Community over Commercialization: A Panel Discussion on Open Access and Knowledge Sharing Today

This event took place on October 26, 2023, and the recording is included below.

The theme of this year’s International Open Access Week is “Community over Commercialization,” and so, in that spirit, the Pratt Institute Libraries and the Center for Teaching and Learning offer this panel discussion about how open access models of publishing and knowledge sharing promote community building. Our panelists include Amy Ballmer of Pratt Institute Libraries, Shannon Mattern of UPenn, and Benjamin Tiven of Library Stack (which has just published Shannon’s newest OA essay “Reparative Redaction”). 

The panel will discuss what open access means, why public scholarship is imperative at this moment, and the benefits and challenges of the open access model. This panel discussion is intended for anyone working in academia and higher education, whether you’re interested in publishing through the open access model, accessing materials published through the open access model, or engaging with the philosophical and political stakes of knowledge production and knowledge sharing in the twenty-first century. This event celebrates both the launch of Shannon Mattern’s essay “Reparative Redaction” through Library Stack and International Open Access Week.

Shannon Mattern 

Shannon Mattern is the Penn Presidential Compact Professor of Media Studies at Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2004 to 2022, she served in the Department of Anthropology and the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York. Her writing and teaching – most of which appears in open-access venues — focus on media architectures and infrastructures. She has written books about libraries, maps, and urban intelligence; she serves as president of the board of the Metropolitan New York Library Council; and she contributes a column about urban data and mediated spaces to Places Journal. You can find her at

Library Stack

Combining database, archive, publisher and distributor, Library Stack ( connects digital materials from art, design, theory and architecture to global library cataloging systems. As a collection of digital ephemera, Library Stack focuses on works that collapse or confound typical distinctions between formats, genres and categories. As a publisher, it has produced idiosyncratic eBooks (including a handbook on Chinese typography; a history of graphic design’s entanglements with colonialism; and an artists’ atlas of the global climate) and a range of open-access pamphlets on library science, typography, artificial intelligence in contemporary art, and the concept of Degrowth in architecture. Library Stack has itself written essays for Texte zur Kunst and Bulletins of the Serving Library, and has a forthcoming essay in the volume BiblioTech on post-digital library futures.

Amy Ballmer

Amy Ballmer is the Chair of Research and Collection Development at the Pratt Institute Libraries. Prior to joining Pratt in 2017, she worked as a reference & instruction librarian at academic and museum libraries in Chicago and New York City. Her research intersects the study of small press and ephemeral artist publications with critical librarianship. She is the co-creator of the open access discovery tool Avalanche Magazine Index , and has published articles in Art Documentation, Art Libraries Journal, and Serials Review.

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