be invited for a library tour and a meeting with European Librarians to discover more about our work, our strength and the issues we are facing both in Malta and in Europe

Membership Enquiry

Events and Dates


14 January
France Lancement de la 1ère édition de la Nuit de la lecture Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication

17 January
Webinar Research Data Services Webinar LIBER

17 January
Lyon, France Bibliothèques et mémoire: les révolutions d’Henri-Jean Martin. Rencontres Henri-Jean Martin 2017 Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon, Bibliopat, Enssib, centre Gabriel Naudé, Institut d'histoire du livre en collaboration avec l’École nationale des chartes, l’IGB, la BnF et l’École pratique des hautes etudes

18 January
London, UK
Discovery and Discoverability: New ideas, techniques and products
University College London (UCL)

24 January
London, UK
Prospects for UK book publishing - new avenues for physical and digital growth
Westminster Media Forum

25-27 January
Tampere, Finland 25th BOBCATSSS Symposium 2017 BOBCATSSS

26 January
Barcelona, Spain 5th LEARN Research Data Workshop Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

30 January
Zurich, Switzerland
What is open access? What trends are there in academic publishing?
EBLIDA-LIST is a general mailing list intended to foster communications between EBLIDA, its membership and members of the European library community. The goal is to facilitate information exchange as well as professional communication and development within the EBLIDA community. Subscribe today!
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