40 Incredible OpenCourseWare Classes to Learn About Library Science

Written by L.G. at 07:00:am on 26th October, 2011

If you’ve searched online for free courses in library science, you might be disappointed at the dearth of library science interests. But, if you look at a library science curriculum today, you’ll learn that many courses focus on literature, writing, intellectual property issues and technology. Additionally, many new free libraries containing videos, books and archival materials now are available for research or for learning. The following list of 40 incredible OpenCourseWare (OCW) classes to learn about library science covers all those topics.


5 Laws of Library Science

  1. Invitation to World Literature: This is a multimedia series introducing drama, epic poetry, and novels from many times and cultures.
  2. Literature: This is an entire section at MIT that offers dozens of literary self-instruction courses [MIT].
  3. Literature Reviews, Spring 2008: This course is designed to help students in doctoral programs write a literature review that is appropriate for a dissertation or thesis proposal [Utah State University].
  4. Survey of American Literature: Dr. Geoffrey A. Grimes complied this resource that cover U.S. writers from the early colonial period through Walt Whitman [Mountain View College].
  5. Survey of British Literature III: Self-study course on important literary works from the mid-nineteenth century through the high modern period within their historical contexts [St. John Fisher College].
  6. VCCS Litonline: This set of comprehensive online literature courses can be used as an introduction to literature. [Virginia Community College System].


  1. Critical Reading and Writing: Gain practice in applying effective strategies for understanding college material by relating generalization to supporting ideas and identifying the patterns into which ideas are structured [UMass Boston].
  2. New Media Literacies: This course serves as an in-depth look at literacy theory in media contexts, from its origins in ancient Greece to its functions and changes in the current age of digital media [MIT].
  3. Poynter News University: Although based upon journalism perspectives, many courses here tackle basic grammar, punctuation and genre writing skills [Poynter].
  4. Card Catalog

  5. Processes of Research and Engagement: Each student works through the different stages of research and action – from defining a manageable project to communicating findings and plans for further work [UMass Boston].
  6. Purdue Online Writing Lab: Try a Web site filled with resources for academic writing, including links to the MLA and APA guides and a resource for visual rhetoric [Purdue University].
  7. Technical Writing – Lipuma: This advanced writing course combines current theory with actual practice to prepare students as technical writers [New Jersey Institute of Technology].
  8. University Writing Program: Students are taught how to frame a claim, conduct research, provide evidence, consider alternative views, and write in language appropriate to the intended audience [Notre Dame].
  9. Writing and Humanistic Studies: This program gives students the opportunity to learn the techniques, forms, and traditions of several kinds of writing [MIT].

Using the Library

  1. Encouraging book talk in the school library: This unit offers ideas and activities to engage pupils in discussing books [The Open University].
  2. Finding information in education: Learn to identify and use information in education, whether for your work, study or personal purposes [The Open University].
  3. Finding information in mathematics and statistics: Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily [The Open University].
  4. Finding Information in Modern Languages: Discover how to keep up to date with the latest developments in your area of interest by using tools such as RSS and mailing lists [The Open University].
  5. Finding information in Society: Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across [The Open University].
  6. Marston Science Library

  7. Safari – skills accessing, finding and reviewing information: This unit will take you through the process of finding information from various sources, organising it effectively and citing it when necessary [The Open University].

Intellectual Property Issues

  1. An Intellectual Property Primer for Online Instructors: This self-access training course should be seen as a guide and an introduction to some of the pertinent issues surrounding intellectual property rights [University of California Irvine].
  2. Center for the Study of the Public Domain: The public domain is the realm of material—ideas, images, sounds, discoveries, facts, texts—that is unprotected by intellectual property rights and free for all to use or build upon [Duke Law].
  3. Managing the Digital Enterprise: This is an open educational resource that surveys the opportunities and challenges managers face in an increasingly digital world [North Carolina State University].
  4. Patents, Copyrights, and the Law of Intellectual Property: This weekly seminar examines key concepts of U.S. intellectual property law, with emphasis on patents and copyrights and a briefer look at trade secrets and trademarks [MIT].
  5. Text as Property/Property as Text: This class takes a look at ownership, plagiarism, and other moral and legal topics in writing [Rice].
  6. What is Intellectual Property? This course covers the basics of intellectual property in the gaming industry [MIT].


  1. Computer Applications (CAPP): CAPP was established as a supplementary major in the College of Arts & Letters as a way to provide liberal arts students with formalized training in computing [Notre Dame].
  2. Global Issues in Information Technology: Learn why information technologies remain the same across national borders, but their usage and context change according to country cultures and national laws [Weber State University].
  3. HTML Basics: Get a grasp on HTML basic tags, including a fundamental document structure. If you can comprehend this lesson, you may be able to comprehend other code monkey structures [Open UW].
  4. Descartes University Library

  5. Media Programming: This class contextualizes the task of programming by focusing on media, such as images, audio, and interactive systems [Carnegie Mellon].
  6. Technical Skills: This is a growing collection of “workshop kits” for face-to-face training. The materials use a standard set of templates, and offer building blocks for trainers to build their own courses [ItrainOnline MMTK].
  7. Using Internet Communications: Enhance your theoretical understanding of electronic communication and ability to communicate as professionals, scholars, and citizens using the Internet [UMass Boston].

Library Projects

  1. Book TV: This site provides recent interviews with authors and experts in literature, suggestions on what books to read, and the latest news about literature around the world.
  2. eduMOOC: Accessing Online Learning from the MERLOT open repository of online materials, a series of videos addressing how common materials can be made more accessible.
  3. JHSPH OpenCourseWare Image Library: Most images are licensed for reuse, and their incorporation into your own educational materials is encouraged.
  4. National Science Digital Library: NSDL is the nation’s online portal for education and research on learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  5. Textbook Revolution: This is a student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors.
  6. The Oxford Text Archive: The Oxford Text Archive develops, collects, catalogs and preserves electronic literary and linguistic resources for use in Higher Education, in research, teaching and learning.
  7. Washington State Student Completion Initiative Open Course Library Project: This project is about designing 81 high-enrollment, important general education, and pre-college courses for face-to-face, hybrid and/or online delivery.
  8. World Public Library: Founded in 1996, the World Public Library Association is a global coordinated effort to preserve and disseminate classic works of literature, serials, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference works in a number of languages and countries around the world.
Share This Online!

Previous post: