Question #4: How do you see your role in the future of open education?
That is such a good question and it was one that I was thinking about, too, because my day-to-day work is not tied to Open Ed. I think it’s part of the information literacy that I do, it sort of sneaks in there. But I’m not the person that is running our Open Journal System or anything like that. But I’m cautiously optimistic about the way that it looks. I think about that Rez Dog talk and even the Land Back talk, where I was thinking about Open Education and some of the concerns that Indigenous people have with it. The idea that there’s so much that can be done, there’s so much exciting work that’s being done. People are being really thoughtful. They’re trying new things. There’s a lot of energy in Open Access and it’s really nice to see that in a space that can be really quiet in some ways. I think that as librarians, we have a way of doing things that we like and that is comfortable. It’s nice that in Open Access to see that there’s energy and a will to be thoughtful and be creative. I have cautious optimism.
The biggest thing, at least where I see my own work, is being really critical of the way that publishers are co-opting this movement. We see these big academic publishers introducing different levels of access that are really so out of touch with the work that we’re doing. It’s laughable. Okay, we see that you want to make more money but this isn’t actually helping students not pay for textbooks or this isn’t actually helping good research get out to the public. That critical eye around big systems like academic publishing and also that critical eye reminding people that Indigenous people are here and that our information organization just works differently in a lot of cases. We’re going to have different kinds of concerns than a researcher that’s at a university. Reminding people not to forget us is where I see myself, too. Hey, we’re still here!