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Diversity & Collection Development – Friday, March 18, 2022 from 2-3pm ET

Coffee & Conversations: Accessibility in OER – Monday, April 4, 2022 from 1-2pm ET

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Join an upcoming virtual convening organized by Ithaka S+R.

Learn more and register: Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration

  • Emergency and emerging technology programs at community college libraries – Tuesday, March 22, 2-3pm, ET
  • “When in doubt, go to the library”: Navigating the community college ecosystem – Tuesday, April 5, 2022 from 2-3pm, ET
  • Assessing the evolution of community college library mission – Tuesday, April 19, 2022 from 2-3pm, ET
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CJCLS Events in November 2021

Successfully Navigating IRB Processes as a Community College Librarian

Successfully Navigating IRB Processes as a Community College Librarian, Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 2:00pm (Eastern time). Zoom webinar. Please register here. There are no ACRL or CJCLS membership requirements. Stephanie D. DavisCJCLS […]

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listserv-results

From the CJCLS Listserv: Is OER a threat or opportunity to libraries?

OER

Image Source:  Wordle Tagcloud for OER course by Jonathan Feinberg, wordle.net (Public Domain).

By Kristy Padron

ORIGINAL EMAIL:

Are Open Educational Resources (OER) a threat or opportunity to libraries? As librarians promote OER, faculty may wonder why should they have their students use our books, databases, or other resources. I understand, however, that we need to promote all types of resources and that we may be able to create collections and work with faculty on them.

Whether they open-access journals, open online courses, or curriculum materials, OER grows in number every year. Heather Morrison, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s École des sciences de l’information / School of Information Studies, shares her OER growth studies in a series of blogs called Dramatic Growth of Open Access.  Libraries are increasingly facilitating or adopting the use of OER on their campuses.

One use of OER is to replace textbooks which students are often unable to afford, and also to encourage the use of open textbooks:

Use College Open Textbooks for a good starting place to educate yourself.  Textbooks can also be found through Google by doing a search for only Creative Commons-licensed materials.

Over the past 11 years, I’ve worked with students who couldn’t buy books at the beginning of the semester because they didn’t have the money. By the time they could, the students were so behind they had no hope of passing the course. OER has a potentially significant role in helping engage and retain a significant number of students.

Some respondents found that OER provides opportunities as being curriculum resources used in parallel with library resources:

I’m regularly asked to locate OER for online courses to both supplement the textbook and also to work towards an open adoption model for courses. I recommend OER in combination with ebooks and databases provided by the library. The primary goal is to eliminate the need for an expensive textbook which can be a barrier to students.

I’ve had numerous content requests that were not available as OER, so I turn to library resources. The library doesn’t have the funds to buy the expensive textbooks for the collection in support of classes, so I continue to recommend library resources alongside OER.

In one case, OER was used when library resources were defunded:

I added OER in direct proportion to my inability to secure funding for existing proprietary databases. I was able to keep access to state-funded electronic resources, but lost some major databases.

A few respondents thought OER will add some points to consider for library instruction:

We traditionally promote popular, trade, and scholarly periodicals for academic purposes and show their contrasts, but only leave it at that. The information landscape, however, has changed! Now various information sources (streaming video, ebooks, etc.) are available. Librarians need to give information about evaluating resources; after all, many predatory publishers and sham journals are out there. In my view, that’s where librarians come in.

OER may also influence our roles in supporting students and faculty:

OER ties in our roles as information curators and supporting student and faculty. I also like to think of OER as an opportunity to re-invigorate or rethink pedagogy as different ideas are often sparked with the useful, interesting, and fun resources for faculty and students to discover.

Librarians should embrace OER the same as any other education resource. We can inform faculty about them and their potential to replace traditional textbooks. Many faculty based their teaching too heavily on traditional textbooks instead of effective pedagogy, so using OER will make them rethink their pedagogy. Librarians have always prided themselves on finding materials for our students and faculty, so OER may make a real treasure hunter out of us!

OER does have limitations, as one respondent shared:

Faculty would have a hard time putting together a bunch of journal articles to supplant a textbook while still meeting all of their course objectives and learning outcomes.

OER presents opportunities for librarians to engage with faculty in other ways:

A number of our faculty started using OER materials instead of textbooks in several online courses. It brought a good opportunity to explain the Creative Commons licensing process to them. Textbooks in for some technical subjects had a pretty tight lock on instructional materials!

The National Council for Learning Resources has sponsored OER programs in the last 3 annual conventions of the American Association of Community Colleges.  One college president stated in the Q & A session in this year’s panel discussion, “when beginning an OER project, involve the librarian!” This was music to my ears!

The idea that OERs are a threat to libraries plays into the idea that librarians are only book keepers and not information intermediaries.  Librarians are needed to organize, evaluate, and retrieve OER for our libraries’ unique populations.

Do you think OER is a threat or opportunity to libraries?  How is your library or college using OER?  Please share your comments!

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listserv-results

From the CJCLS Listserv: Open Educational Resources

Open Access Week 2015

By Kristy Padron

With the end of Open Access Week, the cjc-l listserv had recent discussions regarding librarian involvement in Open Educational Resources (OER). One member noticed that libraries were not included in his state’s OER report:

I just finished scanning Opening Public Institutions: OER in North Dakota in the Nation, 2015 and can’t find any mention of librarians. Librarians need to be assertive and have a place in discussions regarding OERS on our campuses, by state legislators, and in other settings.

Some members of the listserv described the OER initiatives taking place in their institutions and regions:

Librarians are very active on The Community College Consortium for Open Education (CCCOER) for sure! Over 250 colleges participate in this consortium.

Librarians have been leading the way for OER initiatives at my institution. At Lansing Community College, we hosted the successful Open Educational Resources Summit last September with the movers and shakers of the open education movement as our speaker. I led the effort in implementing our OER strategy on campus including the creation of an OER LibGuide. We’re still at the early stage but it is very encouraging. I’m also very active in the CCCOER and I’m part of the Advisory Group.

The project Openstax College has specifically targeted libraries as a partner.

We’re trying here in Florida. See the exciting theme for our fall meeting of the Florida Association of College & Research Libraries (FACRL).

An international conference will soon be held in Vancouver in November, which some librarians said they would attend:

The 12th Annual Open Education Conference will have numerous examples of how librarians and libraries are leading the way in discover, adoption, use and assessment of OERs.

What are some OER activities taking place at your library or in your area? Feel free to share in your comments!

(Image Source:  International Open Access Week 2015, used with permission from Creative Commons Attribution License.)