Why “Liber-Libre”?

So why did I name my blog “Liber-Libre” and how does it have anything to do with books or libraries? Well liber is the Latin word for book, so that makes sense, and is the root word for the French word libre which can translate to¬† “the state of being free”, “having freedom”, or “liberty”. It is interesting to note that the word “liberty” has its root in the word for book; thus liberty and books share a special link. Perhaps the link implies that the way in which we gain liberty is through books which contain knowledge and information and perhaps books, knowledge and liberty are all requirements for a democratic society.

More recently, the “Libre Knowledge” or “Free Knowledge” movement promotes knowledge sharing and the freedom of information exchange and is related to the ideas of Open Source Software, Open Access, and the Creative Commons. With this is the notion that information is and should be a public good and not a commodity as a means to facilitate liberty and democracy. This is in keeping with Sandra Braman’s theory that information is “a constituent force in society” in that it has an active role in shaping the world and “truth emerges not as a dictate from above but from discussion of facts among men and women” (Braman, 1989, p. 240). In other words, the information exchange is a communal process and knowledge is something that should be shared freely, which is what the function of a library is!! Liber-libre!!

Braman, Sandra (1989). “Defining Information: An Approach to Policymakers.” Telecommunications Policy, 13(3), 233-242.