Week 5: Access to (and Enclosures of) Information – Class discussion notes
Consider – How institutions fail, when they don’t realize they’re failing to provide access Ex: LoC cat headings are meant to make it easier for people to find things across different library systems. If info is categorized incorrectly (or not at all), access is encumbered.
- Ways info is cut off from the public: copyright, journal costs, internet access
- Access is NOT neutral
- Access can be a similarly empty concept as “excellence”
- Rise of neo-liberalism (privatizing to reduce costs) results in restriction of access
- Consider – recent agreement of the nat’l archives of Canada to have a portion of its collection digitized by a private corp. This private corp will then restrict access to the digital copy to paid subscribers for 5+ years, before the digital copy reverts to pub dom. What does this mean for items in the collection that pertain to Canada’s First Peoples? http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Library+Archives+Canada+private+deal+would+take+millions+documents+public+domain/8511544/story.html
- Digital divide: both access AND literacy (ex – Apple store, West Towne Mall)
- Long-standing soc probs often reproduce themselves w/ new technology
- Resolving dig div is more than just providing access
- Consider – Affordable Care Act enrollment requires email address (email addresses provided by private entities.) Citizen–nation relationship mediated by a private party.
Friedland (journalism prof @UW)
- How do Americans (United States) meet their info needs, the shape of the mediascape
- Ways vary, depending on location (urban v rural)
- Seattle study: despite the general high literacy community, pockets lack access. Thinking outside the box found ways to improve access for these populations.
- Sometimes access is restricted not by lack of computers or literacy, but by poor quality infrastructure (e.g. no highspeed/broadband in rural areas)
- Info wants to be free, info wants to be expensive
De la tierra
- Controlled subject heading not always meaningful to the population they are meant to describe.
- Naming is not neutral.
Consider: critical info needs of populations not considered in the FCC report e.g. the housing insecure, the incarcerated, identity (race, gender) specific
Identity (race/gender) specific
- Microagression – discrimination in a passive voice. Individual incidents may seem minor in passing, cumulative effects are harmful. “Profiling” Can be an access issue if it intimidates/prevents people from participating.
- Post colonial digital humanities http://dhpoco.org/mission-statement-postcolonial-digital-humanities/
- Vida http://www.vidaweb.org/about-vida/mission and the Journal of Digital Humanities
- Not just a top down approach will work (listen to what the constituents want)
- “Each one teach one” inmates teaching themselves
The housing insecure
- Madison lib physical space designed to give privacy