Preconference: Introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) for Libraries


This presentation was given as a preconference session at the Virginia Library Association Annual Conference 2015.

Librarians of all types can benefit from learning about the Open Educational Resources movement: what it is, why it is growing, opportunities and challenges presented by this movement, and opportunities to explore how each librarian may leverage OER to benefit and contribute to their respective institutions and communities. An increasing amount of free, openly licensed content is available for reuse and modification, ranging from complete textbooks to images, games, simulations and nearly any other type of copyrightable property. Openly licensed content, often licensed with a Creative Commons license, another open license, or available in the public domain, is frequently referenced as Open Educational Resources, or OER. Such content is increasing in prominence through use in a variety of cost-saving, learning, social, creative, and commercial applications.

The session will:

Provide a brief overview of what Open Educational Resources are and how they are being used Share some top trends that support use of OER in Virginia and nationally Share evidence and arguments which explain the value of OER for higher education Guide exploration of OER relevant to each participant’s professional role and user community Facilitate discussion between participants regarding the benefits and challenges of using OER in different contexts Facilitate an action plan activity whereby each participant may develop one or more ideas to experiment with using OER relevant to the participant’s institution and community Explore creating a network wherein librarians engaged in OER initiatives can work together toward common goals

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