Efforts to encourage the adoption and creation of open educational resources (OER) have increased nationwide in recent years, with work taking place at multiple levels within the larger ecosystem. In higher education, projects are taking root at the state level and within specific schools and departments; and are being pushed by legislators, librarians, professors, students, and even publishers. It can be a challenge to achieve an approach where the work of these stakeholders at multiple levels is integrated instead of occurring in separate silos.
Recent work in Louisiana offers an example of a more unified approach. Led by the state library consortium, LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, stakeholders across levels have worked in tandem toward a common goal. At the same time, these stakeholders have achieved ownership of their work in order to provide specialized approaches for their audiences and to champion their individual successes to their constituencies. By linking library activities to student success, LOUIS has demonstrated how libraries, though not revenue-generating enterprises, provide value in terms of the retention and success of students. Through this program, branded as Affordable Learning LOUISiana, libraries have received new investments in a climate where annual budget reductions have become the norm. LOUIS has been able to leverage the consortial model to build capacity among librarians and to design programs that the membership could adapt and launch in order to achieve accomplishments on their campuses.
This chapter highlights how these efforts began with LOUIS responding to support that galvanized at the state level. When the Board of Regents, a state governmental body, sought to advance OER and textbook affordability projects, they directed funds to LOUIS. This chapter discusses how LOUIS used these funds to design a project that built the capacity and infrastructure needed to develop an OER culture in the state, and how local institutions have applied this model to the degree to which they have had the ability and interest to support it.
State-level initiatives and funding for OER have increased in recent years, resulting in the application of top-level support to encourage OER growth through many types of approaches. This review attempts to capture the variety of the strategies being deployed and to highlight projects at different stages of maturity. For a comprehensive summary of state legislation activity, SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) provides an OER State Policy Tracker webpage: https://sparcopen.org/our-work/state-policy-tracking/.
California has been at the forefront of support for OER, passing two bills in 2012: SB 1052, Public Postsecondary Education: California Open Education Resources Council, and SB 1053, Public Postsecondary Education: California Digital Open Source Library. Together, these enabled the California public higher education system to develop an OER library, initially focused on identifying material for 50 high-impact courses. The legislation does not mandate adoption of OER but has encouraged discovery of free and open textbooks through the site COOL4ED (California Open Online Library for Education, www.cool4ed.org). COOL4ED builds on earlier initiatives by using the infrastructure of The California State University’s MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, www.merlot.org) project, which was launched in 1997 as a tool to collect and share OER materials. Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$, http://als.csuprojects.org/), a related initiative, supports the use of OER and other free and low-cost course materials. AL$ enables adoption of affordable content through strategies such as providing faculty grant programs, highlighting available course materials, and supporting authorship. More recently, AB 798, the College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015, has established an Open Educational Resources Adoption Incentives Program to provide campuses with funds to support faculty and staff OER activity and professional development (AB 798, 2015).
The state legislature in Connecticut has been active in presenting and passing legislation for OER. In 2015, it passed SHB 6117, An Act Concerning the Use of Digital Open-Source Textbooks in Higher Education. This special act promoted the use of OER by requiring the Board of Regents for Higher Education to collaborate with state university and college systems to create an open source textbook consortium (HB 06117, 2015). The consortium was charged with leading a pilot program that would focus work in two areas: “(1) assess the use of high-quality digital open-source textbooks, and (2) promote the use of and access to open-source textbooks” (HB 06117, 2015). Students were instrumental in the passage of this legislation, testifying in favor of it, outlining the quality and value of OER, and sharing the consequences of high-cost traditional textbooks (Smart, 2010). More recently, the state senate passed An Act Concerning Digital Discounts to Reduce the Cost of Textbooks and Other Educational Resources, which provided the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the University of Connecticut the authority to “establish guidelines that encourage public and private colleges and universities to implement programs that reduce the cost of textbooks and other educational resources for students” (SB 00948, 2017). The work highlights textbooks and OER as a recognized strategy in the state for making higher education more affordable.
In the northwest, state funding, in addition to private funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, financed Washington’s Open Course Library. The collection is composed of course materials that cost $30 or less and align to 81 high-enrollment courses in the state (Reynolds, 2011, p. 182). The collection of materials primarily supports cost reduction but secondarily promotes curriculum reform by providing engaging and interactive materials that, in turn, drive completion rates (Reynolds, 2011, p. 182). In 2015, Oregon passed HB 2871, which provided $700,000 to establish an OER grant program, create an OER Resource Specialist staff position, implement a course designation that would highlight courses that use free or low-cost materials, and identify OER for 15 high-enrollment, general education courses taught commonly across institutions (“HB2871 Update,” 2016).
In Georgia, the Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) initiative developed after multiple years of OER activities in the University System of Georgia (USG). Initially, this included a partnership with California State University’s MERLOT to create a repository of digital learning objects: the USG SHARE project. Subsequently, grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the creation of the Georgia Knowledge Repository, a project connected to academic libraries in the state. Finally in 2013, the USG, under the infrastructure of the statewide library consortia, GALILEO, and with the support of California’s AL$, launched ALG (Gallant, 2015). ALG covers 30 institutions across the USG and includes projects like a competitive faculty grant program, referred to as Textbook Transformation Grants, which are given to faculty to redesign courses to reduce or eliminate the textbook costs to students. Currently in its eighth round, the Textbook Transformation Grant program prioritizes the redesign of high-enrollment courses. Some projects utilize existing OER resources, including textbooks, while others result in the creation of new textbooks.
Minnesota’s OER initiatives were advanced through inclusion in the state’s omnibus higher education appropriations bill, SF 1236, which was passed in the 2013–14 legislative session. This bill incentivized the development of an OER strategy to reduce student textbook expense by 1 percent. Higher education was motivated to develop this plan as one of five performance goals that, when completed, would result in an additional 5 percent appropriation for higher education (SF 1236, 2013). One programmatic example of this is the continued institutional support of the Center for Open Education at the University of Minnesota. This center is the home of the Open Textbook Network (OTN) and the Open Textbook Library. The OTN has grown to include many national member institutions, creating a community of practitioners and providing professional development in open education.
In North Dakota, an OER program was developed as a result of a legislative study committee introduced in 2013 (North Dakota Legislative Council, 2013). House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 3009 involved the study of the potential uses of open textbooks in the state. The findings of that study committee were developed into a white paper and presented during the following legislative session to the Higher Education Funding Committee. Subsequently, an appropriation of $110,000 was granted to the North Dakota University System for the launch of an OER program (Spilovoy, 2016). Funded initiatives included membership and training with the OTN and the launch of a grant program for redesigning courses to integrate OER.
Louisiana Higher Education Climate
Interest in OER increased in Louisiana amid a challenging budgetary environment. The national recession began in 2007 and, coupled with a shift in state budget priorities away from higher education in 2008 and steep declines in oil and gas prices, a main state revenue source, resulted in significant budget cuts for higher education. These cuts persisted in Louisiana even after funding for higher education began to rebound in many states (Mitchell, Palacios, & Leachman, 2014). From the 2007–08 to the 2015–16 academic years, the state cut higher education funding by 44 percent (Harlan, 2016). The far-reaching consequences have included reductions in the state’s higher education appropriations by 43.4 percent from the start of the recession to 2017 and, as a consequence, more than doubling of in-state tuition at Louisiana State University, the state’s flagship, over that period (Gluckman, 2017).
In response to an increasingly constrained budgetary environment, the legislature began to explore ways to positively impact costs in higher education. The Board of Regents, a 15-member board representing the state’s seven Congressional districts, is charged with planning, coordinating, and budgeting public higher education in Louisiana. Based on recognition in the legislature of the consequences of the high cost of textbooks, the Regents provided $145,000 in funding for LOUIS to design and execute a two-year pilot project that would positively impact this issue in the state.
LOUIS and the Board of Regents
LOUIS was identified for a leadership role because of the organization’s demonstrated capacity for project design and management of statewide initiatives. Formed in 1992, LOUIS serves as the statewide library consortium for 47 member institutions, composed of all public and private college and university libraries in the state. In this role, LOUIS provides cost-effective coordination of resource procurement and technology implementation and oversight. Additionally, the consortium coordinates professional development programming and information sharing. This is done through LUC, an annual LOUIS Users Conference, and Learning with LOUIS, a monthly webinar series for sharing training and best practices. LOUIS provides the communications infrastructure for service desk management; listserv hosting and coordination for systems administrators, interlibrary loan, electronic resources, and information literacy personnel; and maintains social media and a newsletter, LOUIS Lagniappe, for outreach to member libraries.
Although state funding is a small portion of LOUIS’ overall operating budget, the vast majority being received in library membership fees, it remains critical to the success of the consortium and it also ensures a continuing connection between statewide higher education priorities and those of the library community. The state portion of funding for LOUIS originates at the Board of Regents and LOUIS cannot independently advocate for or request funding through the legislature. As a result, a reciprocal relationship has been established with the Regents, and LOUIS staff work to tell the story of their efforts to them, providing compelling data to underscore the work. As a consequence, LOUIS has been recognized as a solutions provider by the Regents, with a reputation for being able to provide cost-effective services.
The budgetary climate and LOUIS’ standing converged when a member of the Louisiana legislature discussed the cost of textbooks and encouraged the Board of Regents to explore approaches to mitigate this expense. In response, the Regents provided funding to LOUIS for a proof-of-concept project. Funds were intended to provide an introduction to what the state could be doing on this issue. Thus, LOUIS set out to design a program with student-focused impacts in the area of textbook affordability. The development and branding of the Affordable Learning LOUISiana (ALL) program came soon after the initial Regents funds in order to present a cohesive and overarching project strategy.
Affordable Learning LOUISiana: Grant Program
LOUIS’ initial design for ALL was informed by small-scale projects occurring locally in the state, and influenced by larger programs beyond Louisiana. Locally, two academic libraries had begun work in this area. Louisiana State University had launched a program that aligned library-licensed ebooks with classes, specifically promoting books with user-friendly licenses (“About the E-Textbooks Initiative,” n.d.). Loyola University had begun promoting open access books and OER and advocating for their use in classes in an initiative led at the library (Gallaway & Hobbs, 2015).
Considering the success of these two programs, the inaugural work of ALL focused on a statewide grant project for member libraries looking to implement or extend these strategies through multiple rounds of funding. More specifically, the first round focused on two types of projects. One asked librarians to identify a campus faculty partner and collaborate on the selection of ebooks for course use that could be licensed by the library and provided to students on that campus at no cost. LOUIS encouraged ebooks with user-friendly licenses: DRM-free, enabling students to print and save content; unlimited user simultaneous access to allow an entire class to use the title at once; and with perpetual access, maintaining the resource in the collection beyond the initial semester of use. Nonetheless, LOUIS allowed libraries to purchase or subscribe to titles that worked for their context, including single and 3-user licenses (often with multiple copies of a title to enable course use) and ebook rentals. The second option was for librarians to identify a faculty partner to collaborate with on selecting and implementing OER to replace a textbook.
In the first round, about $10,000 of grant funding was requested—less than envisioned. After reviewing the program, it was determined that the lack of training on OER support models and the limited infrastructure to support ebook procurement or licensing had resulted in modest participation and success. Additionally, there was no strategy to promote student savings or return on investment, making it difficult to communicate the impact and value of the program to the Regents, a faculty audience, or librarian stakeholders. The initial round did, however, demonstrate LOUIS’ ability to engage multiple member libraries around textbook affordability. The participating libraries supported campuses from a variety of types of colleges and universities: from technical and community colleges to seminaries to large doctoral-granting institutions. Finally, regardless of the environment, all projects were student- and savings-focused, providing an opportunity to put the library at the center of a student success initiative.
Next Steps: Strategy
Reflecting on the initial work, additional LOUIS staff were assigned to the project and tasked with addressing the limitations of the first round and developing an evaluation plan for moving forward. This resulted in a program strategy revision, implemented during the fall of 2015. The strategy continued to center around OER and licensed ebook initiatives for course material affordability, but added emphasis on building and supporting a community of interested and knowledgeable librarian practitioners through professional development, communications, and assessment. For this strategy, LOUIS created an action plan (see Appendix). The primary activities of the strategy included: to provide an updated and consolidated listing of resources to enable member libraries to quickly identify existing OER, to create opportunities for state experts to share best practices, to develop a communications plan to ensure OER remained a topic of interest, and to develop an outcomes-based ebook purchasing program focused on course use titles available in DRM-free formats.
LOUIS began directing staff time toward promoting the ALL brand with a focus on reaching internal consortium member stakeholders and external audiences. The message firmly positioned libraries as expert organizations in the campus discussion relating to affordability and underscored the role of libraries in student success. Specifically, content prepared for internal and external audience emphasized that libraries are positioned to lead efforts to reduce the costs of education for students by:
- Leveraging expertise in the cooperative procurement of licensed content from textbook publishers
- Collaborating with faculty on the selection or purchase of materials within library collections that are appropriate for course adoptions
- Cooperating with campus bookstores on identifying faculty-selected materials that are owned or can be purchased
- Curating collections of OER and open access scholarly content
- Designing and supporting discovery systems and institutional repositories that enable access to and delivery of educational content
- Delivering educational programming to faculty and educational technology professionals on tenets of scholarly licensing, including Creative Commons principles
- Developing professional competencies for new roles as advocates for affordability and leaders on their campuses
- Advocating for institutional policies that support open access, open education, and open data
As librarians became exposed to the content highlighting these roles, and as they received professional development training provided by LOUIS to sharpen skills in some of these areas, they were able to internalize messages and competencies and demonstrate these roles in their local environments.
Finally, once the second round of grant funding was announced, criteria were revised to place a new emphasis on tracking student savings and to exclude projects involving textbook rentals due to sustainability concerns. Through summer 2017, five rounds of the grant program have taken place.
Institution-Level Deployment of Strategy
The grant program allowed local institutions to direct funds to reflect the local priorities and culture of the institution. In doing so, ALL enabled individual academic libraries to become campus champions for textbook affordability. This work represented a new focus in the state, and the infusion of funds enabled librarians to find and capture low-hanging fruit within their institutions. With success stories to promote, librarians could build momentum and begin developing an OER culture locally. The grant program was structured in a way that local institutions were able to apply this model to the degree to which they had the interest and capacity to support it. $50,000 was allocated to this program, with each site having an initial allocation of $1,000 for a self-selected project. Unexpended funds were reallocated in subsequent rounds of funding. This allowed as many member sites to participate as able, so long as they submitted an eligible project. After the first round, the ALL approach responded to member needs and revised the structure to support the development of state-level infrastructure. LOUIS scaled up offers of administrative assistance, such as in purchasing and licensing of ebooks.
These efforts were coupled with increased focus on professional development in the open area that launched a collaborative community of Louisiana librarians through which further learning and sharing could occur. LOUIS coordinated activities that were led by local librarians for open access and open education weeks, and encouraged institutions to share emerging best practices and accomplishments through newsletter posts and “Learning with LOUIS” webinar sessions. Encouraging librarians to tell their stories to one another contributed to the development of a culture where librarians were prepared and eager to talk about OER and textbook affordability to diverse audiences.
Next Steps: Open Textbook Network
A significant program expansion came as a result of connections to the national open education community. LOUIS began collaborating with peer groups, bringing in outside expertise for programs including a webinar with ALG on textbook transformations. In the spring of 2016, LOUIS began discussions with the OTN on joining the network as a system or consortial member. The OTN initially supported adoption of OER by working with individual campuses to deliver workshops to instructional faculty, but it was also beginning to expand its scope to support states’ or systems’ ability to enable librarians to host faculty workshops at campuses by using a train-the-trainer model. At the 2016 conference of the International Coalition of Library Consortia, the Boston Library Consortium (BLC) presented an overview of their system membership with OTN. LOUIS, which was already in negotiations to join the OTN, was able to design a train-the-trainer cohort model based on the experiences of the BLC.
LOUIS adopted the OTN’s train-the-trainer model because of the demonstrated benefits it offered. One appeal was its outcomes-based approach that focused on how the organizing entity could demonstrate student savings through OER. Because of the focus on OER adoptions, the program aligned with LOUIS’ assessment goals of tracking student savings from course textbook replacements. The model had relatively low overhead and did not require the costly support structure of other OER projects, such as extensive course redesigns using a variety of OER types and technologies. It positioned librarians as campus leaders in this affordability work. Finally, this strategy was scalable and replicable. LOUIS could invest in training and in building and maintaining a local network and then member libraries could grow their programs.
To begin work, LOUIS used a nomination process to select three participants from member libraries to attend OTN’s Summer Institute, an intensive training workshop. Participants had to agree to continued involvement in terms of delivering local workshops to campus faculty following the training and supporting other librarians to do the same in the future. LOUIS’ ALL project leader also attended the summer training in order to ensure that there was a coordinated statewide plan upon completion of the program to outline train-the-trainer rollout. After returning, the three librarians, with the support of the project leader, each planned a workshop at their respective campuses. Additionally, they held bi-weekly conference calls to address planning and administrative issues preceding and following these events.
The following December and January, OTN came to Louisiana to give two train-the-trainer workshops for other interested librarians. Attendees were offered the opportunity to bring a campus partner, such as a teaching and learning staff member, instructional designer, or faculty member. Through these one-day workshops, 60 individuals were trained and then placed into small groups—cohorts led by a Louisiana librarian with experience in OER and/or OTN’s model. This mentoring program supported the development of a community of practice centered around open textbooks. Additionally, ALL provided small grants and administrative support for local libraries hosting faculty workshops. In total, in the fall preceding the train-the-trainer sessions and in the subsequent spring, approximately 120 faculty received an introduction to open education, open textbooks, and Creative Commons, and an invitation to complete a review of a textbook in their discipline. The number of participating faculty reflected the number of requests from librarians for funds to host workshops, therefore demonstrating alignment between librarian intentions and faculty interest. LOUIS shared these successes and the result provided positive exposure for the ALL initiative at the Board of Regents, state legislature, and on the individual campuses.
Finally, to make OER more relevant and findable in a Louisiana context, LOUIS recruited six librarians who worked alongside four LOUIS staff on the creation of a crosswalk between available content in OTN’s Open Textbook Library and Louisiana’s higher education curriculum. This leveraged the state’s common course articulation and was modeled on the ALG’s Top 100 Undergraduate Courses, which lists the 100 USG courses with the highest enrollment and corresponding OER. LOUIS’ project provided a high-level view of potential open textbook adoptions for the state and helped to identify courses and subject areas of high priority in terms of creation of new OER content. As with other products and strategy, existing communication channels between LOUIS and member sites were harnessed to promote these tools, including the listserv and social media. In response, librarians who have used the tool while working with faculty on OER adoptions have shared that it was a helpful launching point for beginning discussions and finding materials.
The train-the-trainer model allowed librarians to develop and demonstrate expertise. The initial three librarians to receive training served as peer librarians who could share their experiences through a Louisiana lens and highlight how approaches could be tailored in light of local opportunities (a budgetary climate that made affordability initiatives especially appealing) and restrictions (increases in teaching loads that resulted in professors valuing textbooks with integrated homework and test management systems). The train-the-trainer model created a scalable program focused on building capacity relatively quickly and fairly inexpensively. It wasn’t possible to send all interested librarians to the Summer Institute, but LOUIS was able to disseminate a similar, compressed training by bringing it to Louisiana. In the process, this approach built a community of librarians and developed collaborations that extended beyond a single campus or library.
Collaborations to Advance Affordable Learning LOUISiana
The ALL initiative has prioritized the development of infrastructure and capacity. The overarching method for achieving this has been by focusing on communication of program outcomes and building an OER professional development program for librarians. To facilitate and deepen this process, LOUIS has sought out collaborations within Louisiana and beyond.
LOUIS developed ALL with other state initiatives in mind and one early program mentor was GALILEO’s ALG group. ALG was natural peer group because of its administrative structure within a state library consortium. ALG offered opportunities for shared programming with a joint webinar offered to constituencies on textbook transformation strategies and a model for tracking the program’s financial impacts.
LOUIS also partnered with the Louisiana Library Association (LLA), an organization that works to promote the interest of libraries in Louisiana through work including professional development and legislative advocacy. LLA’s Legislative Committee has supported legislation to promote or extend OER. During the 2016 legislative session, HCR 80 was put forward and passed. This resolution was informed by the work of ALL and proposed a partnership with LLA, the state library, public libraries, and K–12 librarians to develop a study committee to investigate and recommend a virtual library and a continued textbook affordability initiative for higher education. Following the work of the study committee, a virtual library proposal, an appropriations bill, was considered but ultimately not put forward at the request of the state library due to a difficult state budget climate. Nonetheless, LOUIS has continued to pursue sustainable funding for ALL. LOUIS completed the HCR 80 study committee with a testimony to House and Senate education committees. The testimony presented ALL outcomes and acknowledged a need for legislative support for further investments in higher education for OER. While not tied to an appropriations request because of the administrative structure of LOUIS, the testimony was positively received and underscored ongoing support for Regents investment.
In the 2016 legislative session, Act 619 was signed into law. This mandated a “a comprehensive review of the educational demands of the state and its regions; to provide for an evaluation of the state’s post-secondary education assets, needs, gaps and barriers; to provide for a report of the findings and recommendations; and to provide for related matters” (SB 446, 2016). As a consequence, the Regents supplied a formal report, Response to Act 619 of the 2016 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, with recommendations to the Senate and House committees prior to the commencement of the 2017 legislative session. It was through this that the Regents identified ALL as a legislative priority—an acknowledgment of LOUIS’ prior advocacy with the Regents and ability to provide an example of positive impacts to students of higher education in the state. The Regents’ response included a commitment to develop the Affordable Learning LOUISiana Plan, a statewide plan for the “utilization of Open Educational Resources” and to “build on current efforts related to eTextbooks, eLearning and related technologies designed to significantly lower costs of course materials for students while enriching the educational experience”(Louisiana Board of Regents, 2017, p. 35). This plan is due in the fall of 2017 and is being completed by LOUIS in conjunction with the Regents and the state’s eLearning Task Force—a subgroup of the Regents. Components identified for inclusion include LOUIS’ successful implementation of the OTN train-the-trainer and faculty workshop model and an outline for its continuation, and the continuation of the course alignment project.
To ensure that LOUIS’ ongoing participation in this and other Regents-led statewide efforts aligns with the needs and abilities of LOUIS library constituents, an Affordable Learning Taskforce is under development. This will promote greater member participation and oversight in the development of the Regents’ statewide plan and provide a mechanism to connect the ALL goals with the development of LOUIS’ overarching strategic plan, which may include exploration of future staffing needs and funding models.
The expanding statewide interest in textbook affordability has also resulted in institutional-level investments in OER, and LOUIS continues to support these efforts when requested. When the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) announced that an annual eLearning grant fund would be dedicated to OER initiatives, LOUIS was contacted by system representatives outside of the library with a request for support and coordination. LOUIS integrated the library and coordinated a successful grant-writing project for LCTCS using library-centered affordability initiatives. LOUIS staff continue to offer consultation services to other member schools designing OER projects, including for other recent grants offered by the state’s eLearning Task Force. In this manner, LOUIS has been able continue to propel success stories for the state through infrastructure and administrative support.
The legislature-to-library consortium-to-university model has allowed multiple stakeholders to take ownership of an element of this project and apply leadership at their level while working toward shared success in the state. The financial support, administrative infrastructure, and professional development offered through ALL showed local institutions that OER are a statewide priority, backed by the Board of Regents, and a possible venue for
funding and advancement in terms of skills and services. Though ALL started with one-time money, LOUIS has worked to develop a program worthy of reinvestment by continually telling the story of how students are impacted and by backing this story with numbers to show return on investment. In doing so, LOUIS has worked to rewrite a narrative in Louisiana that frames libraries as campus cost centers and that regularly results in funding cuts. Instead, LOUIS has highlighted libraries as the core of the ALL story, demonstrating libraries’ ability to successfully lead initiatives on local campus and underscoring libraries’ impacts on student success. This, in turn, provides the foundation for future requests for funding as a way to continue the program goals.
About the E-textbook Initiative (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.lib.lsu.edu/ebooks/about
Cal. A.B. 798. An act to amend section 69999.6 of, and to add and repeal part 40.1 (commencing with section 67420) of division 5 of title 3 of, the education code, relating to postsecondary education, 2015. Retrieved from http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB798
Conn. H.R. H.B. 06117. An act concerning the use of digital open-source textbooks in higher education, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/fc/2015HB-06117-R000823-FC.htm
Conn. S.B. 00948. An act concerning digital discounts to reduce the cost of textbooks and other educational resources, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/FC/2017SB-00948-R000375-FC.htm
Gallant, J. (2015). Librarians transforming textbooks: The past, present, and future of the Affordable Learning Georgia initiative. Georgia Library Quarterly, 52(2), n.p. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/glq/vol52/iss2/8
Gallaway, T. & Hobbs, J. (2015). Open access for student success. In B. L Eden (Ed.), Enhancing teaching and learning in the 21st-century academic library: Successful innovations that make a difference. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Gluckman, N. (2017, July 26). How one state’s budget crisis has hamstrung its public universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-One-State-s-Budget/240760
Harlan, C. (2016, March 4). Battered by drop in oil prices and Jindal’s fiscal policies, Louisiana falls into budget crisis. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/04/the-debilitating-economic-disaster-louisianas-governor-left-behind/
HB2871 update. (2016, April 22). Retrieved from http://openoregon.org/hb2871-update
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2015). NMC horizon report: 2015 higher education edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-HE-EN.pdf
La. S.B. 446. Act no. 619, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=1013080
Louisiana Board of Regents (2017). Response to act 619 of the 2016 regular session of the Louisiana legislature. Retrieved from http://www.regents.la.gov/assets/ACT_619_BOARD_APPROVED_Final_Draft.pdf
Minn. S. F 1236. A bill for an act relating to education, 2013. Retrieved from https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=SF1236&session_year=2013&session_number=0&version=latest
Mitchell, M., Palacios, V., & Leachman, M. (2014). States are still funding higher education below pre-recession levels. Washington DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved from http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/5-1-14sfp.pdf
North Dakota Legislative Council. (2013). Higher education study—background memorandum. Retrieved from: http://www.legis.nd.gov/files/resource/committee-memorandum/15.9039.01000.pdf
Reynolds, R. (2011). Trends influencing the growth of digital textbooks in US higher education. Publishing Research Quarterly, 27(2), 178–187. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12109-011-9216-5
Smart, C. (2015, February 26). UConn students testify for affordable textbooks at state capitol. WHUS. Retrieved from http://whus.org/2015/02/uconn-students-testify-for-affordable-textbooks-at-state-capitol/
Spilovoy, T. (2016, August 23). North Dakota open educational resources initiative: A system-wide success story. WCET. Retrieved from https://wcetfrontiers.org/2016/08/23/north-dakota-open-educational-resources-initiative-a-system-wide-success-story
Appendix: LOUIS Affordable Learning Action Plan, 2015
Ongoing Actions: Leverage the established criteria in negotiating pricing and policies with vendors; update availability of content for changing vendor and course offerings
Initial Actions: Complete expenditures for funds already allocated in the first round; gather and compile statistical report on the program impact; prepare and disseminate publicity materials/website feature on the outcomes
Ongoing Actions: Benchmarking and/or documenting consortia spending per student/cost saving per student
Develop webpage/LibGuide of resources to adopt
Goal: Awareness of possible OER resources is one of the most frequently cited barriers to adoption (Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada, & Freeman, 2015). To address this, LOUIS will provide an updated/consolidated listing of resources to enable member libraries to quickly identify existing OER to share with faculty.
Initial Actions: Identify OER; create LibGuide for LOUIS site; share link via listservs, social media, and LOUIS Lagniappe newsletter
Ongoing Actions: Update content semi-annually; notify members of new content; track page visits
Coordinate LUC roundtable/Interest Group/Best practices
Goal: Several LOUIS members are already engaged in the successful promotion of OER and DRM-free e-books. LOUIS will create a roundtable forum where these experts can share best practices within the state to enhance the effectiveness of other OER/e-book adoption efforts.
Initial Actions: Identify interested LOUIS members; schedule a roundtable discussion for the 2015 LUC; capture poignant discussion points at LUC; engage participants in editing the best practices; share via LOUIS Lagniappe Newsletter and other promotional outlets
Ongoing Actions: Annual review and republication of best practices document by an interest group
OER in the news
Goal: Ensuring OER remain a topic of interest at Louisiana academic institutions.
Initial Actions: Create a design template for recurring news items for the listserv and LOUIS Lagniappe; identify and monitor news sources that would have relevant content (The Chronicle of Higher Education, ALA publications, AAC&U, SoTL journals, NMC Horizon Report, etc.); develop a target number of annual news items to feature
Ongoing Actions: Write or solicit brief editorials on content to post in relevant publications; monitor related International Coalition of Library Consortia activities (i.e. how are other consortia engaging in the conversation)
Direct purchase of DRM-free e-book content for classroom use
Goal: In order to demonstrate the continued value proposition of LOUIS, current and future state-allocated funds for e-textbooks/e-books will be expended on resources that have direct impact on reducing student expenses. The impact of those purchases should be collected and disseminated to demonstrate cost savings (and/or cost avoidance) to students.
Mini-consortia negotiation for institutional purchases of DRM-free content for the class use/exposing DRM-free content
Goal: The information regarding availability of content and licensing terms of e-book/e-textbooks can be confusing. To assist member libraries in negotiating best possible pricing and license terms for DRM-free content, LOUIS will extend its existing mini-consortia services to these resources as well as provide technology to expose the relevant e-book/e-textbook resources that are available for purchase and meet a set of DRM-free criteria.
Initial Actions: Establish a working group to document criteria for the selection of DRM-free e-books; develop/purchase a product, mechanism or infrastructure to identify content that meet the criteria and match isbn/e-isbns of content already in use in classes