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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

An appropriation-friendly, image-rich, experimental research library. Independent and open to the public.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Video, Education and Open Content

Here at the Video, Education and Open Content conference at Columbia, sponsored by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning and Intelligent Television.

Peter Brantley just gave the "what does a library do now" talk.

Beginning with Eric Faden's fast-spreading viral video A Fair(y) Use Tale, he said that libraries have pursued an offline, passive model: "we have lots of interesting content — please come and use it!" But these days, people make their own media, and librarians are trying to respond, but turning libraries into cafes doesn't cut it. Peter suggested that the new library is about partnering with scholars and IT people, people who are engaging in the creation of media and making it available for the community and for reuse. It's networked, not offline. The good news, a point of departure, is that libraries have already preserved a great deal of video. Peter thinks that partnerships are the route by which it will become available.

Peter's critique seems apt, and I think he's also describing the situation in which moving image archives now find themselves. As an archivist, though, I've always felt that libraries had a lot to teach archives about public access. Libraries (especially public and some research institutions) have done much to keep the traditions of access alive, and I hope archivists will look closely at what libraries do as they try to move towards openness. --RP

More: Isabel Walcott Hilborn is blogging the conference.

...And so is Peter.


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