Libraries & the Open Education Movement

In this video, I’m going to talk about how
academic libraries are supporting the Open Education Movement. Academic libraries are often the loudest voice
on campus when it comes to educating users about “open” topics. And that’s for a good reason. Unlike many businesses that trade in information, the purpose of libraries isn’t to make a profit: it’s to share information and give
access to resources for users. This purpose directly ties into the Open Education
movement, especially for academic librarians, who interface with college instructors and
students every day. It makes sense, then, that librarians would
be aware of and interested in course affordability initiatives. So, how else do academic libraries support
Open Education? One way that we support open education is
through outreach services, by communicating with instructors, administrators, and others
on campus about how Open Education could benefit the institution at large and specific courses
in particular. Often this is done through one-on-one consultations
with instructors, but there are bigger projects we work on as well. A vital task for librarians supporting Open
Education is developing partnerships, especially ones that span across campus. Many academic libraries working on Open Education
initiatives have partnerships with their campus Bookstore, Teaching Center, Student Government,
or Student Accessibility Services. By working with these groups, librarians can
ensure that their support for course affordability goes beyond the work they do every day, and
that the needs of faculty are taken into account. And that’s important to remember: no matter
how much we want to educate our users or support those who are adopting OER, librarians should not be forcing faculty to adopt or create these resources. Advocating for OER on campus is all well and
good, but understanding the barriers to Open Education is important as well. By reaching out to other groups on campus,
we can better understand what those barriers might be and how we can support the faculty
who are genuinely interested in Open Education. Another way that librarians support Open Ed
is by participating in events: whether we attend them or host them ourselves. Workshops, symposia, conferences- when a library
decides to host one of these events, they’re providing a space on campus for faculty, librarians, and others to speak out about their experiences with Open Education and “open adjacent” topics and helping others on campus learn more about OER. This can be done in a few different ways,
from hosting faculty and student panels to bringing in speakers to talk about Creative Commons
licensing or the impact that OER can have on student learning. A great example of a recent event of this
type is the Florida State University Open Education Symposium, a symposium held in spring
of 2018 which was livestreamed on Facebook and Youtube to share their talks with anyone
who might be interested. Events like these show that library events
don’t need to be constrained to a single institution or location. Like for OER, sharing our work is even more impactful
when it’s done widely and openly. Speaking of sharing, another ways that librarians
support Open Education through events is by sharing the tools that we create and the work
we do, often by presenting at conferences or publishing outcomes from assessments done
on campus. Giving other institutions access to the materials
we create can be incredibly valuable, whether we’re sharing outreach materials, promotional
items for events, library guides, or research instruments & results. Whatever it is that we’re creating and sharing,
we don’t need to reinvent the wheel to get things done. Now, I need to make an important distinction
before I end this video: not every academic library is alike. We don’t all have a librarian dedicated
to Open Education and we don’t all have the budget to do all or even most
of these things. But there’s a lot that each of us can do,
and are doing, to support faculty who are interested in Open Education on our campuses. Despite, or perhaps because of our differences,
each of us is contributing something valuable to our patrons, and although I couldn’t
make a comprehensive list in this video, I hope I’ve highlighted some of the best ways that libraries are supporting Open Education on a day-to-day basis. Thanks for watching this video! Feel free to share it if you find the content
useful, and check out my other videos to learn more about this topic.

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