For many libraries, the Digital Repository has become the main storage center for materials created by the community they serve. Such materials can include important historical records, local newspapers, community newsletters, as well as articles, presentations, data sets, images, videos and other multimedia items. In this way, the repository takes on a central role in placing free, open access materials into the hands of the public.
While many repositories are currently managed by universities, their benefits reach beyond the walls of academia to include K-12 students as well as the public at large. Thus, all librarians are encouraged to utilize the materials housed in repositories during their educational programming. Doing so has the advantage of providing reliable information at no cost to their patrons while at the same time creating ties between the university and the local community. Furthermore, the use of open access materials during instruction sessions and reference interactions presents the librarian with many opportunities to discuss the increased importance of fair use and intellectual property issues.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/crystalgoldman/18/