The role of libraries in overhauling the concept of intellectual property: initial thoughts

The fundamental remit of libraries is to make collections available for users. Much of the legislation covering their remit is to do with intellectual property law, which dictates the uses that can be made of the cultural and educational material held and lent out by libraries. With the advent of the internet age, this legislation has expanded, albeit not always in a way that enables libraries to fulfil their remit. How can the (perfectly valid) defence of the interests of authors and producers be reconciled with the library's duty to bring its collections to as wide an audience as possible as a "freely accessible site providing users with immediate and modern contact with knowledge and culture"?