More and more often, college professors around the country are assigning new projects instead of a traditional research paper. We recently had a Social Problems class in the library that were developing 2-3 minute viral advertisements to promote awareness on a specific social issue or problem. Doing multimedia projects can be fun, but it comes with all kinds of new rules and responsibilities for using, adapting, and distributing information. Did you know, for instance, that the production of any work of any kind, whether it be a snapshot, a term paper, or even a doodle, is copyrighted the moment it’s produced? That means it’s FULLY protected against others taking, adapting, and republishing it — including you, even for a school project. Fortunately, there are also sites out there that are willing and eager to make their content free for the taking and/or the adapting – mostly under a Creative Commons license. Check out our Research Toolkit about finding multimedia resources for adaptation, and watch this video from the Creative Commons site that explains the restrictions of copyright and the benefits of using Creative Commons. It’s incredibly important in this day and age to become a responsible user of information, but we also need to become responsible producers. As you develop multimedia projects, think about sharing your own content under a creative commons license, too!
With the onslaught of new forms of media ushered in by fast-evolving technologies and the growth of the internet, the world of print is changing rapidly. Magazines are discussing the doomsday prophesies of the book industry, as smaller publishers get gobbled up by large conglomerate companies interested mostly in the bottom line (this article from the magazine New York lays out the tumultuous road the book industry faces). Newspapers are commenting on the demise of the magazine (check out this cool graphic from the New York Times that shows the number of ad pages plummeting for some mags), and bloggers are announcing that the age of the newspaper is drawing to a close (this blog entry is one among many). As publishing drastically changes in the new information economy, libraries do try and keep up, and it is no stretch to say that the libraries of the future will look drastically different than the ones of the past. Yet, as of now, we need to remember that projections and predictions aren’t the same as reality — we’ll continue to collect print materials as long as there are important print materials published. And let’s hope that the really quality materials will be skillful enough to adapt to new markets and new readers!
Thanks to Cynthia Slater for the New York Times graphic!