Written by on March 28, 2017

Sharing ideas with the Open Locker

Kennedy Library is a place for students to obtain new knowledge and share it through a variety of platforms. The Free Culture Club’s “Open Locker” is a great resource for students to gather new material and learn from others.

The Free Culture Club encourages others to share their content online, promoting greater digital liberty in today’s web-immersed age.

The Open Locker, featured in the library, is a resource for students that provides openly licensed content, meaning free to use, share and redistribute with proper attribution to the creator.

“The locker grabs people’s interest by saying: ‘we have free e-books, comics and music.’ Then, people question, ‘why can I get this for free?,” Free Culture Club president Liam Kirsh said.

The Free Culture Club decides which content to upload to the locker and adheres to Creative Commons distribution standards in doing so. A Creative Commons license gives creators more flexibility and freedom in distributing their work to consumers. It’s a means of sharing content that’s not as strict as Copyright licensing. There are four different main types of licenses under Creative Commons: no derivatives, non-commercial, share-alike and attribution. Here’s some more information on Creative Commons licensing.

The library is an ideal space because it serves as a place where students come together to discover new things and explore different resources available to them. “This is where people go to find new knowledge,” Kirsh said.

The idea behind the Open Locker is that students see the benefit it brings to them first: the free content. After students recognize the availability of the new material, they question why it’s free to them. Providing the product before explaining the reason behind its creation plays a central role in the Open Locker’s design.

Students can use the Open Locker by attaching a USB cable to their laptop. From there, they choose which audio books, movies and sound clips they want to copy onto their devices. These files can range anywhere from entertainment to arts to educational content. Additionally, students can read more about the different types of licensing applied to each piece of content under a “Read Me” text file. It’s then that students learn about copyright licensing and the value behind the Open Locker.

Find the open locker at the top of the main staircase on the second floor of Kennedy Library.

The idea behind the Open Locker reinforces how easy it is for students to share their material with others. The Free Culture Club encourages students to submit suggestions for potential content in the open locker. Students interested in placing requests can refer to the pad of paper located on top of the locker and submit their recommendations. The club has already received feedback requesting more Spanish material.

The Free Culture Club actively works to make more resources available to students through open licensing. Kennedy Library supports students sharing content through the Open Locker and encourages them to utilize the spaces in the library.


Megan Schellong is a fourth-year journalism major with a concentration in news and editing at Cal Poly, and works as a communications student assistant for Kennedy Library.  As both a student and a library employee, she brings a unique perspective to sharing stories with the library’s friends and neighbors. Originally from Connecticut, Megan enjoys the abundance of sun and Mexican food in California. She is on a mission to find the best place to eat tacos.

Read more on cal poly, digital copyright, learn by doing, Library, licensing, open content, and resources.

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