Gauti Sigthorsson, Ph.D., is a lecturer in media and communication at the University of Greenwich, in the department of Creative, Critical and Communication Studies. He is a regular guest lecturer in critical theory at Bifrost University in Iceland. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota, and has published in books and journals in Icelandic and English. His current research is on online social networks and media practices. For more details and samples of his work, see http://conceptbin.wordpress.com.
Open sourcing the cultural commons
This presentation focuses on the extensibility of the notion of “open source” into the cultural realm, particularly in light of the mission of public libraries to provide resources for accessing the intellectual commons. The most distinctive attribute of open source, argues Christopher M. Kelty (2008) is “its responsive, emergent, public character.” Historically, public libraries have provided resources for accessing the intellectual commons, treating information as a gift rather than a commodity (Frow 1997). In light of this history, should public libraries seek to affiliate themselves with the open source movement, and how might that happen?