Request: Specific to Public libraries, but useful for everyone

Hello! Hoping that this week might help to result in a list of resources that could be put together an easily printed “bookmark” infographic? I’m thinking of both super-user-friendly digital textbooks (such as those of openstax), or free children’s books. A list of ten or so resources that are simple enough for novice users just looking for additional information on a subject to be able to access and navigate comfortably. I was also considering perhaps dividing resources by age or type (science/language arts), but it would depend on the quantity of such user-friendly resources. Perhaps also a list of user-friendly OE assignments that could be used by high school and homeschool students.

Hi Robin, I’m working my channels to get some responses here, and this along with your previous posts points to trying to have a discussion about that connection to OER across public and higher education libraries.

I’m taking to, and tagging in, my colleague @heatherb who is the new Director of CCCOER but also an experience OER librarian and strong connections to the library community. I have been suggesting we start some conversations here, and maybe in as few weeks try to coordinate a focused discussion, perhaps on an OEG Live show.

Awesome! I did make a little Canva poster for resources for free digital bilingual books, but it was somewhat rushed- I don’t think I provided enough information on it, so haven’t been given permission to put it out. I will try (if I have time- Saturdays are especially busy where I work) to make something better- perhaps I could email you a copy of it and you could critique it for me? I’m still new to public librarianship, so I may not be emphasizing the right parts. I did have a very enthusiastic response at my part-time job (which I am currently at) here at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, we will be hosting the same event on both Wednesday and Friday. I’m very excited! Other than that I have been thinking of asking both jobs to order physical copies of OE textbooks so they can be put on display, and creating posters with QR codes linking to textbooks up in the appropriate subject areas. All of my experiences so far have been very positive with patrons in the public library- most of them have never heard of OERs, but they are always excited and appreciative when I show them some. I think that a lot of material that is available has a lot of appeal to both academic and public library patrons, and can help bridge a divide/satisfy curiosity especially for parents of first-generation college students. In general, I think there is a lot of room for OER-use to expand beyond academia. :slight_smile: I would love just hearing from any other public librarians who have been trying to provide access/awareness of OERs to their patrons.

Hi Robin, small world- I used to work at Reynolds (Parham and Goochland) and I was a public librarian for many years. I’d be happy to look over any drafts you have. I’ll keep an eye out for public librarians involved in OER and reach out to some contacts.

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Thank you so much! I will take you up on that and send them to you tomorrow. :slight_smile:

@heatherb reached out to Michelle Reed (who is here as @chellreed) now a research manager with Library Futures. Michelle kindly shared this post they published last year that directly address the points you raise, Robin:

While conversations about their use have focused on academic and school libraries, OER have much to offer public libraries.

OER advocates often cite the sharp rise in textbook costs as a reason for growing interest in open education, and academic librarians now partner with faculty to support the use of open and low-cost course materials to reduce costs for students. However, the talking points academics use may not seem relevant to public librarians or their patrons.

The post includes many references and examples to the OER interests and work of public libraries, and Michelle will be presenting her recent research findings at the OER24 conference coming up the end of the month.

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Here’s something of interest, I hope. The Library Toolshed is a resource of open licensed resources, activities from public libraries across Canada, shared here more for the concept than the resources.

This was a project of the BC Libraries Co/operative that aims to provide shared, often open source based infrastructures and services for public libraries / library organizations across Canada.

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Already posted elsewhere, but for a followup, see the new Library Futures piece by @chellreed and presented at OER24 on their research into OER practice at public libraries

And almost by accident I came across this recent presentation from Kennesaw state Universities “All Things Open” event on Open Together: Empowering Public Libraries with Community-Driven Open Source Tools – more about a public library in Texas making use of open source tools/platforms.