Hi everyone! I’m interested in what libraries and file-sharing communities can learn from each other.
I became interested in this whole topic when trying to purchase sound recordings that students or faculty had requested at our library. You see, part of my job involves working as the music and dance librarian here at our university. I noticed that there were some things that I couldn’t buy, no matter how hard I looked, because they were simply out of print or were unavailable through second-hand sellers. But I was able to find many of those same requests through peer-to-peer networks using torrent-tracking sites. It made me realize that these sites and communities often play a valuable archival role and provide access to all kinds of important cultural and intellectual work.
I think that many of the positive aspects of these communities and sites are often left out of the discussion, and the conversation frequently shifts in other directions. Some positive aspects that I have discovered are: dedicated user groups, community spirit, and high-quality standards for both media files and the associated metadata. I think it’s worth thinking about the connection between libraries and file-sharing communities and what they can learn from each other.
Concordia University Library