Statewide summit shares best practices for free, open textbook use

August 09, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s first Open Educational Resources (OER) Summit, held today (Aug. 9) at Penn State University Libraries’ Pattee Library and Paterno Library on the University Park campus, aims to help higher education librarians across the commonwealth discuss challenges and solutions for supporting the use of free and openly available course materials, including open textbooks, to help lower the cost of attending college statewide. 

Held in conjunction with Affordable Learning Pennsylvania, a grant-funded, community-of-practice project of the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium Inc. (PALCI), the summit has provided free participation for up to 100 academic librarians from Pennsylvania college and universities to discuss topics around the theme of “Building Community.” 

The inaugural summit includes two keynote speakers. Amy Hofer, coordinator of Statewide Open Education Library Services, is the OER librarian for Oregon's colleges and universities and co-author of the book “Transforming Information Literacy Instruction: Threshold Concepts in Theory and Practice.” Anne C. Osterman is director of VIVA, the consortium of the 72 nonprofit college and university libraries within the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is co-author of the book “Electronic Resource Management: Practical Perspectives in a New Technical Services Model.”

Affordable Learning Pennsylvania’s long-term goal, according to its website, is to “support a robust OER community” among Pennsylvania colleges and universities, including the active creation of new open textbooks and related educational course materials. It is coordinated by a steering committee including representatives from Penn State, Temple University, Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, the Commonwealth Libraries of Pennsylvania, and PALCI staff.

Affordable Learning Pennsylvania is supported by Library Services and Technology Act funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries. 

Last Updated September 11, 2019