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Tackling Textbook Costs through Open Educational Resources: A Primer at ALA Midwinter

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SPARC in collaboration with the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication is offering an institute on open educational resources at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting 2015 in Chicago, on Thursday, January 29, 1:00–5:00 p.m., and Friday, January 30, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Registration for the Midwinter Meeting is not required to register for this institute.

The skyrocketing cost of textbooks is a tremendous problem on campus, and academic libraries have a growing opportunity to advance a solution through open educational resources (OERs). OERs include digital textbooks and other academic materials that carry open licenses permitting their free use and repurposing by others.

Join us for this primer on how libraries can leverage OERs for textbook affordability—and beyond. Participants will learn from national experts, be inspired by successful projects, brainstorm with peers, and develop action plans. All experience levels are welcome.

Learning Outcomes

As a participant, you will:

  • Learn the basics of OERs and how to talk about them on campus.
  • Learn how academic libraries are successfully advancing OERs.
  • Begin developing an action plan for your campus.


Speakers include:

  • Nicole Allen, SPARC
  • Steven Bell, Temple University
  • Marilyn Billings, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • David Ernst, University of Minnesota
  • Kristi Jensen, University of Minnesota
  • Quill West, Pierce College
  • David Wiley, Lumen Learning
  • Stacy Zemke, University of Oklahoma


Individuals from ARL member institutions receive a significant discount on the nonmember registration fee. You are not required to register for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in order to register for this institute. Complete details and registration materials are on the OER institute webpage.

The Institute on Scholarly Communication (ISC) is jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) to promote the development of library-led outreach on scholarly communication issues. Hundreds of institute alumni form a community that provides peer support and professional sharing of information relating to campus outreach. The ISC’s first signature event was an in-person immersive learning experience that prepared participants as local experts within their libraries and provided a structure for developing a program plan for scholarly communication outreach that is customized for each participant’s institution. The institute has supported additional professional development activities and also provides a set of shared resources. The ISC is on the web at http://www.arl.org/isc.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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