This week, the Internet Archive shut down its National Emergency Library, created in March to expand on IA’s Open Library Project. This early closure is prompted by a lawsuit filed by four major publishers against Internet Archive. IA’s Open Library will still continue under its original controlled digital lending framework. The Open Library and National Emergency Library contained over 1.4 million books, and I was the author or co-author of three of them (Against the Dead Hand, Antidumping Exposed, and The Age of Abundance).
Considerable outrage from authors and publishers has been directed at the National Emergency Library and the Open Library in general. I am among the authors who do not share their objections, and am happy that my works are made available by the Open Library.
I write books about economic, political, and social issues — the kind of serious, wonky books that typically don’t get near the bestseller lists. Anything that can help me reach additional readers is greatly appreciated, so I’m always gratified when my books end up in libraries. The Open Library provides a wonderful virtual collection that anybody can access, a service more valuable than ever during this time when physical libraries have been closed and, when reopened, still pose real risks to visit. It’s a wonderful service, and I’m delighted that books I’ve written are available there.