How academic libraries can boost OER and affordable content on campus

Libraries interested in establishing a new OER or affordable course content program, partnering on an existing one, or focusing one on student success will likely find an environmental scan useful...It is likely that individual faculty, or even program-level faculty cohorts are using open resources or engaged in strategies to reduce costs to their students. Leveraging those initiatives, but more importantly, the faculty champions behind them can prove vital to the success of the program. It can also help to avoid the sense among earlier adopters that the new initiative is seeking to fix a problem that does not exist. Finally, highlighting local examples can make the creation or adaptation of OER or the adoption of OER and affordable alternatives seem much more feasible in the local environment. It facilitates being able to answer questions pertaining to the local culture and institutional policies related to intellectual property and licensing, documenting the work involved in creating or adopting OER or affordable content for tenure and promotion, and the workflow for creating, storing, and making discovering OER.

During the environmental scan, librarians should also be on the lookout for programmatic partners interested in supporting open licensing and/or finding ways to reduce student costs. This could be as simple as reaching out to the university bookstore to working with specific departments or even student-facing entities like academic computing. You never know how these organizations may already be supporting OER or affordable content programs. 

The paper Open Pathways to Student Success: Academic Library Partnerships for Open Educational Resource and Affordable Course Content Creation and Adoption
is found in the The Journal of Academic Librarianship