Water to the Thirsty Reflections on the Ethical Mission of Libraries and Open Access

  • Matilde FontaninEmail author
  • Paola Castellucci
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 988)


The shift to digital information determines a parallel shift in access modes, and digital libraries are called to action by the ethical foundations of their mission. Open Access makes information potentially available not just to researchers, but to everyone, yet there are still barriers to be overcome in terms of technical infrastructures, points of access, digital and cultural divide.

The mission of libraries, as stated by IFLA Manifesto for Digital Libraries and IFLA/FAIFE Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers, converges with the mission and ethics of the BBB declarations on Open Access: it is about delivering information to everyone, from scholars to the “curious minds”, and librarians can be mediators in the wide diffusion, at all levels of society, of scientific, scholarly knowledge, to foster “active” and “scientific” citizenship.


Digital libraries Open access Ethical mission Accessibility IFLA CODE on ethics BBB declarations 


  1. 1.
    Floridi, L.: The 4th Revolution: How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality. Oxford University Press, New York (2014)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Floridi, L.: The Ethics of Information. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2015)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hess, C., Ostrom, E. (eds.): Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice. MIT Press, Cambridge (2006)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    IFLA/UNESCO Manifesto for Digital Libraries. Accessed 14 Sept 2018
  5. 5.
    Solimine, G.: Senza sapere: il costo dell'ignoranza in Italia. GLF editori Laterza, Roma (2014)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Solimine, G.: La biblioteca: scenari, culture, pratiche di servizio. GLF editori Laterza, Roma (2004)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ridi, R.: Etica bibliotecaria: Deontologia professionale e dilemmi morali. Editrice Bibliografica, Milano (2011)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cronin, B.: The Hand of Science: Academic Writing and Its Rewards. Scarecrow Press, Lanham (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Budapest Open Access Initiative. Accessed 14 Sept 2018
  10. 10.
    Greco, P.: Scienza e (è) democrazia, 24 novembre 2017. Accessed 14 Sept 2018.
  11. 11.
    Guggenheim, D.: An Inconvenient Truth (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Truccolo, I., Cognetti, G. et al.: National Cancer Information Service in Italy: an information points network as a new model for providing information for cancer patients. Tumori J. 97(4), 510–516 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wiener, N.: The human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society. Eyre and Spottiswoode, London (1950)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bakshi, H.: Creativity versus robots : the creative economy and the future of employment Nesta (2015)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bawden, D.: Never again the in the history of humanity: information education for onlife. In: Aparac-Jelušić, T., Casarosa, V., Macevičiūtė, E. (eds.). The Future of Education in Information Science: Proceedings from FEIS – International EINFOSE Symposium, Pisa, Italy, 10–11 September 2018Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    IFLA FAIFE: Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression. IFLA Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers (2012). Accessed 14 Sept 2018
  17. 17.
    Harnad, S.: Scholarly skywriting and the prepublication continuum of scientific inquiry. Psychol. Sci. 1, 342–343 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Marchionini, G.: Information science roles in data science. In: Aparac-Jelušić, T., Casarosa, V., Macevičiūtė, E. (eds.) The Future of Education in Information Science: Proceedings from FEIS – International EINFOSE Symposium, Pisa, Italy, 10–11 September 2018Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Goldschmidt-Clermont, L.: Communication patterns in high-energy physics. High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine 6 (2002)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Castellucci, P.: Carte del nuovo mondo: banche dati e Open Access. Il mulino, Bologna (2017)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Roth, H.: Call it Sleep. Robert O. Ballou, New York (1934)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. Accessed 14 Sept 2018
  23. 23.
    ICT4IAL: Guidelines for Accessible Information. Available in 26 languages. Accessed 14 Sept 2018
  24. 24.
    W3C: Introduction to Web Accessibility. Accessed 14 Sept 2018
  25. 25.
    Olijhoek, T., Tennant, J.: The “problem” of Predatory Publishing Remains a Relatively Small One and Should Not be Allowed to Defame Open Access, 25 September 2018. Accessed 25 Sept 2018
  26. 26.
    Vaidhyanathan, S.: The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry), Updated edn. University of California Press, Berkeley (2012)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Battelle, J.: The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. Portfolio, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Darnton, R.: The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future. Public Affairs, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    OPEN DOAR. Accessed 14 Sept 2018
  30. 30.
    Wagner, L., Langhans, K., Kropshofer, K., Bauer, P., Krause, T.: Das Schein-geschäft :Angriff auf die Wissenschaft. Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin (29), 10–24 (2018)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University La SapienzaRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations