Centre for Internet & Society

Here is a round-up of events held at the University of Otago over Open Access Week. Subhashish Panigrahi made a presentation for the staff members of libraries across New Zealand. The event was organised by the University of Otago.


From 3-4pm Subhashish Panigrahi [@subhapa], based in Bangalore, described the concept of How to do Guerrilla GLAM.  Given the emergence of Wikipedian in Residence projects overseas and at particular institutions in NZ (see a recent panel at NDF 2015), we were intrigued by what he had to say.

It was an interesting session which generated much discussion. For those of us in NZ where we are fortunate to have institutions where there is a relatively high rate of access to collections – I’m thinking even at the library catalogue level – the thought that guerrilla activity may be necessary to surface collection items without the intervention of institution staffers may be surprising and possibly confronting! Subhashish did stress this guerrilla activity in no way violates copyright or licencing agreements, but seeks to make cultural items in GLAMs openly available to the public, where possible by partnering with institutions. The fact that many institutions do not have the resources to digitize cultural items, he posits, leaves the door open for guerrilla activity by skilled volunteers.

One participant in the session succinctly described Guerrilla GLAM as being self-authorizing activity vs institutional authorizing activity. I understand this to mean that rather than institutions engaging their own staff or volunteers, or crowd sourcing new volunteers to digitise their content, the Guerilla GLAMers come to them. There may well be communities in NZ or small GLAMs that have no digital record of their collections. Communities and institutions in this situation may well find it helpful to engage some interested Guerrilla GLAMers to help them out.

    Click to read the blog post published by the University of Otago.