Librarians supporting open education efforts must build a strong network of allies for successful advocacy and the long term sustainability of OER initiatives (Amaral, 2018). At the same time, librarians not working directly in this area may feel disconnected from open education, or feel that it is not their responsibility. Discipline-specific open education workshops were recently developed at the University of Washington Libraries for teams of subject specialist librarians, to increase their understanding of OER, engage them with open education initiatives, and expand capacity for OER support throughout the organization. These workshops are designed to build a sustainable community of library workers familiar with open educational practices and to engage them in participatory practices of open education work.
As a primary connection between the libraries and other campus stakeholders, subject/disciplinary librarians play a crucial part in outreach and communication to students and faculty in large institutions (Jaguszewski, 2013), but their role is not often addressed in the open education movement. As Open Education starts to move into the mainstream of academic librarianship, it is important to address how this work gets distributed across our organizations. This presentation addresses an area not often discussed in the open education movement – how to “bring along” librarians and educators who may not feel that they have a place in open education, be tied to traditional notions of their own role, or who lack a critical understanding of open education beyond “affordable textbooks.”
My presentation will include goals for hosting these workshops, which have resulted in an increased number of open education initiatives undertaken by librarians and staff. Workshop materials, including slide decks, talking points and online guides, are CC BY licensed, and can be adapted and repurposed by attendees (and anyone). Workshops have also provided a way to gather useful information from librarian colleagues on opportunities and challenges they see with regard to open publishing platforms, faculty adoption of OER in campus departments, and collection development practices that include course materials. These workshops have also provided an opportunity to connect the principles of open pedagogy with subject specialist librarians’ information literacy instruction practices. Finally, they aim to highlight issues such as openwashing, student agency within public scholarship, and inclusive access models that resonate with existing areas of library work. By drawing attention to the ways in which our shared values as librarians are aligned with that of the open education movement, I am hoping that we can broaden how we are addressing OER advocacy through a critical lens.
Amaral, J. (2018). From Textbook Affordability to Transformative Pedagogy: Growing an OER Community. In: A. Wesolek, J. Lashley, and A. Langley, eds. 2018. OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians. Oregon: Pacific University Press. Available at: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/oer-a-field-guide-for-academic-librarians [Accessed 07 December 2019].
Jaguszewski, J and Williams, K. (2013). New Roles for New Times: Transforming Liaison Roles in Research Libraries. [pdf] Association of Research Libraries. Available at: https://www.arl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/nrnt-liaison-roles-revised.pdf [Accessed 07 December 2019].
Ray, L. (2019) SPARC Capstone – Open Education Workshops for Subject Librarians. Available at: http://bit.ly/oersubjectlibrarians [Accessed 07 December 2019].