Five for Friday – New Open Access books for library pros

We talk a lot about open access in libraries, but not necessarily about open access content about libraries. But open access (OA) books are a fantastic way to share knowledge with everyone and keep up with the sector, for free. They’ve become a key source for learning about the latest trends and practices in different fields of librarianship. 

In this post, we’ll highlight five new titles published under an open licence that focus on the ever-evolving world of libraries and the work they do. 

1. Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Knowledge

This new title, edited by Maria Bonn, Josh Bolick and Will Cross, is a guide for practitioners that brings together contributions from nearly 80 experts in scholarly communication and open education. The open access edition is available to download in PDF. There are chapters on open data as well as open education and some great, timely contributions such as “ Open Access Doesn’t Equal Accessible: Serving People with Disabilities” and “How Vocational Awe and Service-Oriented Neutrality Bring Bullshit Work to Scholarly Communications Librarianship”. 

2. Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Transition – Changes, Challenges, and Convergence in a Scandinavian Perspective

Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Transition gathers insights from leading experts on the evolving roles of libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) in Scandinavia. Over recent years, these institutions and their relations have undergone significant changes. Libraries are now hosting creative spaces, archives are tackling environmental issues and developing more inclusive practices, while museums contribute to economic and city development. Although it might seem like these institutions are growing apart, the anthology highlights they’re largely merging in purpose. As well as historical accounts, there are chapters looking at LAMs and Collections as well as Challenges for LAMs in the 21st Century.

3. Paradoxes of Media and Information Literacy – The Crisis of Information

Paradoxes of Media and Information Literacy explores our understanding of knowledge in today’s information-heavy world. Authors Haider and Sundin question the effectiveness of media and information literacy (MIL) in addressing current challenges. They highlight contradictions in MIL across various fields like journalism and policy-making. The book also discusses MIL’s impact on current issues like climate change and re-evaluates our ideas about truth and trust. It’s a recommended read for library professionals working in (or interested in) information literacy. 

4. The Research Data Management Workbook

The Research Data Management Workbook, by Kristin Briney, offers researchers structured exercises to enhance their data management skills. For instance, an exercise on notetaking has users assess old lab entries to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. With 15 exercises spanning the data lifecycle, over half are new, while others are refined from existing materials. The workbook, available for free under a Creative Commons licence, is designed as a mix of worksheets, checklists, and procedures. This book is free and available both online and as a PDF or EPUB download.

5. Teaching and Collecting Technical Standards: A Handbook for Librarians and Educators

This handbook, edited by Chelsea Leachman, Erin M. Rowley, Margaret Phillips, and Daniela Solomon, is a comprehensive guide for librarians and educators on the significance of technical standards in academia and industry.  Libraries play a pivotal role in not just housing these standards but also in teaching standards literacy. This title aims to better equip library workers (particularly academic library staff) with knowledge on technical standards as well as collection development best practices. It also offers a blueprint for integrating standards information literacy into academic curriculums.

So that’s our Five for Friday. This is just a small collection of some free, useful and thought-provoking reads on librarianship and information studies that have been published this year. If you think there is an Open Access book worth mentioning, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.