Monday, December 10, 2012

Booknote: Open Access: What You Need to Know Now

I am sharing my short review from my GoodReads profile for Walt Crawford's excellent book on open access. If you are a librarian, you need to read this. And if you read it, you need to promote it for others.


Open Access: What You Need to Know NowOpen Access: What You Need to Know Now by Walt Crawford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not sure what more I can say other than people need to read this. Walt Crawford provides an excellent, well-balanced look at the issues of open access. This book really is "what you need to know now." If you do not know much, or anything at all, this is the book for you. If you know a little, but you need to clarify some things, this is the book for you. If you need a handy guide so you can make your points and help advocate for open access, this is the book for you. As far as I am concerned, every library should have a copy of this, especially every academic library.

The book has an easy organizational scheme. It starts with answering "why you should care?" Then it goes into basic definitions of terms. This is followed by issues and then controversies. After, Crawford provides some ideas and suggestions on getting involved, and a small list of resources to keep you going. Given issues of constantly rising costs in academic journals, among others, librarians cannot afford to be clueless about open access. With this book, they no longer have ignorance of what is open access as an excuse. This book will get you started. This is also a good book to keep handy for faculty who need to be educated on this topic as well.

A strength of this book is in the language. Crawford writes a book that is easy to read and gets to the point unlike many other LIS books that dwell too much on theory or wishful thinking. He explains things clearly, strives for balance and fairness, and he will even tell you when you need to read elsewhere to learn more. I honestly wish more LIS literature was written like this. I can say I was able to get a basic understanding of open access, and this is a book I may reread for reference as needed. A must read in our profession and in higher education. Librarians need to put this book (after they read it) in the hands of faculty and administrators right away. There is a lot of work when it comes to open access; education is a first step, and you can begin educating with Crawford's Open Access: What you need to know now.



View all my reviews

2 comments:

waltc said...

Thanks!

A. Rivera, Librarian said...

Oh, you are welcome Walt. I really found the book useful and learned a few things. Thank you for writing it.

Best, and keep on blogging.