How Andrew Carnegie Built the Architecture of American Literacy

“Between 1893 and 1919—a three-decade run that librarians refer to as the Golden Age of the American public library system—Carnegie paid to build 1,689 libraries in the U.S. These seeded the DNA for nearly every American library built before the end of World War II. That may explain in part why there is no central accounting for Carnegie’s libraries, which were built without any oversight from a formal program or foundation: Even libraries that aren’t historical Carnegie libraries share their aesthetic philosophy.”

How Andrew Carnegie Built the Architecture of American Literacy – CityLab.

Where Copyright Fails, Open Licenses Help Creators Build Towards a Future of Free Culture

One of the convictions that drew law professor and former EFF board member, Lawrence Lessig, to co-found Creative Commons was that a narrow and rigid application of copyright law made no sense in the digital age. Copying digital information over long distances and at virtually no cost is what the Internet does best; indeed, it wouldn’t work at all if copying wasn’t possible.

If all online copying requires permission—a worldview that Lessig has termed permission culture— then a huge part of our modern systems for conveying and creating knowledge will always require explicit and prior permission to operate to avoid risk of future lawsuits. It is permission culture that leads to absurd results such as the criminal charges levied against Diego Gomez for sharing an academic publication with colleagues online.

Creative Commons—and by extension, the broader open access movement that often relies on Creative Commons licenses—pushes back against this worldview, in favor of an alternative vision of free culture, in which creative and knowledge works are freely exchanged, and where demanding permission for re-use and sharing can be the exception, rather than the rule.

via Where Copyright Fails, Open Licenses Help Creators Build Towards a Future of Free Culture | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

10 ways to celebrate Open Access week

This week is the eighth annual Open Access Week, and that means confetti! No, actually, it means something much better than that: a week of discussions about the great and vital movement to make scholarship freely available online, so that it can be used by researchers and students and interested persons to advance knowledge.

Open Access Week started out in 2007 as a humble Open Access Day, with events organized by students and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) on campuses across the US. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds, and is now fully international — on the Open Access Week website, there are events listed in London, Kiev, Milan, Singapore, Cape Town, Valencia, Tunis, Belgrade, Poznan, and Aberystwyth, Wales.

Here’s a list of a few other ways to get involved this week:

  1. Read David Dobb‘s fantastic Wired article on biologist Jonathan Evans‘ crusade to publish his father’s research, which is also a good primer on how OA journals like PLoS One work
  2. Study the timeline of Open Access 
  3. Ask questions about the future at the OA Reddit AMA
  4. Look at an alarming graph about the largest scholarly publishers’ profits (they’re bigger than Google‘s)
  5. Memorize Peter Suber‘s six myths about Open Access and recite them during lulls at cocktail parties
  6. Make a waffle rabbit meme more or less about OA
  7. Wear a real button, or use a digital one to get access to paywalled articles and contribute to a project that’s recording all the times researchers are blocked by paywalls
  8. Get mad (ok, mad/scared) about the many, many articles on Ebola that are still not available to the public, and the recent attempts by scholarly publishers to use token releases for good pr
  9. See an Open Access book in the wild
  10. Tweet your support at #openaccessweek or#oaweek2014

10 ways to celebrate Open Access week » MobyLives.