Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Open Access is not new!

Here is Anita Coleman's response to Anita Colemanon OA Librarian - from ACS Online:

I am flattered by Heather Morrison's description of dLIST and my activities in the OALibrarian blog - thank you!

Heather asks me to elaborate on how S.R. Ranganathan fits into the OA movement - she's referrring to the dLIST & dL-Harvest presentation I'd made in Sept. 2005 to the Library Student Organization here at the University of Arizona. In particular, the memorable slide that brings together pictures of J.D. Bernal, Stevan Harnad, and S.R.R. The picture of Ranganthan was included for a couple of different reasons.

One, around that time (Sept. 2005) a question had been posted to the LIS-Forum electronic discussion list about making Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science openly available. Not many libraries have copies and they are difficult to buy. The poster who was forwarding the request also wrote SRR "had preached open access and accessibility to information throughout his life" and so his books should be openly available. Subsequent discussions clarified that SRR had been advocating open stacks. Two, I also wanted to raise consciousness that the idea of open access is not new - the OA movement is new and the technologies to spur it and make it possible are new. But access to information has quite fundamentally been about opening access; little by little though it now seems. This is also where J.D. Bernal, controversial figure though he is, comes in. But I'll leave him as a teaser for a super duper reference librarian heroine to elaborate... :).

Does this help? Feel free to leave comments and questions by clicking on comments below and posting or attached to the OALibrarian post - thanks!

No comments: