As part of UNC Libraries’ Open Access Week celebrations, Cliff Missen of the UNC School of Information and Library Science and the WiderNet Project spoke about the eGranary Digital Library. The eGranary is a server or USB drive containing more than 35 million educational documents. WiderNet receives permission to host documents and also relies on openly licensed content. Each document has been cataloged by WiderNet librarians so that it can be discovered through the eGranary custom search portal.
The eGranary is designed to be deployed in parts of the world which do not have reliable internet access or infrastructure. Although people may have internet access on their phones, it is not fast enough to make browsing and content discovery feasible. eGranary users can access cached webpages, CDs, books, journals and more from a server or USB drive, which opens in a custom eGranary browser. The eGranary includes resources such as Wikipedia, TED Talks, MIT OpenCourseWare, Project Gutenberg and Khan Academy. Missen reports that documents can be opened 100-5,000 times faster than over an internet connection.
Additionally, WiderNet is enhancing the eGranary by providing the ability for users to make their own webpages. Librarians can also customize portals of content specific to their communities.
WiderNet and the eGranary show how important it is to share your work openly, so that it can be used by others in their research. The CDR is a great option for UNC-affiliates looking to share their work. Contact us for more information!