Home » Blog » Libraries & Information in Media » Libraries & Information in Media: Memory Alpha

Libraries & Information in Media: Memory Alpha

This is a new experiment on this blog. Libraries & Information in Media explores and analyzes portrayals in different media of libraries, librarians and the role of information in general. Within this new section, I am going to write a short post about how libraries and information are portrayed in books, movies, series, comics and videogames. I hope you find it interesting.

In this first post, I take a look to Memory Alpha, as it appears in the episode “The Lights of Zetar” (1969) of Star Trek the Original Series (TOS for geeks). Memory Alpha is a planetoid which houses a huge library complex set up for academic purposes. This library contains the total cultural and scientific knowledge of all the planets that are members of the United Federation of Planets. Memory Alpha is also the very apt name chosen for one of Star Trek’s wikis on the Internet.

In this episode, the action takes place in the planetoid. However, not much is said about the library itself nor it is an important plot device on itself. According to the Memory Alpha wiki, “as of 2269, the library complex was an array consisting of five large and seven smaller domes on the surface of the planetoid. Aside from the technicians, the occupants of Memory Alpha varied with the number of scholars, researchers, and scientists from variousFederation planets who were using the computer complex at any given time.” The most relevant element that I can bring to this post for discussion is that there is an attack on Memory Alpha and then Mr. Spock comments regarding the nature of the library that because they considered that the knowledge stored there is to be accessible to everybody, they did not put a force field to defend the planet. A force field in Star Trek is an energy field put into place around ships or places as a line of defense and it prevents life forms to “beam” or being teleported to a place without permission.

This is a very interesting point, if we think about the history of libraries, the first libraries were reserved to the elites, usually knowledge was only accessible for members of the royalty or religious people, and not the general public, which is all the purpose of libraries of the current age. It is a shame that because of enforcing to the limit a free access to knowledge, this library was vulnerable and attacked. There is no easy answer on how to provide universal access and at the same time protect the place where information is stored. Even so, this is the most interesting portrayal of libraries in Star Trek TOS. I see that Open Access is a common trait on the handling of knowledge and information policies in the Star Trek universe (at least by planets of the Federation). I can guess that in posterior series computers get a major upgrade in storing space as we can see for example Captain Picard (The Next Generation) browsing through music or also Captain Janeway (Voyager)  using the Federation digital library to bargain for a transportation device. An interesting topic to debate from Star Trek mythos is Copyright an Open Access. However, that is a topic for another instance of Libraries & Information in Media.


1 Comment

  1. Doris says:

    I like that you to take the initiative to present your views on the matter and more so because you have influenced me in a very positive way in the searching of information and knowledge, so greatly appreciated that you to do an analysis so accurate with simple examples. Success and hope looking forward to your next post!😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


RSS Cool Stuff

  • From Caracas to Lyon: A road toward sustainable development?
    From Caracas to Lyon: A road toward sustainable development?Further expanding on topics around public libraries (and as a sister issue to a previous column), together with Renny Granda we ask if the Caracas Declaration for the Public Library (1982) and the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development (2014) can allow us to follow a path toward s […]
  • Scientific production in Mexican universities: Rates and expectations toward competitiveness
    Scientific production in Mexican universities: Rates and expectations toward competitiveness Together with Javier Tarango, we analyze issues of scientific production in Mexican universities. Abstract: This article analyzes emerging issues that Mexican universities are experiencing with scientific production processes, their impact on assessment indicators th […]
  • Thank you Starman I share the playslist (in chronological...
    Thank you Starman I share the playslist (in chronological order) in order to pay an homage this weekend to whom I consider my favorite artist of all time.
  • Los números de 2015 Los duendes de las estadísticas de...
    Los números de 2015 Los duendes de las estadísticas de WordPress.com prepararon un informe sobre el año 2015 de este blog.
  • Latin American science is meant to be open access: Initiatives and current challenges
    Latin American science is meant to be open access: Initiatives and current challenges Together with Dominique Babini, we summarize the rise of open access in the region and its main initiatives. Abstract: Latin American open access (OA) initiatives were built upon the foundations laid by the regional cooperative information networks, databases and indexes th […]
  • Win an Alienware Alpha with Bundle Stars!
    bundlestars: That’s right! To celebrate Bundle Fest 3, we’ve got a brand new, top-spec, Alienware Alpha machine worth $799 to give away to one lucky winner absolutely free!With a 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor, we’ve got the highest spec Alpha available loaded with free games including PAYDAY 2, Awesomenauts, Magicka and an Xbox 360 controller thro […]
  • Thinking outside of literacy: Moving beyond traditional information literacy activities
    Thinking outside of literacy: Moving beyond traditional information literacy activities Abstract: A brief reflection on what might be becoming the traditional way of conducting information and digital literacy activities, together with some recommendations in order to move beyond these traditional grounds. This reflection is framed within this age of social […]
  • Developing Latin America: Is information enough to save the region?
    Developing Latin America: Is information enough to save the region? Abstract:Latin America does not exist. These 42 diverse and developing countries are hardly a union. However, they share geographical proximity, history, strangely unique elements, and the wish to progress. This first issue of a new column, ‘Developing Latin America’, explores some informati […]
  • Los números de 2014
    Los números de 2014Los duendes de las estadísticas de WordPress.com prepararon un informe sobre el año 2014 de este blog. Aquí hay un extracto: Un teleférico de San Francisco puede contener 60 personas. Este blog fue visto por 710 veces en 2014. Si el blog fue un teleférico, se necesitarían alrededor de 12 viajes para llevar tantas personas. Haz click para v […]
  • Articles for the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL)
    Articles for the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) http://wp.me/s7eWr-ecil2013 The first European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) took place on 22-25 October 2013, in Istambul, Turkey. I proposed two papers for this conference and I had the opportunity to get both accepted. It was great to have two papers selected among the quite i […]
IBSN: Internet Blog Serial Number 26-11-11-1982

free counters
%d bloggers like this: