Free text books online!

if those text books you need for your classes that so far have only ever been
available as print copies costing $100s were to become open access ebooks (i.e.
available for unlimited downloads on your device)?
be great, right? 

Image source:!prettyPhoto

CSU Library and other libraries think this too and have supported an international pilot by Knowledge Unlatched for 28 books to become ‘unlatched’.
This unlatching involves Knowledge Unlatched paying a  fee to the
publisher in return for the publisher making the book available on a Creative
Commons Licence via OAPEN and
HathiTrust as a fully downloadable PDF.
but one of the books in the KU Pilot Collection are available on Creative
Commons Non-Commercial licences that allow for sharing with others, as long as
it is for non-commercial purposes. This means that users have permission to
share PDFs with each other directly via email or messenger.
items are listed in PrimoSearch. A full list of titles made available is on the Knowledge Unlatched website 
13,000 downloads of KU Pilot Collection titles so far. The pilot project was supported
by 137 North American libraries, 77 UK libraries , 27 Australian & New
Zealand libraries and 55 from the rest of the world all working together to
make the Pilot Collection Open Access
more info about Knowledge unlatched go their website 
There’s also a brief video on Knowledge Unlatched.

is there a push for Open Access eBooks?

prices particularly in humanities and social sciences have spiralled upwards
over the years and libraries (and students) are increasingly unable to afford
specialist research books. If libraries work together sharing the costs of
making books available electronically on a Creative Commons licence (
the costs of securing these same books for individual libraries decreases

What next?

These books are available for download from Primo
or OAPEN. Use them, and share appropriately.

Later in
2014 Knowledge Unlatched will move into its next stage: scaling-up, involving a
larger number of publishers and libraries in the project and providing
libraries with a wider range of selection options.
Image source:!prettyPhoto