Librarians as OER & Textbook Affordability Leaders

$200.00

Dates: March 6 - April 2

Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs

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 publisher and bookstore models.

Publishers have begun to sell OER-based products and include controversial inclusive access deals in their textbook affordability offerings. These new offerings 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. Bookstore operators, too, have begun to include OER stipulations in their contracts, stipulations which can be restrictive and which can jeopardize the future of institutional OER programs, academic freedom, and the integrity of institutional missions. Whether your campus bookstore is outsourced or independent, procuring publisher materials in the age of “digital first” requires skills and analyses that librarians must provide their campuses.

Librarians, having weathered the serials crisis, are well-positioned to advise leadership and professors of the risks inherent in building programs around rented digital materials without price controls. As information experts, researchers, collaborators, and advocates for access, librarians can provide leadership by building strategic partnerships with administrators, faculty, students, and bookstores. In this course, we’ll explore how librarians can work to promote learner-centered academic freedom while navigating nuanced conversations and challenging financial contexts.

In this course we’ll survey the current landscape of course materials delivery models and critically examine publisher and bookstore textbook affordability programs. 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.

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 publisher and bookstore models.

Publishers have begun to sell OER-based products and include controversial inclusive access deals in their textbook affordability offerings. These new offerings 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. Bookstore operators, too, have begun to include OER stipulations in their contracts, stipulations which can be restrictive and which can jeopardize the future of institutional OER programs, academic freedom, and the integrity of institutional missions. Whether your campus bookstore is outsourced or independent, procuring publisher materials in the age of “digital first” requires skills and analyses that librarians must provide their campuses.

Librarians, having weathered the serials crisis, are well-positioned to advise leadership and professors of the risks inherent in building programs around rented digital materials without price controls. As information experts, researchers, collaborators, and advocates for access, librarians can provide leadership by building strategic partnerships with administrators, faculty, students, and bookstores. In this course, we’ll explore how librarians can work to promote learner-centered academic freedom while navigating nuanced conversations and challenging financial contexts.

In this course we’ll survey the current landscape of course materials delivery models and critically examine publisher and bookstore textbook affordability programs.  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:

  1. Consider your library’s current and potential roles in institutional course materials delivery systems and policies.
  2. Critically examine the current landscape of commercial textbook affordability strategies, including bookstore outsourcing, inclusive access, and OER-based products.
  3. Explore how values of access, equity, academic freedom, and student data privacy intersect with course materials delivery systems and policies.
  4. Develop advocacy strategies that advance learner-centric academic freedom in OER & textbook affordability efforts.

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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Payment Info

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Alternatively, if it is an institutional payment, we can arrange to invoice you. Contact us by email, and we can make arrangements to suit your institution's business processes.

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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