Open Science + Open English Classes
The Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB Dresden) is one of the largest academic libraries in Germany. Pre-COVID it had around 2 million visitors a year and around 70,000 registered users. These users and visitors come from different backgrounds, speak different languages and have different cultural norms. It is also important to remember that the SLUB doesn’t just limit itself to its 6 locations. It’s a big advocate of openness and open science practices, which can be seen in its various labs and dedication to open access.
Due to having such a large and varied user group and its dedication to open science, cultural competence is a skill that the SLUB takes great pride in. One of the ways its employees are encouraged to keep their language skills in shape is to attend the monthly Open English Classes. These classes are organised by SLUB employees for SLUB employees and focus on a variety of different topics. These topics range from how to better communicate with English speaking users at the circulation desk to introducing a particular aspect of the SLUB in English. They are usually spilt into two groups (beginners and advanced) and last around 1 hour each. The last OEC is, however, the reason for this blog post.
On 07 February 2022 a group of SLUB employees from different departments and different backgrounds gathered together in an online meeting to discuss the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science in English. The attendees were encourages to write down their ideas in a shared padlet and discuss each topic with each other (see the screenshots below).
The first half an hour was spent discussing the UNESCO Recommendation itself. Everyone was asked to first consider the benefits of the document and then the disadvantages. These were then weighed against each other and a lively discussion ensued.
In the last half an hour, the attendees were asked to either defend or argue against open science practices. The against team was a little unsure at first, but they quickly found a few points that could be improved upon. It was a very lively event and a lot of fun to attend. I would highly recommend that other institutions try hosting such events if they have the resources to do so.
If you have any questions about the Open English Classes or open science practices in the SLUB, you can contact us either via email@example.com or https://www.slub-dresden.de/en/contact.