I run a repository service in B.C. (god, why does that always feel like the start of a stereotypical A.A. confessional, “My name is Scott and I am a recovering Learning Object Repository manager…”) We currently support sharing materials under two different licenses, either the Internet-wide Creative Commons (specifically the Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada flavour) or a BC-specific consortial license called the BC Commons.

Part of my job is to take the dog and pony show around to institutions, so increasingly I am in front of faculty from across the province presenting on this. Typically, to introduce the idea of these licenses, I start with the Creative Commons, because given it’s massive adoption, clearly everyone will have heard of it, right?

WRONG!!!  In well over a dozen presentations recently, I have NEVER had more than a 35% recognition rate for the Creative Commons (and that’s including librarian conferences!) and sometimes as little as 1 in 20 will have heard about it.

I know I’ve gone off on this before on cogdog’s comment area, but this is still just staggering to me. And I don’t really mean that as a critique on the faculty themselves, though neither do I want to praise inattentivenesses. But seriously, we, and by that I mean both those of us supporting faculty in general, and also those working on “openness and sharing,” need to do a better job of communicating basic things like the very existence of the Creative Commons. It shocks me to have to write that in 2007, but that’s my reality.

How about you – what’s the awareness level of Creative Commons in your organization? Any ideas on simple (free, easy) ways of increasing this awareness? Or is “mass retirement” the solution to your information literacy woes? Love to hear your ideas or stories to the contrary.