Hamilton librarian joins Grateful Dead in being deemed an Internet Hero

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Published October 27, 2021 at 1:37 pm

A Hamilton librarian is being celebrated as an Internet Hero for her work in improving access to library collections and archives.

The U.S.-based Internet Archive named Lisa Radha Weaver, Director of Collections and Program Development at the Hamilton Public Library an Internet Hero during a recent virtual ceremony.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form, with a mission to provide universal access to all knowledge.

Weaver, alongside Milton Public Library’s Manager Support Services, Kanta Kapoor, were celebrated for their early adoption of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), which offers secure digital access to physical books a library owns, to one user at a time.

Weaver was also instrumental in identifying special collections to donate to the Internet Archives for digitization.

“CDL removes barriers to access collections. With one library card, users have access to a worldwide library, not just your local branch, system, region, province, state or country,” Weaver said in an HPL press release.

In Weaver’s case, the push to adopt CDL started years ago but its efficacy was put to the test when Hamilton’s libraries closed due to the pandemic.

“Our hearts were a little bit less heavy, knowing that at least that part of our collection continued to be accessible to people,” Weaver said in an Internet Archive blog post celebrating her achievement. “We had positive feedback.”

In one of her most recent projects, Weaver facilitated a donation of 1,000 books about 18th and 19th Century theatre previously housed in HPL’s special collections to the Internet Archive.

Before joining HPL in 2018, Weaver worked with the Toronto District School Board where she co-ordinated operations with the largest library system in Canada and worked with diverse communities to expand digital access to learning materials for students.

“I believe the library should be there for everyone, where they are and when they need it,” she said.

Past Internet Heroes include Massachusetts’ Phillips Academy, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the Grateful Dead.

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