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Wednesday, November 7 • 11:30am - 12:10pm
A Tale of Two Systems: Open Educational Resources and Affordable Learning Solutions

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American student loan debt, at $1.5 trillion, has now surpassed the total US credit card debt. In response, librarians, educators and government officials are looking for ways to make required course materials more affordable. As the impact of rapidly rising textbook prices often makes students have to choose between required course materials and other life essentials, academic libraries are feeling more pressure to respond. This panel will cover the different yet kindred approaches taken by the Alabama and California state systems in tackling this long-standing issue.

One method for cutting student expenses is by replacing costly traditional textbooks with open educational resources (OER), which are teaching and learning materials that you may use and reuse. OER are typically available in a variety of formats, both no-cost digital and low-cost print. This makes courses, and college as a whole, more accessible, particularly for lower income students. Recognizing these and other benefits, state agencies that support higher education in Alabama, the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) Council and academic libraries are working in tandem to make educators aware of the resources’ benefits and promoting adoption of them. This panel will describe how the Alabama Commission on Higher Education promotes OER while respecting “academic freedom,” identifies potential funding sources, shares best practices, while also highlighting some potential challenges.

Another option is the approach of the California State University System (CSU). In response to the rapidly rising costs of course materials the Chancellor's Office of the CSU and state authorities have initiated a program called Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS) (https://als.csuprojects.org/) to address the problem. Individual CSU libraries actively participate in the ALS process, but there has been little coordination between libraries. This started to change in 2018 when CSU libraries initiated the development of a shared textbook acquisition program. The panel will review the scope of the ALS initiative and discuss the emergence of the textbook program. In addition the results of a CSU-wide “textbook survey” will be reviewed, and practical strategies and solutions to the challenges of textbook acquisitions will be discussed within the context of the CSU and beyond.

avatar for David Hellman

David Hellman

Collection Development Coordinator, San Francisco State University
David Hellman is the Collection Development Coordinator and an Associate Librarian at San Francisco State University. He has held previous positions at Santa Clara University, New York University and the Brooklyn Public Library. David has presented at several conferences including... Read More →
avatar for Ron Leonard

Ron Leonard

Director of Special Initiatives, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
For the last year, Ron Leonard has held the newly-created position of Director of Special Initiatives at the Alabama Commission for Higher Education. As such, he manages two, large statewide projects, a FAFSA completion project and an OER initiative, and several smaller projects... Read More →
avatar for Neil Sorensen

Neil Sorensen

Sales Specialist Sr, ProQuest Books

George Wrenn

Head of Information Resource Management, Humbolt State University

Wednesday November 7, 2018 11:30am - 12:10pm EST
Colonial Ballroom, Embassy Suites