Balancing User-Generated Content with Library Policy - Free Webinar

By Patrick Hogan |

Our friends at WebJunction will host the free webinar Finding a Legal Comfort Zone on the Web with Eli Neiburger and Barbara Jones, on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Photo by Hans

Neiburger and Jones are contributing writers to our December Library Technology Report Privacy and the Freedom of Information in 21st-Century Libraries (vol. 46 / no. 8). The report presents analysis from the library community's intellectual freedom leaders alongside articles from a few of its most active technology advocates. "We hope to open up lines of communication," writes Angela Maycock in the Introduction, "to invite one another into our separate spheres, and to ensure that our thinking and our conclusions are better informed by the insights of one another." Pairing the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom's Jones with  the provocative Neiburger, the webinar promises to accomplish that along with simulating conversation in the chat window.

You love Web 2.0, I know.  Yet, it does smack hard against traditional library policies, as Neiburger writes.

The major challenge for libraries and library staff that want to ride the Web 2.0 wave and start benefiting from user-generated content is that there is a heap of very good and very unanswered questions swirling around the edges of privacy and freedom of information on library Web presences when you let the patrons in on the act. If a patron contributes a review of a book to your site, who owns it? Who owns it if it's an awesome review you might want to use in a print ad? Who owns it if it's horrible and racist and you've got to do something about it? Who owns it if the FBI would like to know more about who posted it? Who owns it if it was actually originally written by some big shot with a small army of besuited lawyers and they want you to take it down? Who owns it if the poster has gotten death threats about what she wrote in her review and she wants you to take it down?

Most importantly, just how freaked out should libraries really be about this issue? And, if they want to answer some of these questions, where on earth do they start?

Does it make you feel queasy? Let's find a legal comfort zone on July 27th. See more information and a link to register here.

We've opened access to Barbara Jones' and Eli Neuberger's chapters on the issue's MetaPress page.

*Photo by Hans