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Tales from a Web Librarian

Open Access Symposium 2016

I was so excited to attend this year's Open Access Symposium at Stony Brook, held in the beautiful Wang Center, on October 25th during Open Access Week. I had the pleasure of designing the symposium website, logos, program and other materials for the day-long event and it was so wonderful to see everything come together. The symposium attracted librarians, scholars, and information professionals from all over New York to Stony Brook's campus and featured influential speakers, engaging discussions, and inspiring ideas about the future of open access and scholarly research.

It opened with remarks from Chuck Taber, who is the Interim Provost and Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education at Stony, and Dean of Libraries Constantia Constantinou (read by Darren Chase). The first keynote speaker, Justin Peters, began the day’s lively discussions with a thought-provoking address on “The Past, Present, and Future of ‘Guerilla Open Access’.” Justin is a long-time Slate correspondent and the author of The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet (which I purchased immediately after the symposium - can't wait to read it!). His talk explored the evolution of copyright, scholarship, and the movement toward making information accessible for all.

After an enthusiastic Q & A and a short coffee break, everyone returned to the Wang Theater for the panel discussion “At the Intersection of Open Education and Edtech.” Moderated by Ms. Laura Costello, the panel featured speakers from the edtech and library scenes and detailed some of the benefits and drawbacks of tools intended to facilitate learning. Panelists included Brian Sweeting, Emily Gover, and Claudia McGivney.

Next up was a fascinating panel on the Digital Humanities, moderated by Kate Kasten. Panelists included two Stony Brook professors  Elyse Graham, Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities, and Jennifer Anderson, Associate Professor of History. The panel explored some of the widespread challenges and misconceptions in the digital humanities as well as offered a glimpse of what the future may hold in terms of open scholarship.

After a delicious lunch in the Wang Gallery, everyone returned to the theater for the second keynote address, given by Jennie Rose Halperin, Communications Manager at Creative Commons. Jennie’s address, “Information Imperialism and Research Utopias: What If Sharing Research Isn’t Really Stealing?” examined the concept of information imperialism and other nuances of access.

The final panel discussion, titled “Open Science and Data Visualization” explored the scientific side of open access and explored different data visualization techniques using platforms like Tableau. The panel was moderated by Darren Chase and Clara Tranwith panelists Kevin McDonnell, Research Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stony Brook, and Sung Gheel Jang, Director of the Geospatial Center at Stony Brook.

Shafeek ended the symposium with a few motivating remarks, emphasizing the importance of open access and the role we have as scholars to share our research and promote education.

Below are the two posters I designed for the event which were displayed in the Central Reading Room during Open Access Week!

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LibraryDana Haugh