OA literature in libraries

For Immediate Release
Mon, 12/05/2022


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association



CHICAGO — Open Access (OA) has evolved into the most complex challenge of the scholarly publishing landscape and something libraries grapple with continuously. But although librarians hold increasingly positive perceptions about OA, including its richness of unique content and immediacy of access, many lack the understanding, training, documentation, and knowledge of best practices that would allow them to engage with it confidently. “Open Access Literature in Libraries: Principles and Practices,” published by ALA Editions in collaboration with Core Publishing, helps to fill that gap. Karen Brunsting, Caitlin Harrington, and Rachel E. Scott use a holistic approach that walks readers through the steps of integrating OA resources into library collections and supporting OA initiatives irrespective of budget, institution type, collection size, and staffing. Explaining definitions and models of OA, types of OA support, the tensions between free-to-read and libre OA, and other key topics broadly, this book also specifically educates readers about:

  • the origins and growth of OA, how to define it, and some of the ways in which librarians have made connections to OA;
  • where OA diverges from the historic role of library collection development policies;
  • ways to bring OA into alignment with an institution's collection development principles and practices;
  • real-world examples of how libraries have supported or integrated OA into their collections, including strategies for selecting and activating OA titles and collections for inclusion, offering open educational resources (OER) to students, samples of collection management workflows, and ideas for aligning collections with institutional repositories or other Green OA initiatives; 
  • guidance on financially supporting OA content, initiatives, and platforms;
  • how OA publishing does and does not harmonize with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; and
  • tips for using ongoing assessment and evaluation to continuously support the library’s path to an open future.

Brunsting is the acquisitions and collection development librarian at the University Libraries, University of Memphis. She is also the librarian for the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Harrington is the head of information access services and the electronic resources librarian at the University Libraries, University of Memphis. Scott is the associate dean for information assets at Illinois State University’s Milner Library, where she oversees the library’s access and technical services, collection development, scholarly communication initiatives, and cultural heritage activities.

The former Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) are now Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, a new division of ALA. Its mission is to cultivate and amplify the collective expertise of library workers in core functions through community building, advocacy, and learning.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at editionsmarketing@ala.org.