Libraries and archives won’t be able to fulfil their public interest mission without tailored legal regulations

Reflections after the Libraries and archives of the future: Copyright empowering public mission of culture conference

With 100 attendees in the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków and 410 joining the event remotely we recognise the importance of the theme and a need for a continuous discussion in Poland on the public interest role of libraries and archives and how it depends on the legal regulations. Especially when thinking about libraries and archives operating in a dynamically evolving online environment, with e-books, online access and e-lending in place.

Here are our reflections after the Libraries and archives of the future: Copyright empowering public mission of culture conference.

The conference looked at the issue from [1] a Polish perspective – analysing current legal system and changes imposed by the still ongoing implementation of the Digital Single Market Directive on the daily work of libraries and archives in Poland and [2] a European perspective showcasing pan-European policy discussions on the matter and specific, country-specific solutions.

Tytuł: 20230522_094120

High attendance rate of library professionals at the event signals that there is a strong need for a dialogue on copyright-related issues for and with libraries, empowering them to efficiently fulfil their public interest mission in the changing, digital world.

The conference offered space for interventions from speakers representing various expertise and background: academics working on intellectual property, library professionals & decision makers, copyright experts collaborating with GLAM organisations, open access to knowledge advocates operating on a local or pan-European level, authors representative.

The conference also served as a Polish launch of the KR21 commissioned Centrum Cyfrowe’s study on the Secure Digital Lending in Libraries in Europe. The printed version of the report is aimed to be available in September 2023.


Watch the confrence

You can watch the recording of the conference in Polish and English.

Part one:

  • Opening of the confrence and session
  • Keynote by prof. Caterina Sganga
  • Session 1: Legal frameworks for libraries and archives in Poland supporting heritage sector’s public mission

is availabe here: in Polish and English 


Part two:

  • Session 2: Secure Digital Lending in Poland – national and European legal framework
  • Session 3: Copyright for libraries and archives – international recommendations
  • Feedback: experts round table

is availabe here: in Polish and English 



During the feedback session of the conference we asked our colleagues – fellow Knowledge Rights 21 national coordinators from Bulgaria, Italy and Latvia: Deborah De Angelis, Jurģis Īvāns and Ana Lazarova to share their immediate reflections on the topics discussed throughout the conference.


Tytuł: Deborah

Deborah De Angelis (Attorney at Law, Creative Commons Italy)The role played by libraries and archives, as by all the cultural institutions of the GLAM sector, is crucial and challenging, especially when considering their activities in the future, as highlighted during the engaging panels of the conference.

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Jurģis Īvāns
Tytuł: Jurģis Īvāns

Jurģis Īvāns (Copyright Expert, National Library of Latvia): There is a misconception that libraries and authors have conflicting interests. In reality authors and publishers benefit greatly from book lending and access to their works.

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Ana Lazarova
Tytuł: Ana Lazarova

Ana Lazarova (Intellectual Property Expert, Digital Republic): Libraries deserve to be recognised as active participants in the copyright reform and, in particular, in the still ongoing debate on the CDSM Directive implementation.

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The conference was organised by Centrum Cyfrowe in cooperation with Future Law Lab (Jagiellonian University) and under the patronage of the Director of the Jagiellonian Library.

The conference was co-funded by Knowledge Rights 21, supported by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin and the Jagiellonian University.