Libraries as Publishers – Implementing the Vision at Georgetown Law Library

Diana R. Donahoe, Professor of LRW, Georgetown University Law Center

Georgetown Law Library has successfully piloted an e-publishing project, which provides students with an affordable textbook that is conveniently accessible on laptops and mobile devices. Professor Diana Donahoe and two Georgetown University Law librarians, Jill Smith and Matt Zimmerman, collaborated to publish this interactive, online textbook. Last spring, they migrated the content of the legal research and writing textbook, TeachingLaw.com (previously published at WoltersKluwer and BNA) into a new platform and upgraded the design, content, navigation and functionality. The new TeachingLaw.com debuted in Fall 2015 under the auspices of the library, and students were charged only $35.00. (The book replaces four books in a typical LRW course-including research, writing, grammar, and citation-which can cost a student over $200.)

The presentation will explain how the process was implemented through the Georgetown Law Library and disseminated during this past academic year to students at Georgetown and other schools. It will highlight the advantages of e-publishing through the library, including the economic advantages for the students and the library as well as the pedagogical advantages for teaching, learning, and assessment. The presentation will explain the collaborative process used by the professor and the librarians to bring this project to fruition in less than six months and present plans to expand the project to provide more functionality and include other textbooks in the near future.