Making a Book Open Access at HathiTrust.org

About thirteen years ago I compiled six years worth of my monthly “Digital Library” columns published by Library Journal, and edited, updated, and collected them into chapters that Library Journal published as Managing the Digital Library under it’s Reed Press imprint. Unfortunately, Reed Press imploded not long after the book was published and I was left with only the advance for my effort. The book was first sold to another publisher, then it was eventually passed on to the American Library Association. ALA sent me a royalty check in 2016 for the princely sum of $23.50.

Recently, I happened to come across the book at HathiTrust.org and it occurred to me that I could make it open access. Since I am the copyright holder, I could request that they open it up.

As it turns out, they anticipated this type of request and had created a form for requesting a change in the permissions. All I had to do was fill out the form and mail it in, and within about a week it was open to everyone under a Creative Commons CC-BY license. It couldn’t have been simpler. Thank you HathiTrust!

Roy Tennant works on projects related to improving the technological infrastructure of libraries, museums, and archives.

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