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The Five Laws of OER: Observations from Ranganathan
Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (2019)
  • Talea Anderson
  • Beth Hendrix, University of Idaho
  • Jylisa Doney, University of Idaho
  • Jessica Martinez, University of Idaho
  • Dr. Rick A Stoddart, Lane Community College
  • Meggie Wright
Siyali Ramamrita Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science (1931) has long served as a philosophy for the practice of librarianship. The original five laws remain relevant almost ninety years after they were originally proposed (Ranganathan, 1931). As new modes of information and access, as well as resources and technology, have come into existence, these laws have remained flexible and open to adaptation. However, extant library literature has not yet situated Ranganathan’s Laws within the context of open educational resources (OER). As freely accessible teaching and learning resources, OER reflect the core values of Ranganathan’s Laws; further, viewing OER through Ranganathan’s lens offers new opportunities for librarians to situate their OER work within one of the discipline’s most foundational philosophies. The following sections introduce Ranganathan’s Five Laws and their recent adaptations and provide a new interpretation of these laws within the context of OER. The implications for situating OER within Ranganathan’s Five Laws are also shared.
  • open educational resources (OER),
  • Ranganathan,
  • academic libraries,
  • college students,
  • textbooks
Publication Date
Summer 2019
Citation Information
Anderson, T., Doney, J., Hendrix, B., Martinez, J., Stoddart, R. and Wright, M., 2019. The Five Laws of OER: Observations from Ranganathan. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 7(1). DOI: