Thank you for inviting me to Montreal. I’m honored and flattered that you’d ask me to be your keynote speaker, though it’s kind of a cruel trick to bring a southerner to Montreal in February.Last year’s keynote speaker Michael Porter is a friend of mine, and I’ll warn you that I have never been able to match his earnest enthusiasm, though I will more than likely make up for it with sarcasm and dumb jokes, so you have that to look forward to.
Let me start by telling you a little bit about where I’m coming from.I’m the librarian for the Communication department at Georgia State, which is a large urban university right in the middle of downtown Atlanta. I work mostly with students and faculty in our Journalism and Speech programs. My previous job title at GSU included a lot of work with instructional technologies, and I still do a lot of work in that area, so I’m highly conscious of how our students interact with the technology that we provide in the library.I’ve worked in libraries since about 1993, and I came to library work by way of IT and tech support, so libraries and technology have always been intimately tied together for me. I didn’t get my MLIS until 2008, and we don’t actually have any library schools in Atlanta any more, so I did my degree entirely online, and I can tell you that technology profoundly affected my library school experience on a daily basis, in both positive and negative ways. I definitely formed some opinions about good and bad ways to provide information.
You may or may not be familiar with this abbreviation from internet discourse. “tl;dr” is short for “too long; didn’t read.” in other words, your argument was long and boring and I just couldn’t be bothered.[click]If you’re really in a hurry and have to leave early, here’s the tl;dr edition of my presentation.
This is the first time I’ve been asked to give a keynote speech. I took a step back and tried to think big about the stuff that I have been thinking about and writing about for the last year. I’ve been writing about digital rights management in libraries, talking and writing about Zotero and open source software, and I realized that all the issues that I think will be most important to libraries over the next decade or so can be summed up with the word “open.” I’d like to talk to you today about some of the things I mean by that, and why I think they’re important for information professionals to know about.We’re really at a turning point in digital information right now. The use of digital media-- text, video, audio, and software-- has become effectively ubiquitous, and especially with the rise of ebook readers in the last couple of years, libraries are in the midst of figuring out where we fit into the equation.A lot of the ways in which we’ll be able to use digital information is in flux right now, and I believe that the ways in which institutions like libraries choose to provide that information today is going to have an impact on the ways in which our society uses information over the next decade or more. I’d like to riff on these four ideas, in no particular order, that I think will be increasingly important to us in the near future:Open formats: the way in which the format of digital information, and especially factors like DRM, digital rights management, affect how we can use that information.How we can take advantage of open source software to save money, improve our own institutional knowledge of technology, and provide our users with some really great tools.How open access information, including but not limited to scholarly publishing, is going to become a larger part of the information we use and provide online, And the flip side of that, open publishing, which is a term I made up to describe how creators are bypassing publishers entirely and a bit about what that might mean for libraries.
Our profession is fundamentally concerned with connecting people and information. Sometimes we think that if we can just connect the person and the information we’ve done our job well, but it’s not as simple as that. We also know that the form in which we deliver the information makes a huge difference.[click: oh please god]We’ve probably all worked with researchers who feel profoundly affected when you tell them the journal issue they need is on microfilm, or possibly been that person ourselves.I’m not going to pick on microfilm any more than that, but to me this is a pretty vivid image for how technology can get in the way of information. The info is all there on the spool, but if we have to use clunky or difficult or awkward technology to get the information it really stands in the way.My students think that because “everything is online now” – big ironic air-quotes around that phrase, right? – that getting and using the information they want is easy. The fact is that since “everything has gone online” it’s gotten a lot more complicated.
The specific instantiation of an information object– the form it takes-- determines what we can do with it, and this has become both more important and more confusing in the last few years.Audio CD is a very versatile format in terms of potential uses. If the information I need is on an audio CD I can play it on any CD player, any computer, any DVD player,rip to hard drive and sync it with my handheld device.If you think about it, that’s kind of unusual compared to many of the more modern formats in which we access digital information. I only have one actual audio CD player in my life at this point, and that’s in my car. But I still have loads of CDs, and I’m either using the CDs themselves constantly, in DVD players or computers, or information I copied quickly and easily from the CDs, on my computers or my mp3 player.Mp3 players didn’t exist when CDs were first invented, but because the information on audio CDs isn’t encrypted or restricted in any way, they’re still remarkably useful to me as an information user – I can convert the information on any CD, using free software, and use it in ways that the publisher didn’t originally anticipate. It means that the CDs I bought fifteen years ago are still useful and valuable, and the format has hung around because of it.How many fifteen year old digital information objects do you use that are still useful?
DVD is a less useful format.If the information I want is video on a DVD, I can play it on region-specific DVD players or region-locked computer drives. I’m a fan of British TV, and from time to time I buy shows I can’t get in the US from Amazon UK.If I bought it outside North America I probably can’t play it on my computer or most DVD players. DVD publishers put digital rights management software called region encoding onto most DVDs that lock me out from that option, in order to keep release dates and prices under control.[click] This is what happened when I tried to play a DVD that I bought in the UK on my American computer.If I want to watch this movie on a handheld device or next year on some other device that hasn’t been invented yet, I’ll probably have to crack yet another layer of DRM software, which might or might not be legal and might or might not be difficult and require a couple of different pieces of software.
Some of the other formats we regularly deal with are a lot more useful, because they’re more openWhat’s an “open” format? There are several definitions, essentially it’s an information format that’s free, in which anyone can publish -- platform-independent, machine-readable, available without restrictions, published and documentedI’m using the term here a little more loosely... as long as you can use it on multiple platforms in the way you want I’m calling it openMP3: play on just about any device there is, upload, download, share, stream, edit, burn to CD, copy all my devices. If your library is providing audio to your users in any form other than CD or MP3, I guarantee that some of your users are so frustrated that they’re going to give up on getting it from the library.when i was in library school, one prof gave us a bunch of audio lectures in Realplayer format. Anyone remember Realplayer? How much information online do you see in Realplayer format anymore? I can only assume that she pictured us all in front of our computers plugging in and listening to the lecture start to finish -- which showed that she had no clue about my information needs. I converted all her lectures to mp3 files so I could listen to them on my portable player on my way to and from work and while I cooked dinner. With her permission I posted them online so my classmates could get my converted versions. Several of them thanked me for putting the lectures into a format that was useful to them because they could use them in ways the professor hadn’t anticipated.MP3 is a “gray area” format. It’s not technically open because it’s based on patented software, but effectively a standard because it’s so widespread-- that’s why it’s hung around so long. In practical terms it’s almost an open format because so many programs can produce it and so many devices can read it.Digital information formats have started to matter to our users on a daily basis in a way they never did a decade ago
What about library ebooks...? Library audio books? They’re kind of a mess right now.This is one of the biggies for libraries lately -- we’ve had ebooks in one form or another for years, but in the last year or two ereader devices have caused them to take off in a way we weren’t expecting at allThe closest thing we have to a standard format for ebooks is the open EPUB format -- almost any device or computer can read EPUB files -- except the most popularereader, the Kindle. [click: Shelf check comic]So what do we do about that? Find a format that works with the most popular ereader, or one that works with everything else? And incidentally what happens if this year’s most popular ereader goes bust two years from now when a new device comes out?Amazon has very little incentive to add support for EPUB to the Kindle. Adding epub wouldmake it easier for their customers *not* to buy from Amazon.Contrast that with PDF, the format that most of our article databases give us. I can read PDF files on anything with a screen, copy to all my devices, print off a chapter to read at the beach. it’s an open format and I can use it in so many different ways that it’s almost transparent.
The more closed a format, the more problems you will have with both access and preservation.disability access, for exampleThe more closed and proprietary a format, the less likely it is to work with assistive technologies for disabled users. To go back to my example about the audio lectures -- though I wasn’t disabled, just busy -- we don’t know how someone will use an information object, or what specific usage needs they might have for it. When we think ebooks, we think of someone reading it on an ipad or kindle, but what if they need to run it through a screen reader with headphones? what if they need to open it with software that can enlarge the text? Closed formats are going to make some of these uses difficult or impossible.Preservation:In 50 years we’ll certainly still have devices that can read text fileswe’ll very likely be able to read epubwill we have anything that can read Kindle books? Will Amazon still exist?if all we can preserve are the materials in open formats,how much of our digital material are we going to lose in the long term?If you put your information into closed formats, can you get it back out again?The virtual world Second Life was big a few years ago and some libraries put a lot of money and energy into creating content. SL eliminated educational discounts in 2010; no way for institutions to export/save all their content if they choose to abandon SL. same could happen with kindle or any other online dataThe social bookmarking site Delicious is going to close down, but we can get our stuff out because it allows us to export our metadata to an open format.What if the photo sharing site Flickr closed? owned by Yahoo same as delicious. libraries (LOC) are using Flickr to house image collections
Digital Rights Management is our biggest format challenge. DRM is the antithesis of open-format information. It’s a set of technologies that locks the user out – on their own device – from using the information in ways the vendor doesn’t want. For example, I can copy music files onto an ipod, but not off, even if I own the copyright or the creator explicitly allows copying.DRM intentionally makes digital information harder to use. For example, some DRM formats for electronic text disable printing, copy/paste, reading aloud. And they certainly disable making copies between devices, which is essentially what we want to do most of the time when we’re providing information.Let’s pick on Amazon some more. In 2009 Amazon deleted the kindle edition of two George Orwell books from their users’ devices because of a problem with publishing rights.They issued their customers a refund for the books. If they snuck into your house and took your book from your shelf and left you a check, would that be okay?They promised that they would totally never to do it again. However, they didn’t make any changes to either the Kindle licensing agreement or DRM to reflect that promise. They’re still entirely empowered to do so. They can remotely disable “read aloud” features for specific books on your kindle, after you purchase them.What else does their DRM do? They won’t tell us. They won’t tell the authors whose books they’re selling.The thing that makes digital information really useful by its nature is its versatility. DRM locks us out of some of the best things about digital information.
Also? DRM doesn’t work. Computers are made to copy. That’s what they do: they copy stuff from one place to another. Any system that’s designed to keep that from happening is pretty much by definition not going to work very well. There’s a security expert named Bruce Schneier who writes about DRM who says that “trying to make digital files uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet.”[click: page 2 of webcomic]By the way, please note step 19 of this comic. I’ve known library staff who have given up on library audio books because the DRM made them too difficult to download.DRM encourages piracy by making the pirated (non-DRM) version of an information object more useful: DRM music I can only play on specified devices, non-DRM music I can play on any of my devices.[click: google search for “download inception torrent”]DVDs with DRM I can only play on a player from the designated region. If I download the pirated movie instead, I can watch it on about six different devices that I own. If I want a copy of Inception to play on my home media network, all I need is google. The DRM just means that the user is more likely to use the pirated version instead of the legitimate DVD.It only takes one person on the planet to crack a particular DRM technology and then the genie is out of the bottle. anyone with a search engine can find the cracked version, you don’t have to be a hacker to get around DRM, you just have to know how to click a link.You’ve probably heard the expression “information wants to be free.” That doesn’t mean free of cost. It means information by its nature is difficult to restrict. It’s like water: if one channel is difficult, it finds the path of least resistance and goes around that way. Libraries need to continue striving to be the path of least resistance to obtain information.
I’ve painted kind of a grim picture about open information so far, so as a contrast let me talk about open source software for a bit and show you some cool examples of ways that libraries are using it.When programmers sit down to create a program, they write what’s called “source code”This is the raw material, the ingredients, the actual programming instructions that make software workWhen finished, it gets converted into a file that you can download and run on your computerOpen source software means that the source code is available openly, for free, for anyone to examine and alterIt’s like if you go to a restaurant and they include the recipe along with their meal. So that if you don’t like the software you can change the way it worksChange the “recipe” and cook a new version(Also the meal is free.)Why do people give this stuff away?The same reason that universities publish scholarship: to share informationThe same reason that libraries provide free information to the publicBecause it is a worthwhile public goodSometimes open source projects sponsored by a nonprofitSometimes individuals join together ad hocI’ve brought a couple of cool representative examples of how libraries in my home state are using open source, and one from outside Georgia.
(This is not a screenshot, by the way. I just looked for cool images with green in them.)Evergreen is a free open source integrated library system developed by PINES,a consortium of 51 GA public library systems-- and I want to note that that’s public libraries, which don’t often get a lot of credit for innovationThey set out their criteria for a new ILS, and found that there wasn’t one that matched everything they needed – so they made one and shared it as open source.In doing so, they shifted their budget from commercial software licensing to support/infrastructure needs and creating programmer jobs, putting money and resources back into the organizations involved instead of paying it out to a company.544 libraries now run on Evergreen: 275 in GA, more in Canada, Michigan, Indiana, SC, TX, CT, elsewhere in the US and 20 in India planning to implement it.The more libraries that use it, the larger the development community becomes and the more ideas and improvements can potentially happen
Reserves Direct, a complete free open source reserves system used at my previous job.Developed by librarians and library programmers at Emory UAllows users and library staff to upload and manage files; can be set up as self-service (faculty manage all their own reserves) or with library staff managing everythingDevelopment status? Not sure, last update May 2009. I assume the creators have moved on to other projects – but because it’s open source, it’s still available for further development: another library could download the source code, give it to its programmers and start adding new features and release a new version.
This one’s not developed by librarians, but I feel like it’s too important to leave out.Zotero is an open source reference manager that saves and organizes citations, creates bibliographies and shares references. Maybe you’ve used commercial reference managers like Endnote or Refworks; this is to my mind a superior and free version. Zotero is free, easy enough for undergrads to pick up in a few minutes and sophisticated enough for faculty researchers.Created by CHNM at George Mason U, so it’s created by researchers for researchersAt present it works with Firefox, since Firefox is itself open source and designed for addons like Zotero to add new features not planned by Mozilla.Alpha version just released for Chrome and Safari, IE comingZotero is built on open standards.It uses data in open formats. It’s designed to easily import and export to & from other citation managers – they’re consciously avoiding the trap of having data that goes into a program but can’t come out again to use somewhere else. They’re not worried about keeping customers since it’s free software.Because it’s open source, users have contributed localization help, and made it available in dozens of languagesWhen I teach Zotero to my students, I feel good about knowing that I’m teaching them a quality piece of software developed by academic researchers, and one that they can take with them when they graduate or if they transfer to another school. They won’t have to learn EndNote at GSU and then go to another institution that uses Refworksand have to learn a different program – and if they decide to change software if something better comes along, they’ll be able to export their data easily.
Let’s talk now about creating open information.I know that McGill is doing some cool things with open access, so I probably can’t tell this audience anything about it that you don’t already know, but I have to at least talk about it briefly.The way that traditional scholarly publishing works is that authors, usually university faculty members, write research articles as part of their professional work. They send it to journals that are often published by universities and peer reviewed and edited by other faculty members on a volunteer basis. Then online database vendors index these journals and put their articles online – articles written and edited by librarians and university faculty – and then they sell the online version back to the university library.The librarians and faculty are doing the work, creating the product, and then buying that product from a private company that controls who can access it and how.A writer named BethanyNowviskie from University of Virginia Library wrote a wonderful blog post on this subject called “Fight Club Soap.” If you haven’t seen the movie Fight Club, I’ll just say that the metaphor is a bit gross, but it has to do with taking products from someone and then selling it back to them in a different form.when publishing tools have become either free or nearly so, it should come as no surprise that universities and libraries are starting to question this model. If all that scholars want is for their work to be read and cited – we’re not getting any money out of publishing their work in journals – then why on earth not just put the journal online for free in the first place and eliminate the middleman so that more people can find it and cite it?
eliminating the middleman/intermediary in publishing is a big technology change. DIY creation of information is only going to get bigger and easier. In keeping with my open information theme, I have completely made up the phrase “open publishing” to describe this.For years now anyone’s been able to put their own work online, but that’s been mostly websites and blogs, not what we usually think of as conventional publishing. I see that trend growing and taking a bigger and bigger slice of the pie that has traditionally belonged to large information companies like book and music publishers.Publishers’, record labels’ roles as information providers are at risk. we don’t want libraries to be the kind of provider that gets eliminated, we want to be information enablers.
This kind of do it yourself publishing is becoming commonplace outside of academia too.Themusic industry is starting to see artists intentionally abandoning traditional music publishinglabels this is one of my favorite artists,Amanda Palmer. Two footnotes on this photo:One, somehow it looks dirtier pixelated.Two, as I was working on this presentation, I asked some friends, “Can I use this in a library presentation?” They said “Montreal? Yeah, they can handle it.” So you’ll be pleased to know that you have an international reputation for sophistication.Amanda Palmer. This is a photo she posted on her blog last year, when she left her record label so that she could make a better living off her music. Let me say that again: she quit her label because they were taking too much of her income, and she’s making more money self-publishing her music. If you want to see what smart self-publishing artists are doing, she’s someone you should watch.[click: NIN]Anyone heard of a little band called Nine Inch Nails? Know who their record label is? They don’t have one. For the last few years they’ve been releasing their music independently and giving a lot of it away online under a creative commons license.How are they making money? Well, first of all by touring, which is where artists have always made a lot of their money since record labels take such a big chunk of album sales. Second of all, CC works can still be sold, and some artists are finding that by encouraging fans to share their music they’re gaining new fans and their work is indeed still selling electronically or in CD.
What about books?This is a blog post about a self-published book called Machine of Death that hit number one on Amazon with no publicity behind it except for online word of mouth.[click]This is Cory Doctorow’s latest book, With a Little Help, which he’s released as a completely open source book – he releases all his work in free creative commons licensed editions, but for this one he’s done all the publishing himself too, and he’s doing things like asking his readers to help copyedit and is creating new releases with typos fixed. every volunteer copyeditor gets credit in the endnotes.I’ll mention Cory again later on, because I want to recommend one of his nonfiction books to all of you.A lot of authors are now giving away ebooks on their websites and finding that it drives increased print sales.
On the left is a book by legal scholar James Boyle called The Public Domain, about digital copyright. The author has released an electronic edition as a free PDF under creative commons on his website. If I look for an ebook edition in my library’s catalog, it doesn’t give it to me. If I go to Google it does.When free e-editions like this proliferate, how do we keep up with them and catalog them? Or do we need to? Do we just tell our users to check both the library catalog and google if they want ebooks? Do we do the same with open access journals? And if so, what do they need the library for?On the right is an independently published documentary called Get Lamp about the history of computer adventure games. I want to buy it for our collection because I have some faculty and grad students doing video game studies, but I can’t buy this because the creator only accepts paypal payment and we’re not allowed to make purchases using paypal.If independent media like this starts producing some of the most interesting stuff, and it’s coming from a thousand tiny indie sources, can we keep up with buying them for our collections?
the bottom line for librariessoon ebook piracy will be as widespread as music piracy. Ebooks are even easier to pirate than music or video because they’re tiny files by comparison and they take next to no time at all to transfer.we have to make info access easier than piracy if we want our users to bother with usFor ebooks, Amazon has done that with kindle – downloading a kindle ebook is painless and instant--but we have no way yet to provide users with ebooks as easily.[click: Ebookfling]In fact, libraries don’t presently have a way to lendebooks to kindle users. Readers are moving ahead of us and starting to find their own ways to work around that. This is a new site called ebookfling that is just getting started, but it’s really based on a brilliant and simple idea. The Nook, which is Barnes and Noble’s e-reader, and the Kindle both let users loan out certain books for two weeks; this site just connects borrowers to lenders, and every time they lend a book they earn a credit on the site to allow them to borrow a book.I’ve been picking on Amazon a lot for their Kindle DRM, but the fact is that Kindle is doing an amazing job as far as user experience goes: buy a book in seconds, read some of it on one device and if you move from your kindle to your computer to your ipad it knows which page you left off on. It’s absolutely effortless and seamless.we’ve seen video and music change formats many times in the last 20 years. this is the first significant change in format for the book in centuries, and so far it’s leaving libraries completely in the dust.
Discs of various kinds are becoming less and less a part of our lives. The laptop I borrowed from work recently didn’t even come with a DVD drive. We’re increasingly buying our music in non-physical digital form, if we buy it at all – and when I say “if we buy it” I don’t just mean piracy, I mean streaming services like pandora and last.fm. We’re increasingly not buying DVDs, we’re watching video online. And now we’re already seeing that trend accelerate and expand into other media like ebooks.[click: Steam] I’m a video game geek. Do any gamers in the audience recognize this site? This is an online game store called Steam. They have no storefronts and no warehouses – they sell 100% digital downloads. They’re probably the largest seller of video games on the planet. I’ve seen some differing figures, but all the research I found showed that either digital download game sales had already surpassed physical sales, or were about to overtake it.I really wanted to give you Steam as an example of how DRM can be done well, because they’ve got a pretty nice system whereby you can install the Steam software on any computer you want and have access to download your games. Then we went to visit my mom in Florida, and my wife couldn’t get online at her house – and she couldn’t play the Steam games I had bought her for Christmas because she couldn’t get validation from the server. So, DRM still sucks.[click: Overdrive]Here’s a good example of how libraries are doing information on-demand badly: the overdrive download station. It’s a dedicated library computer just for downloading ebooks or audiobooks. To me this is the dumbest idea ever -- I have to bring my device into the library and plug it into a designated computer with a physical cable to get a digital file? ...Really? It’s just information. Every year it gets easier to move more information around faster to more places. If libraries can’t provide that experience we’re going to become obsolete fast. Our next generation of users is growing up in a world where they can click a button and get all the information they want.So how will we keep libraries useful? When we’re choosing information tools, look for the most open option possible. Open formats, open source, and open access informationoptions are always going to work with more and varied technology – including technology we don’t know about yet – and will probably have a longer digital lifespan before they go obsolete.
You may already have guessed that I mean this slide title slightly ironically.We live in a really exciting time to be in an information profession. We also live in a really baffling time. If you’re afraid of technologicalchange, and don’t want to learn new technology on a near-constant basis, I’ll be bold and assert that you may be in the wrong profession. Or at least that you’re going to be unhappy in the future.Change is not new, but it looks more rapid when we’re up close to it. Questions of how information tech will affect society are not new.[click: phone quotes] This is from a 2010 editorial about the effect of mobile phones on culture – and to this author, I’m sorry if you hate mobile phones, but that ship has kind of sailed at this point – and here’s some very similar sentiments from an 1889 editorial about what we now call land lines. Back then it was wires invading our homes, now it’s nations of zombies.Elsewhere on the site where I found these quotations, there’s a text by a fifteenth-century abbot complaining about the printing press.We hear this kind of sentiment all the time, but it’s not always couched in scare language as extreme as this. Our current generation of undergrad students are supposedly “digital natives” who somehow understand all this weird technology that we can’t get a handle on. The internet has rewired our brains – and that’s a scary phrase you hear a lot -- so that we no longer know how to focus.We’re also hearing a lot about how ebooks are going to kill paper books. Every technological advance produces this kind of reaction. Every time there’s a new development in information technology people predict the death of the old. TV was supposed to kill radio, and home video was supposed to kill movies. [click: Medieval help desk]This is a hilarious video called Medieval Help Desk that I found on Youtube. I don’t know the original source, I think it’s from Norwegian television. It’s about a monk who’s used to using scrolls and has to call tech support because he can’t figure out how to use this book.The fact is, though, that it’s pretty rare that one piece of technology completely supplants a similar technology. Ebooks will not replace physical books, because they’re useful for different things in different ways. Ebooks are useful because among other reasons they’re instant, portable, searchable, copyable, and take up no space, and paper books are useful because among other things they require no power source, they are not restrictable by DRM, they can be marked up with a pen, they don’t fall prey to digital obsolescence and they can be bought and sold used, loaned or given away.They will coexist peacefully for our lifetimes and we’ll have to find ways to provide both in our libraries.
we can’t be neutral go-betweens between information vendors and userswe have to be our users’ advocates for good information accessOne of the arguments in favor of DRM is that information vendors need to use it in order to protect their revenue. My response to that is that the role of libraries is not to protect publishers’ livelihoods. It’s to make it as easy as possible for our users to get the information they want so they can use it in the way that they need. Publishers’ business models are going to have to change, and they’re already changing. both publishers and libraries can continue to succeed by adapting to the new ways that people use information. we need to find ways to influence them toward providing us with information in open formats, free of DRM, that will be useful to us for a long time in the face of technology changes we haven’t foreseen yet.How can we do that?vote with our wallets: speak up to vendors, as their customers, about what we want/need; platform-agnostic open formats that will work with all of our users’ devices -- yes, that means we have to keep our knowledge current with our users’ devices and how they use info generally. That can be a lot of work. We knew the risks when we put on the uniform.It can work. [click: Springer quotes] Springer removed the DRM from their ebook products last year at the insistence of librariesEducate our users, our current LIS students and the students we teach information literacy to, so they understand the benefits of open information in their own research and daily lives[click: EFF] follow and support the work of organizations like theElectronic Frontier Foundation, especially if you’re making purchasing decisions for your libraries[click: CC] Share the information that we ourselves produce in the most open format possible: when you’re publishing, submit your work to open access journals, and whenever possible add creative commons licenses to our work so that our colleagues know it’s okay to share it.
Finally, if you’d like to hear what some smarter people than me think about open information, digital rights management and the future of publishing, I’d like to recommend some books to you. Content by Cory Doctorow, Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, and The Public Domain by James Boyle. Two of these authors I mentioned earlier in the presentation; all three of them have been very influential in my own work over the last year . I didn’t realize until I put this slide together that they all three have big copyright symbols on the cover!If I had to pick one, I’d say Content really should be required reading for all librarians, but really I can’t recommend all three of these highly enough. If your library doesn’t have them, they’re all available in free e-editions online.If you want to hear even more about why I think DRM is bad for libraries, I just published an article about digital rights management as a library issue. It’s in a tiny journal called Progressive Librarian that’s not current online, but I’ll be posting it to my blog with a creative commons license when I get home next week.
And with that I’ll just say thank you all very much for your hospitality and your kind attention.
Transcript of "Web 2.you keynote"
the future is open<br />Jason Puckett<br />Web 2.you keynote, McGill U<br />February 11, 2011<br />
tl;dr version<br />DRM=bad<br />open info=good<br />(also I’m going to say “Kindle” a bunch of times)<br />
What do I mean by “open”?<br />Open formats<br />Open source<br />Open access<br />Open publishing<br />flickr.com/photos/tambako/3802379666<br />
format matters(open formats = more useful)<br />"Oh please god not microfilm. Please.“ <br />–GSU professor, in an email to me<br />flickr.com/photos/osuarchives/2709973933<br />
format informs utility<br />flickr.com/photos/jcolman/341959852<br />
format informs utility<br />flickr.com/photos/spike55151/89074304<br />
open formats = more useful<br />Like:<br />MP3<br />EPUB<br />PDF<br />HTML<br />
What about ebooks?<br />Perlow, Jason. 2010. EPUB: The final barrier for Kindle Adoption. ZDNet. August 20. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/epub-the-final-barrier-for-kindle-adoption/13804.<br />“Shelf Check” by Emily Lloyd<br />shelfcheck.blogspot.com<br />
access and preservation<br />“Bands I saw from Dec 17 1977-1980”<br />flickr.com/photos/niznoz/59876372<br />
Digital Rights Management (DRM)<br />flickr.com/photos/71715246@N00/521723595<br />
DVD is to Netflix streaming<br />as<br />book is to ?<br />flickr.com/photos/adrianblack/3045724763<br />everything on demand<br />
technology changes are bad and scary and everything we understand and like is going to die off and disappear<br />“…we’ve created a nation of zombies—heads down, thumbs on tiny keyboards, mindless millions staring blankly, shuffling toward some unseen horizon. “ [smithsonian.com , October 2010]<br />“The telephone is the most dangerous of all because it enters into every dwelling. Its interminable network of wires is a perpetual menace to life and property. In its best performance it is only a convenience. It was never a necessity.” [Nature , November 1889]<br />“Medieval help desk”<br />wondermark.com/true-stuff-telephone-menace<br />
what should librarians do about it?<br />“Seventy percent of Springer’s business comes from research libraries”<br />“We showed them our original plans and they said, ‘Start over,’ with no DRM”<br />“Our policy is to give our customers whatever they want.”<br />Reid, Calvin. “Libraries Say ‘No DRM’; Springer Agrees.” Publishers Weekly, October 29, 2010. <br />flickr.com/photos/allaboutgeorge/110903135<br />flickr.com/photos/hughelectronic/4325854994<br />flickr.com/photos/diginux/164315353<br />flickr.com/photos/inju<br />