Practice Article

From Knowledge Curator to Knowledge Creator: Academic Libraries and Open Access Textbook Publishing

  • Fiona Salisbury orcid logo (Western Sydney Univeristy)
  • Brianna Julien orcid logo (La Trobe University)
  • Birgit Loch orcid logo (University of New England)
  • Steven Chang orcid logo (La Trobe University)
  • Louise Lexis orcid logo (La Trobe University)


Introduction: Access to learning resources is not always affordable or equitable for students in higher educa-tion, and high-cost resources, which are commonly prescribed in course reading lists, create barriers for learn-ing. Incorporating open access textbooks in reading lists responds to these issues. Academic librarians’ expertise in curating, organizing, and disseminating knowledge coupled with a long-held passion for open access means that they are well positioned to drive partnerships with academic colleagues that prioritize the use and creation of open educational resources resulting in resources that are accessible, high quality, flexible, and appropriate to support learning in all modes (online, blended, face-to-face). Description of program/service: At La Trobe University Library, a commitment to openness provided a start-ing point for rethinking the role of the library as a publisher of open educational resources. The La Trobe eBureau is an Australian academic library publishing initiative designed to produce high-quality, peer-reviewed open textbooks by La Trobe University authors for La Trobe University courses. Situating the library as an open textbook publisher in partnership with academics improves the affordability of course resources, the student online learning experience, and the visibility of academic outputs and, importantly, has impact and value across higher education institutions. Next steps: This article shares reflections and challenges from the perspective of eBureau authors and library staff. The Library will continue to build on the success of eBureau collaborations and look more broadly to enact the future role of academic libraries in sustainable open textbook publishing within La Trobe University and across the higher education sector.

Keywords: open access textbooks, library publishing, librarian/academic partnership, open educational resources

How to Cite:

Salisbury, F., Julien, B., Loch, B., Chang, S. & Lexis, L., (2023) “From Knowledge Curator to Knowledge Creator: Academic Libraries and Open Access Textbook Publishing”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 11(1). doi:

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Published on
03 Feb 2023
Peer Reviewed