Openness, Libraries and Political Transformation

  • Nikolaus Hamann Association of Critical Librarians in Austria
Keywords: open access, library, freedom of information, openness, capitalism


Since mankind developed written documents, libraries have been the places where information and knowledge have been stored. At the same time there have always been struggles about the access to information and knowledge. Within a digitized world libraries have to re-define their position. The demand for access for all, made by scientists and researchers as well as the public, presents libraries with a new challenge. This article tries to show how libraries can meet that challenge, what requirements they need to be successful, and where the limits are within bourgeois society.

Author Biography

Nikolaus Hamann, Association of Critical Librarians in Austria
Born in 1953; librarian in the Vienna Public Libraries since 1991. Since 1992 he is member of the Association of Critical Librarians in Austria (KRIBIBI) []. He has organised numerous workshops and conferences for the association. He has given numerous lectures and presentations and has written numerous  articles on library issues. Since 2011, he is member of the coordinating board of the association. He is member of the managing committee of the Federation of Austrian Librarians (VÖB) [], member of the organisation committee of the international conference “Freedom of Information under Pressure. Control – Crisis – Culture” (
Debating Open Access (Comments, Non Peer-Reviewed)