News & Events

Publications Expand to Online Textbooks

“Illinois Open Publishing Network” may be a mouthful, but its abbreviation—IOPN—offers a short but sweet message.

Pronounced “I Open,” the acronym refers not only to the University of Illinois but to the unit’s mission: to disseminate scholarly works via an open-access, online format.

And IOPN’s offerings are, well, eye opening. Launched collaboratively by the Library five years ago, the digital publishing initiative provides services for higher education “where the publication needs of the authors go beyond the typical offerings of traditional presses,” said Dan Tracy, MA ’02 LAS, PHD ’08 LAS, MS ’12 LIS, who heads the Library’s Scholarly Communication and Publishing unit and has directed IOPN’s activities since 2018. Because the publications appear online, a variety of obstacles can be overcome—multimedia elements, such as video, interactive maps, and data visualizations, can be incorporated; access is easily obtained; and additional pain to student budgets is eliminated.

IOPN has been producing conference monographs, translated biographies, and literary studies, but in August it published its first two textbooks: Instruction in Libraries and Information Centers: An Introduction by Laura Saunders and Melissa A. Wong, and A Person-Centered Guide to Demystifying Technology by Martin Wolske (Wong and Wolske teach at the UI School of Information Sciences). Downloadable, PDF versions of the works are also available, with the librarianship text to offer a print-on-demand option as well. To view the textbooks, visit and, respectively.

IOPN has worked hard to spread the word about the usefulness of open textbooks. “It’s something that we can do that contributes to the academic and teaching mission of our institution,” Tracy said, “that also helps out students . . . by saving them money.” He’s hoping the venture opens both doors and minds.

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