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1 …librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers. --Carla Hayden, Ms. Magazine Mission Statement: Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library.

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Presentation on theme: "1 …librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers. --Carla Hayden, Ms. Magazine Mission Statement: Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 …librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers. --Carla Hayden, Ms. Magazine Mission Statement: Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education and access to information. We work in a collaborative virtual setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society.

2 2 Online Answering questions Other resources international collaboration decision making process

3 3 in the street ready reference kits handouts rumor control communications

4 4 Instruction –conference, IMC, and classroom skillshares on –fact checking, FOIA & FOIL, public library resources, advanced Internet research, "web 2.0" tools, open source softwarefact checkingFOIA & FOILpublic library resources advanced Internet research"web 2.0" toolsopen source software At ALA –skill shares at Counterpoise, now SRRT booth onCounterpoiseSRRT –police codes, blogging with Bloglines, street reference, alternative libraries, etc.blogging with Bloglinesstreet referencealternative libraries

5 5 Helping ourselves, too Community –LIS Education Forum –Critical Mass Bicycling Resources Critical Mass Tip Sheet –Pride parade Local collectives –Autonomous –Salons in NYC: activism at work, copyright, race, social forum

6 6 So what? What does this have to do with library work and getting tenure, promotion, or a raise? Do things for yourself, because you think they should be done, and not to get ahead. List of projects: pick one for an internship, or just to do.List of projects Work with open source advanced technologies. Group collaboration, connect with other library workers and students. A place to provide the service you wish you could at work.

7 7 Free/Open Source Software and Libraries What is Free/Open Source Software? Why Should Library Workers Care about Software Licenses? What is the Difference between Free Speech and Free Beer?

8 8 GNU and LINUX Richard Stallman –GNU (GNU Not Unix) Started writing free software utilities for unix in 1984 Stallman personally wrote an impressive amount of software Founded GNU and Free Software Foundation By 1991 GNU created all the elements of a free OS except a kernel Linus Torvalis –Linux Wrote linux kernel in 1991 Linux was released under GPL, the software license written by Richard Stallman

9 9 Important Terms: Software is written as text (source code) Software is most often distributed as an application (binary) that runs in a specific operating system and type of hardware (architecture) Source code is modified (compiled) by another program (compiler) to create a binary Free software and open source are in most cases equivalent and may be found abbreviated as FOSS, F/OSS or FLOSS

10 10 What Do You Mean Free? Free as in Speech (always) Free as in Beer (sometimes) Free to read source code and evaluate it for security and other reasons Free to modify source code for your own use Free to distribute your modifications Free to anyone for any use More extensive definition at

11 11 Freedom Backed by License The freedoms associated with F/OSS are protected by software licenses There are many different licenses for F/OSS –GPL (GNU General Public License) Strong copyleft license, all code modifications must be released –BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) Permissive and non-copyleft, allows for easier bundling of f/oss with commercial tools. –LGPL (GNU Lesser GPL) Compromise between GPL and BSD-like licenses. Not a strong copyleft license, because it permits linking with non-free modules. –See for full list of free/open source licenses

12 12 Why Should Libraries Care about Software Licenses? Discussions of software license, fair use and copyright overlap Creative Commons License for content is an outgrowth of F/OSS End User License Agreements (EULA's) limit rights Free/open source licenses protect freedom and rights You never own commercial software Public access can be restricted by EULA's Software licenses are a drain on limited library budgets Knowledge as information vs. knowledge as property

13 13 Benefits of Using F/OSS Collaboration with other groups Tools designed with you in mind Localization of Economy Sharing of resources with other groups Seeing a connection between services provided at libraries and the tools used to facilitate those services Open Standards No vendor lock-in

14 14 Before you jump… Buying a product from a vendor vs. hiring people Process vs. product Partners vs. providers Make a wish list, not an RFP Evaluate before implementing: –active community –frequent patches –response to non-developers

15 15

16 16 Summary Software licenses/EULA's restrict fair-use Commercial software is never owned, but leased Commercial software is guided by the desires of the marketing department; F/OSS is guided by the needs of the users and the whims of the programmers F/OSS creates a dynamic where collectivity and competition are not mutually exclusive concepts F/OSS creates a culture where contribution and participation are valued over ownership.

17 17 On line Resources for More Information on the Topics Covered Free Software Foundation GNU Open Source Initiative NOSI (Nonprofit Open Source Initiative) Linux distributions –Debian –Redhat Fedora –Ubuntu –Gnoppix Where to find f/oss –Sourceforge –Freshmeat Radical Reference list of F/OSS tools, from NCOR

18 18 Credits F/OSS tools used to create this presentation –Open Office and NeoOffice –A salvaged computer running Debian LINUX and a mac running Ubuntu LINUX This presentation covered by the Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 2.5 License. Presenters –Eric Goldhagen, Openflows Community Technology Lab, –Jenna Freedman, Coordinator of Reference and Zine Librarian, Barnard College, IM: BarnardLibJenna (AOL, GTalk,, Yahoo) –Melissa Morrone, Adult Services Librarian, Brooklyn Public Library,

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