My parents and teachers taught me a lot of things, and probably the most important thing is to share with others. I suppose that’s what I love most about my job, as libraries are all about sharing and providing access to information. I’ve been accepted as a presenter for the 5 Weeks to a Social Library program, and I am very excited about presenting and sharing. I am also elated that the drive to share motivated the organizers to create such an event. This is sharing at its best, and I cannot wait to see the final product.
Since writing about our Academic Search Premier tutorial a few weeks ago, I have received a number of questions and comments about the tutorial. Many wondered if it was okay if another library used our idea for the tutorial. Steven Bell went one step further and asked if I’d be willing to share the source file for the tutorial. I had not thought about doing this, but I am really glad that Steven mentioned it.
It really makes a lot of sense that we share. My library has benefited a great deal from a number of open source applications. We use open source applications for blogs, wikis, podcasts, videos, tutorials, surveys, and other purposes. We have applied open source software to enhance services, access to sources, and library instruction initiatives. It is our hope that by making the source files for our tutorials available, we will be giving back to the open source community in some small way.
It took me about 20 hours to create the Academic Search Premier tutorial. This is a considerable amount of time, and fortunately I was able to devote a couple of weeks to the project this summer. Not all librarians have this much time, so I hope the source file will allow others to create similar tutorials and save time in the process. The source file for the tutorial can be from our Tutorial Source Files page. We have created this page as a repository for source files for future tutorials. We have a few projects in the pipeline, and as they are completed, the source files will be shared on the Tutorial Source File page. Each source file will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License, so you are free to modify and distribute the tutorials, just make sure you give attribution and share with others.
Are other libraries/librarians interested in sharing source files? Are there repositories for source files that can be modified and customized by other libraries? What are your thoughts on sharing? Please feel free to post a comment if you’d like to share with others.