Some Rights Reserved

Copyright at the university can be a complicated, confusing topic.  Perhaps a student wants to use a picture she found on the Internet and manipulate it for her art class, or maybe a librarian would like to share his newly created instructional video with other people.  Copyrighted images, music, or other creative works are difficult to get permission to use and complicated to share; the Creative Commons license makes this process much easier.  Up until recently, when a video, image, song, story, etc. was created, it always was protected with standard Copyright.  This meant that even if you wanted to share your material, and someone wanted to use it, that person would have to get permission from you to do so.  Now there is an alternative, a Creative Commons license.  Creative Commons protects the rights specified by the copyright holder.  Copyright holders can specify whether they will allow their creative work to be used for commercial purposes or whether the work can be modified, adapted or built upon.  Creative Commons licenses are free and anyone can register their creative work to be shared.

ccsearch4Searching for creative work with the Creative Commons license is incredibly easy thanks to the Creative Commons meta search. By visiting http://search. creativecommons.org/, you can search for all types of creative works in one place. Utilizing Flickr for images, blip.tv for videos, OWL for music, as well as two standard search engines and a media search engine, you can quickly identify creative content available to share, revise or remixccsearchbox

Firefox makes searching for shared creative work even easier by allowing you to search the Creative Commons search engine right from the browser search box- simply choose the CC option.

For those wishing to license their own works, sign up at http://creativecommons.org/license/.

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Social Networking for Professionals

Online Social Networks such as Facebook and MySpace are fun ways to stay connected to past classmates and colleagues. However, as far as social networks go, there are other networks that provide a more professional feel (i.e. I am willing to wager that you will never find photos of keg stands on LinkedIn). LinkedIn is a networking tool for professionals. It has over 36 million professionals from 170 industries, including Libraries, Higher Education, and Information Technology & Services.

Creating a free profile on LinkedIn enables you to find, be introduced to, and collaborate with professionals both near and far. Adding people to your list of “Connections” expands your professional network, allowing you to see people in the networks of your Connections (2nd Degree Connections) and even the networks of your Connections’ Connections (3rd Degree Connections). No one will be listed as a 1st Degree Connection without your confirmation.

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Once you have established a list of Connection, you can then use LinkedIn to find career and collaboration opportunities, to be introduced to others through mutual contacts, and to be recommended by people who know your work.

discussion_sm1You can further expand your network by joining LinkedIn Groups, such as ALA, ACRL, alumni associations, etc. Groups allow you to see updates on what other members are doing and initiate/participate in group discussion forums.

In 2008, LinkedIn began allowing members to embed select online services within their profile pages. For example, you can embed a polling tool, Amazon reading lists, and feeds for your latest posts to WordPress and/or SlideShare. As soon as I publish this post, it will automatically appear on my LinkedIn profile!

I believe the more you play around in LinkedIn the more you will benefit from it, so why not get started? Create a profile highlighting your education and work experience, make Connections, and experiment with the many career development features LinkedIn has to offer.