In this final section, we explore the shifting emphases in more mature OER initiatives. The maturation of OER initiatives brings with it a shift in focus from advocacy and education efforts to adopting or adapting existing OER for use in the classroom, and in some cases, facilitating the creation and dissemination of new OER. In addition to their roles as educators and occasional advocates, librarians have a long and rich history of connecting researchers with relevant information, preserving material, and facilitating access to that material. In the OER space, these skill sets are being augmented to include the integration of existing OER into curricula, and in some cases catalyzing the creation or adaptation of new OER through innovative award programming and external partnerships. This section explores the role of the library in adopting and creating OER through a series of case studies. Readers are offered a variety of strategies to support OER discovery, adoption, and creation within a range of institutional environments. Whatever the realities of one’s home institution, the pages ahead will offer transferable practices.
The section begins with two chapters outlining the maturation of OER programs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Oklahoma. First, Smith explores the mature OER program at U. Mass Amherst, with a focus on developing partnerships to cultivate true open education. He offers an introduction to creating a library support program and strategies for sustainably supporting it. Second, Waller, Taylor, and Zemke map out the maturation of OER initiatives at the University of Oklahoma. While the program at their institution is aided by substantial top-down support, the authors detail the creation of an OER position and planning committee, along with strategies for assessing OER technology and course design.
Pivoting to a bottom-up approach to OER adoption, Ross and Francis describe the approach taken at the University of Saskatchewan. Here, the authors focus on cultivating individual champions to serve as instruments of change. The authors describe their use of the university’s institutional repository in support of OER adoption efforts.
Miller takes a similar approach, viewed through the institutional context at Rollins College, a small liberal arts college in Florida. In his chapter, Miller describes the OER initiatives in this environment, including the unique challenges facing professors of art and art history, political science, and physics.
We end this section with a concrete example of the potential success inherent in combining OER initiatives with library-based publishing programs. Batchelor details a case study in publishing OER through the University of Washington and Reebus foundation. In this new space of OER publishing, as is illuminated by the author, partnerships, both within the institution and broadly, are critical, but librarians can and do serve as important connectors and catalysts in these important partnerships.