In the post-Soviet era, libraries in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have faced increasing budgetary challenges. In response to socioeconomic restructuring and the introduction of private enterprise, libraries have been forced to seek alternatives to commercial publishing and licensing models. This paper will assess the status of the open access movement and of Internet filtering controls in the countries of the South Caucasus. It will also argue that developing open models for scholarly communications is crucial to the strengthening of liberal education and civic participation in these aspiring democracies. Libraries, in their role as providers of and advocates for shared information, have a vital role to play in this mission.