A new twist on an already familiar concept has hit LibraryLand and Kathryn Greenhill writes about it on her blog, Librarians Matter. Greenhill has coined the term "libpunk" to refer to technologies which libraries have taken upon themselves to create and implement, using non-proprietary or open-source software and without the traditional institutional alliances. These tools are usually created to help connect users and expand knowledge about a subject, not to make money. She gives examples:
- Grassroots-organised library unconferences
- Casey Bisson’s Scriblio, which is a library catalogue based on blogging software Wordpress
- John Blyberg’s work on the SOPAC , a social OPAC layer over the top of a proprietary Library Management System
- The “ Five Weeks to a Social Library ” free grassroots course
- ...and many more
The idea of libpunk comes from the term "edupunk" coined recently by education blogger, Jim Groom and posted in a controversial article on Wikipedia; (yes they do have standards):
Edupunk is an ideology referring to educators and education strategies with a do it yourselfmashups, and podcasting (DIY) spirit. Most instructional uses of blogs, wikis, various among many other uses of emerging technologies might be described as DIY education or Edupunk. The term was first used on May 25, 2008 by Jim Groom in his blog,  and covered less than a week later in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Examples of Edupunk are Legos, Edusim, chalk, Hypercard, Moodle, use of the Bliki (blog and wiki mashups), students' art work on the outside wall of the classroom, and students teaching their teachers how to use technology.
Edupunk is also a rejection of efforts by government and corporate interests in using emerging technologies to exercise control over education, its processes, and its stakeholders, somewhat similar to punk ideologies. There is also an element of resistance to large and influential education businesses like Blackboard cooping emerging, collaborative, DIY technologies and techniques and repackaging them as their own product.
The Chronicle of Higher Education article mentions some resistance to course management systems and this is exactly the type of complaint I had when we moved to ANGEL at my institution last year. The wiki and blog tools in our CMS are horribly inadequate and so, instead of using them, I taught students how to use tools such as Blogger and PBwiki for their class assignments, instead of ANGEL, which isn't social software and isn't designed to be. So we make our own...
I like the idea of libpunk; libraries and librarians find a need, embrace it, and find solutions to the problem. We aren't creating applications or using tools for a profit, but collaborating in order to help our users connect; to others, to information, to knowledge. We are moving away from status quo and dependence on others for our traditional tools and finding aids. We build our own. Revolutionary...