As an open access (OA) librarian, I would like to share my thoughts about the principles of open access that I value in my chosen profession. First, open access to scholarly information in the digital world is not only a core value for me, but for many librarians. It's in our DNA (well, I am a medical librarian).
The themes that run through the writings of great thinkers in library science such as John Shaw Billings (who was a physician, and the first director of the National Library of Medicine), Charles Cutter, Melville Dewey, Ranganathan - revisit the notion of making information openly and easily-accessible by all who are made curious by it. These ideas fired my thinking in graduate school: organize information, remove barriers to its access, preserve access to knowledge for future generations. This is why I became a librarian. These values are central to open access.
As a medical librarian, I would only add that - insofar as it's practical - free, unfettered and open access to health information is a basic human right; essential for sustainability of the planet; for peace. Lack of access to reliable, trusted information in developing countries has led to many intractable health problems, too numerous to list.
I look forward to collaborating with physicians and health librarians, and writing about information technologies, learning theories and upholding principles of findability, on the OM blog.
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