IFLA is attending the Creative Commons Global Summit 2018, held in Toronto, Canada. As well as bringing together representatives of the CC movement from around the world, it is an opportunity to look at cross-overs with people from other fields, not least libraries.
As Alex Stinson of Wikipedia pointed out in his session on lessons on working with GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), libraries are naturals in this sort of environment. Given their a strong focus on providing access, they arguably represented the knowledge commons long before the term was invented.
With the Internet providing the technical possibility to share ideas, creativity and information faster and further than ever before, both the attitude and skills of libraries were coming into their own.
The only remaining step is to realise this potential. We heard great examples from the University of Alberta Libraries, who have taken an activist approach not only to producing their own open access journals (and now monographs), but also to sharing what they have learnt about this so others could follow the same path.
There were also lessons in how to try and change laws where these represented a barrier, from consultations held in museums in Argentina to efforts in Europe to take a critical approach to advocacy in Europe.
And of course there were exciting and inspiring conversations in the margins, with it clear that there is a huge desire not just to complain, but to get things done. The methods or the path to success will not be the same everywhere, but there is a shared motivation to do something practical. It was great to see how libraries are part of this.
Tomorrow, the IFLA representative will be presenting work on open licensing in Intergovernmental Organisations, as part of our efforts to promote access to information and development.