Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Open Textbook: Legal Issues in Libraries and Archives

The open textbook, Legal Issues in Libraries and Archives, is now available for use in library and information science programs and by others who are interested in the subject. The book is published using the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

According to Ruth Dukelow, one of the co-authors, in her email to the JESSE listserve:

Fifteen expert authors and seven reviewers contributed to the initial thirteen chapters, and we are planning to add further chapters later this year. For the list of the authors and reviewers, see: https://mlpp.pressbooks.pub/librarylaw/front-matter/about-the-authors/

Textbook content is divided into three sections: Intellectual Property, Contracts & Licensing, and State & Federal Statutes. A fourth section, Patron Rights, will be added later this year.

The textbook introduces students to legal concepts through case law and commentary. Each chapter includes scenarios designed for class discussion or reading assignments. LIS faculty can use the textbook to teach an entire legal issues course, or they can assign individual chapters to address legal concepts in other courses. For example, the Copyright and Digitization chapter would be a helpful resource for courses on digitizing archival collections. The chapters on contracts and licensing electronic resources could be assigned in a course on collection development. Students taking public library management and finance courses would benefit from the chapters on FOIA, Open Meetings Acts, and Bonds & Millages.

The textbook has six (6) chapters on copyright and one (1) on licensing electronic resources.

I have not had a change to do more than skim this book.  However, I am already impressed with their work and the number of people who contributed to the effort. I know that having an open textbook will be helpful to many programs as they further introduce their students to the legal issues libraries face.

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