Openly licensed educational content and librarians could enable more equitable access to quality resources, but only if governments, the development community, and other stakeholders pay attention to open educational resources (OER), open access, and other forms of open learning and research. This overview considers one global instrument aimed at facilitating openness, the UNESCO OER Recommendation, and carefully inspects it as it relates to the different library types in Africa and the user communities the libraries represent.
It will explore each Action Area of the OER Recommendation to help African librarians develop a deeper understanding of OER, including the kinds of open content that will resonate with library users. OER is consonant with other equally important principles for librarians—access to equitable, suitable, and relevant content for easy sharing and interoperability of knowledge within Africa. Our discussion of the OER Recommendation will not be comprehensive; it will focus directly on the role African librarians can play.