Open Access Week is an international recognition week that highlights the benefits of making information free, online, and open for all to use. This important observance gives campus the opportunity to learn, share, help, and transform the way research is conducted.

This year, Open Access Week takes place October 19-25. The 2020 theme is Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion, and throughout the week Milner Library will highlight the importance of open access materials, information, and issues. All Open Access Week 2020 events are part of Milner Library’s Digital Discussions series.

Open Access Week 2020 events


Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism
12:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 21, via Zoom
The landscape of information is rapidly shifting as new imperatives and demands push to the fore increasing investment in digital technologies. Yet, critical information scholars continue to demonstrate how digital technology and its narratives are shaped by and infused with values that are not impartial.

Join Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble as she discusses her book, Algorithms of Oppression, the impact of marginalization and misrepresentation in commercial information platforms like Google search, and the power struggles over representations on the web as well as the implication for public information needs.

A recording of this event will be available to Illinois State University community members after the event through the end of the fall semester. Please email Erin Link for information on how to access the recording.

Open Access Week Workshops

Workshops will be available during Open Access Week in collaboration with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. Register online at by October 14. Instructors who complete workshops will be entered into a drawing for a library e-book purchase of their choice (up to $300). One participant will be randomly selected as a winner, and Milner Library will purchase the e-book in support of textbook affordability.

Affordability of Course Materials: Exploring an Equity Issue

The ever-increasing cost of textbooks is making it more challenging for college students to afford necessary class resources, and the increase in virtual learning due to COVID-19 has magnified the issue.While all students pursuing a college degree are affected by textbook costs, the impact is greater for some students than others. This workshop will cover the ways in which textbook affordability became a problem and resources that are available to instructors who want to explore making their course materials more affordable for students.

Facilitator: Anne Shelley, M.S. ’14, scholarly communication librarian

Transcribe with Us and Decipher History

Transcription is the underpinning of high-quality, full-text searchable digital projects. It enhances the use of any manuscript database and makes oral history interviews vastly more accessible. This makes it easier for researchers to mine and analyze texts. There are many existing transcription projects out there that pull from materials on just about any topic imaginable. For that reason, transcription work can be an extremely effective course assignment that teaches one of many preparatory activities involved in completing scholarship using digital methods. This workshop will cover the basics of transcription methods, convey the benefits of this work to individuals and institutions, and offer hands-on time to work with the Decipher History project to transcribe materials from Milner Library Special Collections.

Facilitators: Karmen Beecroft, digitization coordinator, and Rebecca Fitzsimmons, special collections librarian

Wikidata for the Classroom

This workshop will provide instructors with knowledge about the various tools available for creating Wikidata classroom projects for students with a variety of skill levels and in various circumstances. Possible student project outcomes include data literacy; introduction to data science; Wikidata editing for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and editing Wikidata for the community. Please note that while they exist under the same parent organization, Wikidata is very different from Wikipedia, and this workshop will focus on Wikidata.

Facilitator: Eric Willey, associate professor and special collections and formats cataloger

Learn More

Learn more about Open Access information through this online library guide or by contacting scholarly communication librarian Anne Shelley.

Open Access WEek 2020 graphic with theme Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion