Tag Archives: access

Class notes 9/23/10

Today we talked about access. We started off with the question: “What is access?” Some of your answers included (click for larger image):

We discussed access from both a personal and an institutional perspective.

Personal Access to Information:
• Digital divide
• Economics/income
• Location
• Political: censorship
• Libraries are access points

Websites:
F.C.C. Takes a Close Look at the Unwired, an article from the New York Times earlier this year discussing access to broadband internet service in the U.S.

One Laptop Per Child, a project to bring inexpensive computers and network access to the developing world.

Readers’ Bill of Rights for Digital Books, stressing the need for readers to be able to do all of the things with digital books that they do with print books.

Digital Books and Your Rights: A Checklist for Readers is additional information on issues to consider when moving from print to digital books. This non-profit organization–the Electronic Frontier Foundation–works to safeguard internet rights and freedoms.

Institutional Access to Information
Schools
• Print: books, textbooks, etc.
• Internet: sometimes filtered (certain sites blocked)

Libraries
• Print onsite
• Internet onsite (usually filtered) and offsite
• Some public libraries have research collections

Museums
• Images, art, artifacts
• Some have specialized research libraries

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Class notes 9/7/10

AlterNet, an alternative news website mentioned in Tom Eland’s article that you read for class today.

• The Alternative Press Center advocates for alternative and independent media. Take a look at the online directory to get a sense of the range of topics and viewpoints represented in the alternative press.

Ethnic NewsWatch is a subscription database available through the library website with newspaper, magazine, and journal articles from ethnic and minority publications. Many articles are available in Spanish and English.

• Eland’s article argues that we need the alternative press to provide access to information and opinions that are not represented in the mainstream press. He points out that very few very large corporations own most mainstream press outlets; here’s a chart from 2009 depicting the top 6 corporations that own U.S. media. Note that this website, FreePress, promotes media reform — remember to cultivate skepticism, and always try to find out who/what organization is producing the information and what their agenda is.

• We read a few articles about zines (and looked at several kinds of zines) as one example of a non-mainstream print publication. The Barnard College Library Zine Collection collects and preserves zines, and has lots of great zine resources on its website.