November 20, 2017

Knowledge Continues to be Unlatched

2015-10-06_15-05-24I’ve written before about two similar efforts to open up books by having individuals (Unglue.it) or libraries (Knowledge Unlatched) pledge money until a certain total has been raised. They both continue to work at these efforts, and KU recently announced a new offering for libraries to consider.

The “KU Collection,” as it is dubbed, includes 78 new books in five subject areas (Anthropology, History, Literature, Media and Communications, and Politics) from 26 scholarly publishers. For a capped maximum of $3,891, which represents an average of just under $50 a book, libraries can participate in making this collection open to all. As more libraries pledge, the per-institution cost declines.

This is an interesting model, and the cost profile seems quite reasonable given current prices for scholarly monographs. Also, this likely provides welcome guaranteed income for scholarly presses that can struggle in an unpredictable market. The collection can be viewed, and pledges made, at http://collections.knowledgeunlatched.org/ . Libraries have until the end of January 2016 to make a pledge.

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Roy Tennant About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. He is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include "Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow" (2008), "Managing the Digital Library" (2004), "XML in Libraries" (2002), "Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial" (1996), and "Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook" (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal for a decade and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association's LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.