Making public domain…public!

Folks!

Public Domain

It’s Copyright Week. What’s that? you ask. Well, I don’t entirely know, but from what I can tell it’s an awareness project sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org) and supported by myriad information organizations, including the American Library Assocation (www.ala.org) and of course my beloved Internet Archive (www.archive.org). What excited me about this is the point about working to get more public domain materials into the hands of…gasp! The Public!

I must admit it’s one of my favorite topics.  Maybe it’s working in a public library for all these years, but I do feel strongly that information professionals working with historical materials (or any other open materials for that matter) have a duty to make their materials accessible to patrons. Especially in the case of historical materials…I mean, if you don’t let anyone use the stuff, then what the heck are you keeping it for? Seriously. But, I digress. With the digital tools we now have, and their increasing affordability–we (managers/keepers of historical collections) are running out of excuses for *not* making stuff available more easily. And I’m sorry, but being a proud Luddite is unacceptable in this day and age. (I am absolutely including myself in this admonishment!!!)

So in honor of Copyright Week I’ve added a new item to the Electronic Texts area of the Catablog…the lovely and awesomely illustrated “Dedication Program of the Biddeford High School Annex” from March 1926. This one is so cool! It has great images of the (then) newly built gymnasium, library, and auditorium (among other areas) of the Alfred Street school. Curiosity piqued? Check out an image of the school when it was new on Maine Memory Network.

Enjoy, and LONG LIVE OPEN ACCESS!

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