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Open Access – creating a commons open to private appropriation?

For-profit providers have no obligations other than the satisfaction of consumers and the creation of profit for their shareholders. Indeed, they are likely to be further advantaged by new policies for open access to academic publications. The latter have been rapidly introduced following the Finch Report.  The report recommends measures to ensure the widest access to publicly funded research, but also that it should be published in a form that allows commercial access through the use of CC BY licence (allowing republication in whole or part, and in any combination, with the sole proviso of author attribution).

The neo-liberal knowledge regime, inequality and social critique by John Holmwood, OpenDemocracy.

Is the modern library designed to be oppressive?

We can’t, in fact, have a productive (or even coherent) conversation about equality or freedom within libraries and/or librarianship without understanding the ways that libraries (in the modern age) are actually designed to be oppressive.

When you peek into the history of public libraries, perhaps starting around the Public Libraries Act of 1850 in Britain and contuing on during the age of Carnegie Libraries, a period spanning about 70 or 80 years (1850-1920s), we can see that Black men were only nominally citizens (and slavery just barely ended) in the US (while they had the ‘right’ to vote, they were usually unable to exercise that right). Women, of any race, weren’t citizens (unable to vote). And, importantly, this was also still within the more violent stages of the (ongoing) genocide of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Locating the Library in Institutionalized Oppression by satifice.

And Still We Rise: On the Violence of Marketisation in Higher Education

The violence of marketised austerity attempts to eradicate spaces and times of possibility and, with this, criminalise and erase forms of being, acting and thinking outside of commodified logics. Yet practices of solidarity, democracy and community appear in the cracks and margins refusing to be eradicated from history.

Article by Sara Motta for Ceasefire.

The impact of neoliberalism on libraries

…the fact that the neoliberal turn in education over the last several decades has led to a de-emphasis on education as a public good and an emphasis on education as a private good, to be acquired by individuals to further their own goals is of particular concern to me.

In the neoliberal university, students are individual customers, looking to acquire marketable skills. Universities (and teachers and libraries) are evaluated on clearly defined outcomes, and on how efficiently they achieve those outcomes. Sound familiar?

Interesting article by Chris Bourg on neoliberalism, its influence on education and how libraries can act as a ‘site of resistance’.

The threat of a market-based ideological framework in libraries

Since the global financial crash, public libraries in the UK have come under threat in the face of local government budget cuts. It is the logic of market values and profitability, rather than by a concern for inequalities, community and inclusive access to information and literature, which is the criteria upon which this area of public spending is being judged. Daniel Bailey argues that we should not apply the market logic to public libraries, but instead see them as an essential public good.

Interesting article that might form the basis of a pitch?