OKAPI Spotlight- June 2009

Every month, OKAPI Spotlight features Open Knowledge news at UC Berkeley and around the world. To contribute, email Lizzy. To receive more frequent updates, join our email listserv .

On Campus
Next Generation Melvyl Pilot
Launched in May, this six-month pilot allows users, both on and off campus, to be able to search for resources at all 10 of the UC campus libraries, as well as at other libraries around the world. Users are also able to bookmark and share their searches to their favorite web 2.0 website (e.g Facebook), as well as tag and save searches- creating a list for future reference.  This is a joint project between the UC libraries and OCLC. Not all content has been digitized and placed in the pilot yet. “This is a project to create a replacement for the current Melvyl Catalog.”

First prize of $13,000: San Quentin All-access computer center
Project by: West Hays, Alayna Johnson, Erik McDonald, UC Berkeley
Three UC Berkeley students won first prize for their Big Idea project, which focuses on bringing “an all-access computer center at San Quentin State prison.” The all-access  computer center will provide “basic computer literacy to inmate students in the GED preparation class, and the other will concentrate on teaching advanced computer-aided design (CAD) to inmate-students in the prison’s vocational-training machine shop.” First of its kind, students will study the effects of information technology in the prison system, seeing if it will “reduce the crisis of overcrowding in California’s prisons.”

Around the World
Open Video Conference
June 19-20, 2009
40 Washington Square South (NYU Law School)
Sponsored by Participatory Culture Foundation, Yale Internet Society Project, Kaltura, iCommons, and the Open Video Alliance, the Open Video Conference will bring together “leaders in technology, business, public policy, art, and activism from around the world to explore the future of the moving image.” Called ‘Open Video,’ this movement can be defined as “the growing movement for transparency, interoperability, and further decentralization in online video.” This conference will focus on the possible future of the medium in terms of copyright, public policy, and culture engagement.

National student organizations call for Open Access to research
Earlier this month, a coalition of college students issued a “Student Statement on the Right to Research.”  Students are “calling on universities, research funders, and researchers to take action in support of Open Access research.” The recent economic downturn has caused many colleges to cut back on their journal subscriptions, thus limiting the accessibility of recent research to researchers and students, who depend on these journals. Students are encouraging that research be a part of the Open Access movement, as well as embrace current digital technologies that would help lower the barriers to access. This way, students, universities, and the public will be able to have access to ongoing research without worrying about fees.


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