I've been having conversations with various people about Open Access. As an academic librarian, OA is an issue that resonates strongly with me. As an academic librarian at a liberal arts university with the traditional-aged undergraduate population as the majority user community, I've also been spending quite a bit of time thinking about how the values stressed within the OA movement can be best communicated and made relevant to undergrad concerns and everyday lives, in and out of the academy.
Enter the question--what does OA and Free Culture (FC) have in common? Students for Free Culture, one of the earliest supporters of Open Access Week, have a lot to say about OA and what it shares with FC. A cursory look at SFFC's website tells me that they support freedom of expression and fair compensation of creators. They also support innovation and participation. They are wary of laws and regulations that lock down academic research. To me, SFFC's assertions echo OAW's tagline of
"Learn. Share. Advance."
With these things in mind, the librarians at Armacost Library in University of Redlands approached various entities on campus. We first spoke with our Center for Diversity & Inclusion and Fletcher Jones Foundation Computer Center and they are pitching in. Individual faculty members have also expressed interest and are lending assistance. From these initial conversations over the summer, a program outline developed.
For OAW2010, University of Redlands will be having Kevin Driscoll, SFFC board member and USC PhD student, come to speak about OA, FC and why these matter to undergrads. We also plan to launch a Creative Commons music compilation voting event that will culminate in CD giveaways during OAW2010. Oh yeah, and we will be outside the library during OAW, talking to members of our university community about what OA means to research, scholarly work and how it fits within the greater sociopolitical, cultural contexts many of us grapple with daily.