People sitting and reading books and ebooks beneath a tree whose leaves are made from 0s and 1s.

Equitable Access is the Future of Knowledge

2021 Annual Report

Library Futures is one of the leading digital library policy and advocacy organizations, becoming a crucial voice in the fight for balanced digital rights in only a year.

We hold events, run programs in technology and access, write position papers and opinion pieces in the press, work on policy issues with our coalition, and partner with a variety of organizations to further our mission of equitable access to knowledge in the service of the public good.

In 2021, we set out with a goal to become a significant player in the digital rights space in order to empower digital transformation in libraries. Thanks to you, we've succeeded. As we head into our next chapter, we wanted to take a look back on the incredible achievements of the past year and celebrate a year of fighting for the rights of libraries in the digital age.

With gratitude,
Jennie Rose Halperin
Executive Director, Library Futures

What we've done

January 2021
🚀 Library Futures launches
We kick off with a coalition of seven organizations, lots of press fanfare, and a set of blog posts and images outlining who we are and what we do
libraries preserve for the long haul: libraries and archives have digitally preserved millions of collections based on the needs of their communities
Our first webinar! We collaborate to produce "Mythbusting CDL" with the Internet Archive, reaching hundreds
February 2021
We host a discussion with the authors of the book The End of Ownership
hands of many colors holding mobile phones and library cards with raised fists
March 2021
Jennie Rose Halperin headshot

“Historically, publishers and libraries have had different but complementary goals: Libraries want to purchase books, and publishers want to sell them. Digital libraries shouldn’t be used as an excuse to withhold knowledge from the people – that’s a global issue that should concern everyone."

Jennie Rose Halperin, Executive Director of Library Futures

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden joins us at Georgetown to take a stand for libraries and commit to working for a brighter digital future
Zoom screenshot of Ron Wyden and Amanda Levendowski giving a thumbs up to each otherZoom screenshot of Ron Wyden and Amanda Levendowski giving a thumbs up to each other
April 2021
We launch a campaign to draw attention to lack of access to Oscar-nominated films for libraries, and more than 600 people mobilize to tell Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu to make these films widely available
Publishers Are Using E-books to Extort Schools and Libraries
Headshot of Heather Joseph

“People can still get access to resources with a card, but it is no longer with a library card or a student ID: It’s with a credit card.”

Heather Joseph, Library Futures Board Member

May 2021
"Why Trust a Corporation to Do a Library's Job," an author talk with Joanne McNeil, author of Lurking, and technologist Darius Kazemi
Photos of Joanne McNeil and Darius Kazemi  with the text "Why Trust a Corporation to Do a Library's Job? A conversation with author Joanne McNeil and artist/technologist Darius Kazemi."
June 2021
The "Summer of CDL" kicks off with a collaborative event answering the most frequently asked questions about controlled digital lending
Boston Library Consortium joins as our first consortial coalition partner
A library surrounded by a typewriter, a film projector, a 35mm camera, an early Apple computer, an old-fashioned phonograph, a 3.5" floppy disk, a boombox, a VHS tape, an iPod, and more.
We join with Public Knowledge to send a letter to congress in opposition to the Journalistic Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA)
July 2021
The Summer of CDL continues with an implementation workshop co-sponsored with Internet Archive, Open Library Foundation, ReShare, and CDL Implementers
We partner with Consumer Reports and a coalition of over 40 organizations to launch Broadband Together and join in the fight for a fair internet!
Let's Broadband Together + Library Futures logos
August 2021
We host a scholarly discussion on CDL that serves as a call to action for digital libraries
Policy paper Controlled Digital Lending: Unlocking the Library's Full Potential is released
September 2021
Library Futures chairs the National Information Standards Organization's Controlled Digital Lending Working Group, sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation
We collaborate with SPARC to solicit comments for the US Copyright Office in opposition to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the CASE Act
October 2021
The International Federation of Library Associations joins the Library Futures coalition in support of their strong statement in support of Controlled Digital Lending
We participate extensively in the Global Congress for IP in the Public Interest as well as this year's Library Leader's Forum
November 2021
We announce our Google News Grant with Albany Public Library and the Hearken news facilitation team to pilot more equitable digital access to local news
Together with the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, a motion is filed to the Supreme Court of Canada in Canadian copyright case regarding the "making available right"
A person with a very long arm reaching through a pile of old monitors and TVs to get a book.
Over 300 people sign on to our International Statement of Solidarity with #ebookSOS and Knowledge Rights 21 to support balanced copyright for libraries worldwide
December 2021
Executive Director Jennie Rose Halperin is named a 20/20 Tech Policy Visionary by Public Knowledge
We collaborate with IFixIt to send 100 repair kits and training to public libraries
two people holding digital devices and walking into a library building, one urban one rural
We couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you for your support of Library Futures over the past year. As we look towards 2022, we are grateful to all our contributors, volunteers, and donors who make this work possible. Cheers! 🍾


Our Financials


More than 95% of contributions go toward program expenses