From Eric Hellman’s blog, Go To Hellman – The fourth section my book chapter on Open Access eBooks looks at theier relationship with libraries. I previously posted the Introduction, What does Open Access mean for eBooks and Business Models for Creation of Open Access E-Books. I’ll be posting one more section, a conclusion.
Thank you for all of your comments; the completed chapter (and OA eBook) will be better for them.
Libraries and Open Access E-Books
One of the missions of libraries is to provide access to all sorts of information, including e-books. If an e-book is already open access, what role is left for libraries play?
Here’s a thought-experiment for libraries: imagine that the library’s entire collection is digital. Should it include Shakespeare? Should it include Moby Dick? These are available as public domain works from Project Gutenberg; providing these editions in a library collection might seem to be superfluous. Many librarians have been trying to convince their patrons that “free stuff on the Internet” is often inferior to the quality information available through libraries. There are certainly e-book editions of these works available for purchase with better illustrations, better editing, annotations, etc. Should libraries try to steer patrons to these resources instead of using the free stuff? Continue reading