Librarians as OER & Textbook Affordability Leaders

$200.00

Dates: March 6 - April 2

Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs

In this course we’ll survey the current landscape of course materials delivery models, paying special attention to librarians’ advocacy roles in relation to outsourced bookstores. We will examine how commercial publishers and bookstore vendors are approaching textbook affordability. Through an analysis of bookstore contract language and case studies in library advocacy, we will develop concrete strategies and deliverables for ensuring our OER and textbook affordability efforts can be resilient. We'll focus on methods and language we can use to create non-adversarial partnerships surrounding critical student-focused work. As campus course materials evolve, so too must libraries’ roles in supporting equitable information access. Participants will leave with strategies, tools, and research-based resources to engage stakeholders in productive conversations surrounding what has sometimes been framed as an impasse between fiscal health and academic values.

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Course Information

Session

Credits

1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs

Registration dates

We accept registrations through the first week of classes, unless enrollment is full, and unless the class was canceled before it started due to low enrollment.

Course Description

Librarians are critical stakeholders in institutional efforts to pursue Open Educational Resources (OER) and affordable alternatives to high-cost textbooks, known broadly as “textbook affordability” initiatives. Increasingly, this work includes advocacy to ensure our equity-driven initiatives coexist and thrive in collaboration with differing bookstore models. As information experts, researchers, collaborators, and advocates for access, librarians are well-positioned to provide this leadership by building strategic partnerships with administrators, faculty, students, and bookstores. In this course, we’ll explore how librarians can keep students at the forefront while navigating nuanced conversations and challenging financial contexts.

Institutional leadership often outsources operations due to the declining profitability of campus-run bookstores. Two companies alone operate bookstores at approximately 70% of the nation’s colleges and universities. In recent years, some vendors have begun to include OER stipulations in their bookstore contracts, stipulations which can be restrictive and which can jeopardize the future of institutional OER programs, academic freedom, and the integrity of institutional missions. Vendors have also begun to sell OER-based products and include controversial inclusive access deals in their textbook affordability offerings. These outsourcing implications deserve inquiry, as a lack of understanding of OER and inclusive access at the leadership level leaves your campus vulnerable to commercial vendors’ promises of convenience and profits.

In this course we’ll survey the current landscape of course materials delivery models, paying special attention to librarians’ advocacy roles in relation to outsourced bookstores. We will examine how commercial publishers and bookstore vendors are approaching textbook affordability. Through an analysis of bookstore contract language and case studies in library advocacy, we will develop concrete strategies and deliverables for ensuring our OER and textbook affordability efforts can be resilient. We’ll focus on methods and language we can use to create non-adversarial partnerships surrounding critical student-focused work. As campus course materials evolve, so too must libraries’ roles in supporting equitable information access. Participants will leave with strategies, tools, and research-based resources to engage stakeholders in productive conversations surrounding what has sometimes been framed as an impasse between fiscal health and academic values.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Consider the library’s current and potential roles in institutional course materials delivery systems and policies.
  • Critically examine the current landscape of commercial textbook affordability strategies, including inclusive access and OER-based products.
  • Review examples of OER-friendly language for bookstore contracts.
  • Review case studies of librarians advocating for OER-friendly bookstore contracts.
  • Develop advocacy strategies to build strategic partnerships that advance OER & textbook affordability efforts equity amidst bookstore outsourcing.

Colleen Sanders

Colleen Sanders (MLS, M. Ed.) is a librarian and instructional designer with an evergreen curiosity for how open education may transform teaching and learning. She currently serves as the OER and Course Materials Affordability Faculty at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany Oregon where she supports faculty in academic and technical fields to combine access with inclusive pedagogy. Her work advocating for strong OER policy and analysis of commercial textbook affordability programs earned an Open Oregon Educational Resources OER Champion award in 2019. She is a graduate of the Creative Commons Certificate program and a member of the Open Education Network’s first Certificate in Open Educational Practices cohort. Colleen hopes to empower librarians to leverage open practices to create more equitable, critical, and relevant information services.

Quill West

Quill West has been an open education leader and advocate throughout her career and currently serves as Open Education Project Manager at Pierce College, in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. As a librarian seeking to forward open education work, Quill has helped many institutions launch and sustain open education initiatives. She headed the Library as Open Education Leader project, which invited and trained librarians in Washington to become advocates for OER in their own institutions. She collaborates with colleagues to create, adopt, adapt, and support open education projects, particularly where students shape the materials as they learn.

How to Register

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Special Session

Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.

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