Library News

New Sustainability Resource – BuildingGreen Suite – Try it out

BuildingGreen Suite, is a resource you can try out via the Library until Oct 10.  If you want to take a look, you’ll find articles, reviews, and news stories covering energy-efficient, resource-efficient, and healthy building practices. We also look forward to your feedback! BuildingGreen Suite,  updated monthly, offers full access to, a key source of information about improving environmental performance. It also includes information on a wide range of topics related to sustainable building, including energy efficiency, recycled-content materials, land-use planning and indoor air quality. The BuildingGreen Suite brings together material from Environmental Building News (EBN) since 1992, product listings from the GreenSpec products directory, and a database of project case studies from the High-Performance Buildings Database. If you are trying out this resource from off-campus, just login with your myNeu account information.  From on-campus, you should be able to access this resource.  Any problems, please contact Amy Lewontin, Collection Development Librarian, (617)373-2001.

Joan Krizack appointed to the Massachusetts Archives Advisory Commission

We’re very please to announce that Joan Krizack, University Archivist and Head, Special Collections for Northeastern University Libraries, was appointed by Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Galvin, to the Massachusetts Archives Advisory Commission.   The Archives Advisory Commission was established in the mid 1970’s as the central advisory body for historical records planning for the state.  The Commission is mandated to advise the Secretary on archival matters and establish, with the Archivist of the Commonwealth, a comprehensive statewide documentary preservation plan. Acting as the central advisory body for historical records planning, the Archives Advisory Commission served as the model for the National Archives when it established a State Historical Records Advisory Board in every state. They have a number of online exhibits, and from one entitled Le Grande Derangement, I learned that in 1755 10,000 French Canadians were exiled from Nova Scotia, and 1,000 of them ended up as refugees in Massachusetts. As these ‘Acadians’ did not pledge allegiance to the British Crown, they were compelled to remain until the end of the French and Indian War in 1763.  At that time most tried to relocate to other French regions where they shared a language and religion-France, Quebec and Haiti, along with Louisiana.  It’s an interesting interment history that I knew nothing about until discovering the exhibit.  Apparently, Longfellow also wrote a related poem titled Evangeline, about lovers separated during the conflict, that later served as the basis for a movie starring Dolores del Rio!

On this evening’s Google Books Settlement Discussion at the Boston Public Library

“The future is here, but it doesn’t come to everyone at the same rate.”– Hal Abelson, MIT

In a nutshell: there seemed to be three major issues of concern (or queasiness as they echoed to each other) that the panelists (and the moderator) had, sans the Face of Google guy, Daniel Clancy.  Monopolization of the books market, access to library users and concerns of cost to libraries, commercialization of orphan works and the transformation of written culture.  Regarding the monopolization issue, John Palfrey of Harvard Law School, said “game over” if the settlement is ruled favorably.  He claimed that no one else will have the incentive to compete against Google in the digital books market.  Palfrey is also concerned regarding orphan works (works whose copyright owner cannot be found after an effort) and what will happen to orphan works legislation as a result of the Google Books settlement decision.  Palfrey and Anne Wolpert of MIT, also expressed ‘queasiness’ over the commercialization of orphan works.  Wolpert talked about the pricing model of Google Books.  She explained that individuals could subscribe, that libraries could have one dedicated terminal with access to the Google Books project, or libraries could subscribe to the entire corpus.  She took issue with the undefined pricing, which Dan Clancy said would adjust to the market.  Wolpert’s key point was that libraries have been burned in the past by publishers who had a monopoly on literature in specific fields.  She also made the point that libraries have paid some of the costs in the development of the corpus that is Google Books, as well as taxpayers supporting public libraries.

Personally, I agree with the points made.  Regarding orphan works, it is my understanding that identifying, digitizing and making acccessible more orphan works is to the greater good of society (and will ultimately help to identify previously unknown copyright holders).  However, the difference between a project like the Open Library Project through the Open Content Alliance and Google Books is that the latter seeks a profit.  My lingering question is to those libraries that signed up with Google Book Project.  Did they think about the greater long term ramifications to society of one business potentially controlling 40 million volumes of our nation’s great libraries, before making a deal with a company whose philosophy Hal Abelson claims, is “Manifest Destiny”?

Google Book settlement forum, July 21, 2009 at the Boston Public Library


A panel about what the Google Books settlement agreement means for the academic, library, and business communities.


  • Daniel Clancy, Engineering Director, Google Books
  • John Palfrey, Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources, Harvard Law School
  • Ann Wolpert, Director of Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Hal Abelson, Class of 1922 Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Moderated by Maura Marx, Executive Director, Open Knowledge Commons.

Google Book Search is an ambitious project to digitize the world’s books. Six years, many million works, and two U.S. lawsuits later, the project is now set to change dramatically. Google has reached a settlement agreement with authors and publishers that, if approved by the court, will have sweeping implications for writers, readers, scholars, librarians, and the public at large.

The panel of speakers will explain and discuss the settlement. The panel will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Associated Press (AP) Images is a great source of photos

If you are looking for current photos to use in educational presentations, slide shows or projects, AP Images is a great source.  If you would like to use these images in commercial publications or works, you will need to get permission from AP Images, prior to doing so. Woodstock Stamp