Saturday, November 19, 2022

For Giir Joseph Henry, a 21-year-old medical student in South Sudan, Z-library was a crucial resource for accessing medical textbooks including Gray’s Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice, which is widely regarded as the bible of human anatomy. Not everyone is able to afford textbooks like Gray’s Anatomy, says Henry, “because they are really expensive.” The book easily costs up to $200, plus shipping costs.

Henry says he doesn’t have any real access to public libraries from which to borrow books. In fact, the first public library in South Sudan was established in 2019. Even if he were able find the textbook in a library, the number of copies typically pales in comparison with the number of students who need to use it, he points out. There can be “a ratio of 135 students to one book,” he says. With Z-library, Henry says all he needed to download the book was 100 MB of free space on his device.

Even if a student has library access, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can get the books they need. Chaithanya, a Z-library user who requested we refer to her by her first name, is doing her Ph.D. at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in India, whose parent organization is a world-class university. But even in her relatively well-funded university library, not all books are available, she says. A single book can cost her half of her monthly salary—a price that seems particularly unreasonable when she needs to read only one chapter. “We are just on our stipends,” she says. “I was heartbroken when I heard they are shutting down Z-library.”

Balkinization has a symposium on Koppelman's new book

I emailed Koppelman: "Social darwinism is idealist. Let the weak suffer and die off."
He replied, agreeing, in a sentence I'd love to quote in public.

If Z-Library were still up I'd download a copy and look through the index.

Twitter has been a useful tool for a lot of the people for whom Z-Library has been useful, or even necessary.

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