Libraries, ONL 171

Openness for all

After being in a public library for 10 years, you realise that most people can’t afford or access the information that they want – it’s why they visit a library. Open resources and information is a big part of my practice – everyone accessing quality information. It was found that with the constant budget cuts and trying to do everything with less, it became more and more important to find things for our users to find open resources for the public to use. The other part was finding resources that were quality to suggest to them.

YouTube – openness shared
While there were many times I suggested to people to go to YouTube to find the information they wanted, I constantly got looked at with confused faces. I could hear their thoughts going “Why is a librarian recommending to me YouTube?” “Do they really not have anything I want?”. I’d start to wonder is YouTube such a bad thing? A lot of the time, it was because the library I worked at didn’t have access to the information they wanted. One of the ones that stays in my mind is learning to cook – some people learn better with videos over printed recipes. The other thing was that the users wanted it now – not in two weeks when the person before them returned the DVD.

I think the main thing to remember is, for me as a librarian, it’s ok to say to someone to go to YouTube and see if you can find some videos for you to watch – it’s why people put it up there. The only issue that can arise is the realistic use of the public coming back to ask again “do you have a video on……?”. If they find YouTube, the world is endless!

Open access vs. open for all
One of the main aspects of open access material has been the idea that it’s open access for all. In the discussion within my group, the idea that open means open for those whose language is other than English, those with disabilities, those without access I hadn’t considered about this before. Especially in terms of access where the internet where I live is not that reliable (whereas living in Korea it was amazing) it was a little bit of a shock for me to not have considered this before. The world is slowly changing to make it more accessible for everyone. For example a friend of mine is a TED talk translator from Korean to English and vice versa. I think as long as people slowly start to try and change and add to what’s currently available as well as adding new content that’s available for everyone, open will truly be open, and not just open access for some of the people.




2 thoughts on “Openness for all”

  1. Hi Laura! Yes, at a second thought the meaning of access is broader. Like what language you can get it in. In that regard the internet is fantastic. Like Google Translate or they who contribute with subtitles at TED-talks and YouTube. One thing I think is peculair is why research not always is open and official for everybody. Offen it´s locked up at the universitys systems. If you at the moment not ar registred to a university you can’t get it. The reserch is for the people and should be avalible for the people. But what I understand more and more reserchers make thier reprorts official. And maybe it’s getting better. / Charlotte


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