One trend I continue to notice is the advertisement of free activities. Ocean City Maryland, for example, is running an ad campaign called 100 Free Things to do in OC
. Though these activities have been in existence for a long time, it is only recently that they are highlighted as free. Similarly, one of my new favorite “parenting” magazines FamilyFun
is focusing on the “free-ness” of their activities as well. I think libraries and academic institutions should follow suit, and re-brand themselves–at least for the moment–with a focus on “free-ness.”
Instead of the more passive language of making the work of the institution "accessible" or "open," what if academic institutions created a set of “free” offerings? Some examples: A video series for parents on free things they can do with children; a video series for high school students on free learning opportunities; a video series for college students on free ways to make themselves more attractive job candidates, or more socially active; a free video series for recently unemployed men and women who are looking to go into teaching.