Using facilities – The open university
Tony Ben called the library the university anyone can join. Libraries are part of our common good, and if used properly can open our minds to a vast range of information and knowledge building tools. Thousands of people each year are introduced to self learning through public libraries. Intelligence is to do with what is needed and relevant in our culture. People can be intelligent in different ways and can come to education at different times and when they are ready. We do not stop learning when we leave school – which is what makes our library’s such an important facility in our communities.
Q. If public libraries disappeared what would we replace them with.
Note: Access to Knowledge – From Electron – email
There’s another battle on at the moment where groups are striving to get open access to research papers. You know, where tax payers fund research through universities, and the results then, bizarrely, end up under virtual lock and key with academic publishers. To get access you need to either pay for a journal subscription or online access to archives etc. Not surprisingly these publishers are very unhappy at the prospect of free and unimpeded access to research material, and have launched their own counter-campaign, working to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt, to do all they can to ensure that this doesn’t happen. I can’t remember what the arguments against open access to research material were, but should look it up out of interest. There are few things more annoying than searching for something online, discovering there may be answers in a research paper, but a "paywall" demands $25 for access. Especially when you consider you may well have helped fund the research…