A good day for open access!

dscf9372.jpgAs you can imagine, with our offices looking like you can see in Roy’s pictures below, it’s an attractive option to spend time elsewhere. On Wednesday, Ricky and I fled to the Officer’s Club in the Presidio of San Francisco to attend the Open Content Alliance annual gathering. There we found a large roomful of people, all fired up about sharing their content according the principles established by the OCA. A truly impressive gathering, with lots of enthusiasm for the work at hand. Ricky, who had also attended the meeting last year, remarked that the community now is taking ownership of this project in a way which she hadn’t quite seen before.

Among the news-items which percolated during the day:

  • The OCA will experiment with scan-on-demand. If I understood correctly, the Internet Archive will offer a “Scan This” button which can be integrated into a local catalog. Once a user hits that button, it’ll take them to a website where they can sponsor the digitization of an item for a cost-recovery fee. The OCA partner library then sends the book in question to the closest OCA scanning facility. The requester presumably gets notified, and the digital text becomes part of the OCA.
  • Brewster also has two new deals for you on digitizing microfilm – you can either send your microfilm to the Internet Archive for digitization at a cost recovery rate, or you can get a free scanner, if you provide the labor (and microfilm) it takes to feed it.
  • It also sounded like Brewster wanted to encourage participants to take the next step in terms of copyright: a pilot-project will start digitizing out-of-print / in copyright works, a departure from the strictly public domain digitization in the OCA to date.

dscf9376.jpgBefore the evening reception, we had a little tour of the Internet Archives offices, just a short jaunt down the street, where Brewster has mocked up a future library-in-a-room as he sees it. At the heart of his vision: the Espresso Book Machine, a Sloan funded prototype of a book printer, binder and dispenser which pops out an OCA digitized 300 page volume in about 6 minutes. Now if it could only make coffee as well…

Image – Top: The Internet Archive office in the Presidio
Image – Bottom: The Espresso Book Machine

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