This week is Open Access Week. I plan to celebrate here with all-OA, all the time: a mixture of new posts and a few reposts of things that ought to have survived Caveat Lector's destruction but as yet haven't.
Teaching a collection-development course last spring, and pondering a presentation I'll be giving at OLA Superconference in February, I've had occasion to ponder the assumptions underlying what libraries do, and for whom.
This Open Access Week, I find myself believing that the assumptions are changing. Stockpiling massive amounts of mass-produced paper is no longer how we thrive. Burying ourselves in arcanities designed only for a few is not how we serve a networked world. Bleeding great gouts of money to multinational corporations and "scholarly" societies driven by greed cannot be our future; it cannot even persist as our present.
From "what do you buy for your patrons?" the question is shifting to "what do you hold in trust for the world?" From "how do you provide your patrons what they read?" to "how do you help your patrons communicate what only they can?" From "what have you acquired?" to "what have you set free?"
This Open Access Week, please set some knowledge free.