“In Transition: Access for All”
6-11 October 2012
Access to information is widely perceived as an uncontested good, a right of the same order as access to clean water and electricity. UNESCO says that universal access will empower people if “they can access and contribute to information and knowledge flows,” and that a digital infrastructure will provide it. Governments all over the world mouth support for these aspirations and the public has come to expect access to all sorts of information wherever and whenever they want and need it, including, and perhaps especially, sound and audiovisual content.
With all the resources and effort expended on digitisation we would expect that by now access to our audiovisual collections should have become universally easier, and the online facilities that could provide unlimited and unmediated access to this content should — given its unprecedented use. Yet, all too often we can only access catalogues with no access to the actual sound, lists with no video, information about information, but not the information itself. The laws and policies that control use, the technologies that deliver it, and the costs and distribution of resources present barriers to our aspirations. Are we being realistic? Are these constraints now permanently built into the system, or are we just in transition on the way to achieve universal access to the knowledge dissemination systems?
What can be done to ensure that our collections are becoming accessible? How do we deal with copyright? Are strategies in place to ensure accessibility to our collections? Do the technical systems and infrastructure truly support it?
This conference aims to investigate and discuss the issues pertaining to access alongside the following subthemes: Copyright and IP; Technologies; Users; Access; Online Access and Funding.