LLLotW 2023.29

Lantern: A Pandoc Template for OER Publishing

The older I get, the more I appreciate plain text files and simple tools designed to interact with them. I'm also increasingly working with and around open educational resources in my paid work, so this article is extremely my jam.

Lantern is a template and workflow for using Pandoc and GitHub to create and host multi-format open educational resources (OER) online. It applies minimal computing methods to OER publishing practices. The purpose is to minimize the technical footprint for digital publishing while maximizing control over the form, content, and distribution of OER texts.

There's a couple of really clever things the developers have done here. Firstly, even though they champion the use of plaintext (and specifically, Markdown formatted files as the source), they are also realistic about the likelihood of convincing OER authors to write in Markdown rather than using a word processor. So Lantern first converts the manuscript from the presumed docx or maybe odt into Markdown first. The other smart thing is they make use of GitHub Actions to essentially automate the whole thing. It's a really interesting concept, related to my dream (fantasy) of replacing Libguides software and workflows with static sites running Zola with custom shortcodes.

The Politics of Rights Retention

This is a pretty in-the-weeds look at author rights-retention in academic publishing. The author steps us through the history of rights-retention, and – as you might expect – considers what its politics is.

Despite being couched in the neoliberal logic of market-centric policymaking, I argue that rights retention represents a more combative approach to publisher power by institutions and funders that could yield significant benefits for a more equitable system of open access publishing.

That is – it's not the real revolution we need, but it has the potential to push us a bit closer to that.

Books. No kids.

This is an interesting and useful website from Keira Paterson.

NoKidsBooks has two aims: 1. To help childless and childfree people find books that reflect their lives and experiences, and are 'safer' to read for people in deep grief. 2. Running the Inclusive Libraries Project, to encourage libraries to stock books by, for, and about childless and childfree people, and embrace us as part of their communities

The site includes some recommended reads, and information for librarians about why this is something they need to consider.

Libraries and Learning Links of the Week is published every Monday by Hugh Rundle.

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