Open Access Helps

Von of Filipino librarian blog and googlegroups shared an interesting tidbits during the “getting-to-know you” part of librarians present at Zarah MIBF forum and in between picture takings. It is worth sharing/repeating it here to add more weights to the “open access initiatives”. We believed it is very timely to consider (or brainstorm) by the different library association in the country with regards to the presented powerpoint presentation (or outline) to be uploaded in their website/blog for viewing of other colleagues not able to attend such activity. Also helpful for the participants to review at their own pace and in the comfort of their institution, a bonus if viewed with other colleagues and interactions/sharing of ideas occurred at that level.

The incident happened during the open access forum of Ms. Fides Datu-Lawton at the UP School of Library and Information Studies last August 15, 2007. For some unexplainable reasons or unexpected contingency, the start of the forum was delayed for 10-15 minutes because the usb (thumb drive) of Ms Fides could not be open/read in her laptop or to any of the laptops in the institute. According to another colleague who was also present at the forum attended by about 60-70 participants, Von then “fixed” Ms Fides laptop and had written in the white board the URL of Ms Fides open access ppt posted at the PLAI-STRLC blog for the participants to check later. The said ppt was presented last May 2007 at IRRI. [the most plausible explanation for the noted increase coming from University of the Philipines IP addresses checking the blog recently ].

Moral of the story? Allow your seminar/forum ppt presentation to be uploaded in the PLAI-STRLC blog or to any of the other library association websites/blogs for that matter. You can never tell when you might need it. Besides, ecopy of ppt or outline can be informally shared already to colleagues not able to attend such seminar/forum for various reasons via email or usb (e.g. check out Talakayan Board under Libraries and librarianship forum for this informal sharing traffic). Why not instead be proactive, generate goodwill and regard it as our “collective investment” for the bright future of our beloved profession. It’s no use then to keep it buried when it is already being informally shared. The uploaded ppt or outline could be the springboard for a more comprehensive presentations next time around a similar topic will be held in the future.

Is this “open access initiatives” will discourage participants from attending future seminars/fora when ppt could be easily viewed online? We don’t think so for the simple reason that the ppt or outline must only shows the topic and subtopics discussed but paying participants have that luxury of listening to the resource speaker expound more on the topic/subtopic. Also, the ability to networks with other colleagues not seen for quite some time. This pro activity will also help resource speakers improve their craft and not merely “read” what they have written in the ppt. By uploading it, we may one day see a bulleted presentations rather than being shortchange to reading a complete paragraphs after paragraphs being passed as the lecture already without added explanation whatsoever.

Besides, certificate of attendance/appearance/participation is still much needed as formal evidence of “professional growth in our profession” or in home institution of the participants for purposes of salary upgrade/position re-classification. Accreditation purposes also add value to the issued certificates and personal attendance of such activity.

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