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Canadian librarian leads worldwide digital revolt for free knowledge

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posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 07:50 PM
Wasn't sure where this fits, so mods please move it if need be.

This librarian has started a bit of an information revolution. Universities have begun charging insane amounts of money for access to their knowledge databases. After an academic database raised their fees a staggering 120%, the University of Prince Edward Island librarian snapped.

Obviously, as most parents and students know, a university education is very expensive, and the costs are only going up. With these fees for access to scholarly databases rising, it would create an environment where only the very wealthy would be able to afford a university education.

This is one cool librarian.

Good job!

Excerpts from article:

A bearded 52-year-old Canadian university librarian is leading a digital revolt that is starting to go global. It began when an academic database proposed increasing the fee it charges the University of Prince Edward Island by 120 per cent. Mark Leggott snapped.

“The world’s knowledge is increasingly being held to ransom and available only to those who can pay the fees,” Leggott told the Star on Tuesday.

He announced in a campus-wide letter that as chief librarian he had cancelled UPEI’s subscription to Web of Science and was launching “an effort to create a free and open index to the world’s scholarly literature called ‘Knowledge For All’.”

Success, she says, would mean “all students, researchers and public around the world will have access to an exhaustive database of the world’s scholarship, not just the lucky few.”

She pointed to scholars in the developing world who now cannot hope to have the resources of wealthy Western universities.


edited for info on fees. got a little mixed up.

[edit on 10-8-2010 by kommunist]


IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS
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[edit on Wed Aug 11 2010 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 07:52 PM
Kudos to this librarian for seeing the danger and kudos to the poster for sharing this! S&F.

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 07:55 PM
Now this is what should be happening all around the globe.

Free information, available to all not just those that can afford it.

I mean really, when you think about it, how stupid is that? What are they afraid of? Someone becoming learned even though they are poor?

I wish I read more of these articles and a lot less about war and how we are screwing up the environment.

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 08:00 PM
reply to post by tribewilder

Yeah I know what you mean. It's hard not to get bummed out when you're bombarded with bad news all the time.

Sometimes a little good news is just what the doctor ordered.

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 08:13 PM
Awesome! Being a student, i know how impossible it is to access any credible peer-edited information. To have all this in my grasp would make my education much less tedious, and expensive

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 08:45 PM
While I agree with what is happening in this post I would just like to make a comment.

University libraries are generally open to the public (where I'm from anyway) and hold complete journal collections for anyone who needs to see the full text.

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 09:19 PM
Here it is, folks!

As you can witness, it's really not that difficult to smash Internet 2.0! All you have to do is to stand up and say a big "No" with the means you've got, and draw as many influential people as you can into doing the same.

Freenet ( is another of these alternatives to the corporate/government takeover of the net.

[edit on 10/8/10 by Echtelion]

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 09:44 PM
reply to post by kommunist

That's great and along with the open source Student Textbooks idea, we could finally start making education more affordable.

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 09:47 PM
Star and Flag for the good post !

I recommend ppl check out moodle it has gone global,
32 million users, 3 million courses.

Moodle has continued to evolve since 1999 (since 2001 with the current architecture). The current
Important Topic Updates
version is 1.9.9, which was released in June, 2010. It has been translated into 82 different languages. Major improvements in accessibility and display flexibility were developed in 1.5. Currently, the work is going on to release Moodle 2.0. Not having to pay license fees or to limit growth, an institution can add as many Moodle servers as needed. The Open University of the UK is currently building a Moodle installation for their 200,000 users.[17] It is often known for individual departments of institutions to use the unlimited feature, such as the maths department of the University of York. extra DIV

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 11:00 PM
To the OP, I wonder if that's why my tuition and book fees just jumped up (they provide me with an EBSCOHost account to freely research journals and essays and such). It would figure, even though I don't have a subscription to anything but basically a database full of PDF documents.

reply to post by Ex_MislTech

I love Moodle (I love Open Source period)! But its really more of a tool used to teach online courses, not really a repository for knowledge.

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 12:02 AM
I've always thought that students should be given special access to resources that often cost a lot. there are numerous ways to do this but i think for one when it comes to software universities should buy one copy and be allowed t distribute it to all students for the duration of their courses. Upon graduation they can pay for the software.

Or the companies could provide it for free to individuals but charge businesses and institutions, this would still earn them plenty of money and is a model many successful companies have used. For example AVG gives their antivirus completely free to individuals but charges for business licenses.

As for textbooks the costs could be vastly reduced by giving them out in electronic form. There is no good reason that textbooks cost 200 quid each in some cases.

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:19 AM
This is incredible! Awesome! I cannot star this enough! I sincerely hope all libraries start to follow this pattern! It would mean the beginning of the world that all (most) pirates dream of, where information truly, and without execptions, is free! And that, of course, would mean the beginning of the end for the Powers That Be!

I applaud their efforts from the bottom of my heart!

[edit on 11-8-2010 by David_Reale]

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:28 AM
Let's do away with universities and give free diplomas to people who pass the free tests online with the free knowledge.

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:39 AM
reply to post by kommunist

I give kudo's to the librarian. College unless your planning to be a doctor, is over rated nowadays.

Architects could be taught at a tech school (cheaper), lawyers are a waste of flesh, and I just really havent seen anything leave college that was worth the money.

Idiots with the ILLUSION of education and a recently developed liberal smugness.

60 years ago university might have offered something. Now its a money pit and indoctrination center.

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 10:07 AM
Here's one of such attempts.

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 10:18 AM
I dont know why there would be any fear in making such data bases free....

even if anyone has acess to it...makes no difference.

the university degree is still worth it and the teaching and knowledge from the same heads of those teachers is still worth it.

the universities are not all of a sudden going to lose students cause the knowledge is availible.

what it would do is just entice people to go get a higher education.

I have to agree with this librarian...and if anyone bothered to read the begining title....the word ummm....DIGITAL was very prevalent in it.

we are not talking about the fact of access to books free in the universities is about access to the digital data.

so since you have access to the physical library why not the virtual library too.

[edit on 103131p://f19Wednesday by plube]

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 10:52 AM
Kudos on you OP for sharing this message with us,

It's sad to see that in todays world so many go to school, pay arm and leg to get in.... compete... become depressed with pressure of our educational system, then 5-8 years later of their lives pissed away in this system to only realize to get a job, they need to start from the bottom and have at least 5 years of experience to even be able to do what they studied, and that is only the lucky ones that got the job they actually wanted.

Ten years later starting with low pay just so it can take you 10 years longer to pay the debt for the school you took. Twenty years go by and you're finally debt free... but the entire time the job you were doing wasn't really what you thought it was.... or simply you evolve and your interests change... but it's too bad.. because it's gonna take another 10-20 years just to change your career....

Unless you are some of the few lucky people that knew exactly what you wanted to do and had the money, energy and support to finish school... you will be the other %80 that found school to be useless but necessary!

In my opinion, there should be no schools... simply free information of all types BY people FOR people so we can all learn from each other and the area of our interests not what job pays more or what papers you need so you can work... to survive!

Our current system has taken the FUN out of learning...

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 11:31 AM
Knowledge is certainly POWER. Trying to look at this from another perspective... leads me to thinking about nuclear proliferation. What began as a profound, secret science has filtered into the hands of people who might just be fanatical enough to use it. Yes, the US used these weapons, but: it was used to end a war that would have continued (and claimed countless lives in mainland Japan).

Back to point: today, countries such as Iran, whose leader openly shouts for the destruction of other countries, has nuclear capability, or is on the way towards it. They got a hold of KNOWLEDGE and now they have (or will soon have) nuclear POWER. "Power" in the sense of influence, the capability to threaten massive damage and mean it. How did such an irresponsible regime get this enormous power? And, it is a power they didn't EARN. They stole it, and/or they bought it. They got this knowledge not by hard work or discovery.

Now, imagine FREE knowledge about anything and everything available to universities posted on the web for anyone and everyone to access. People with questionable motives and infused hatred would be able to click-click-click into whatever they wanted.

Some knowledge should be earned, not freely given away. I'm not saying that a free library is a bad thing. We just have to be careful about the knowledge we share to the world. Some secrets are better kept... unknown.

I imagine this is why anti-grav technology and scalar technology are kept out of the illuminated sphere of public knowledge. Imagine a "bad guy" accessing Tesla-type technology and destroying the world (as Tesla claimed to have been able to do).

Just some food for thought...

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 11:51 AM
I have always thought knowledge should be free. I can't figure out why we (in the U.S.) don't take some of the billions of tax dollars we spend every year and create a free website for education. I think it would be a worthwhile investment to create a free K-12 online curriculum and then add college courses as they can be created. Why wouldn't we, as the general public, want everybody to be as educated as possible? I realize some higher-learning institutions may lose money ultimately if such a site were constructed, but we didn't prevent the introduction of the automobile in order to keep stage coach companies in business.

posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 12:26 PM
This librarian is brilliant. It is a good reminder that no one has a copyright on knowledge and that there is no logical basis for allowing a few people to horde public knowledge and charge others to access it.

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