7 SPEC Kit 351: Affordable Course Content and Open Educational Resources
institutions reported a total of 164 positions. Only one reported a single staff member who supports ACC/
OER initiatives and twenty listed titles for five positions. Associate/assistant university librarian (AUL)
positions are involved in ACC/OER at a higher rate than anticipated. Of the 164 positions reported, 18 are
AUL positions (11%). Many of the rest are department head positions or service/institute directors (35 or
21%). Across the positions reported, noteworthy titles include copyright officer/librarian, digital projects
manager/librarian, e-learning librarian, and instructional technologist/designer. ACC/OER-specific
titles include open education, copyright &scholarly communications librarian, and open educational
resources coordinator.
Across the positions reported by each institution, the amount of time spent on ACC/OER does
vary however, ACC/OER is not a daily time commitment for most positions. The majority of positions
(135 or 84%) spend “some time” each month, week, or day on ACC/OER. Only 26 (16%) spend significant
time each week or day.
Library OER/ACC Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
The respondents were asked to indicate the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are needed in order to
support ACC/OER initiatives and to select three that are the most important. The KSAs identified as
most needed and most important by the 42 respondents are familiarity with the availability of ACC/
OER resources (93%), intellectual property (90%), and familiarity with search strategies for ACC/OER
resources (83%). Other KSAs needed at the majority of libraries include assessment (69%), familiarity
with the learning management system (62%), and project management (60%).
Staff at the 40 responding libraries take advantage of multiple professional development
opportunities to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities to support ACC/OER activities.
Professional conferences (80%), in-person training/workshops (73%), virtual training/webinars
(68%), and online discussion groups/professional communication (60%) are used at a majority of
responding institutions.
Libraries and ACC/OER
The survey asked respondents to describe how they envision future library roles related to both ACC and
OER. The most common themes closely align with current institutional or library program areas. This
alignment provides credibility and stability that facilitates administrative and faculty buy in to support
program longevity. Given libraries expertise in content (from copyright to tools and infrastructure),
respondents see numerous opportunities for libraries to provide leadership on their campuses to support
affordable and OER services and programs. Libraries frequently have strong ties with campus partners
in administration, technology, and teaching and learning groups ACC/OER efforts offer the chance to
expand or build on these relationships. Many response emphasized the importance of libraries taking on
a leadership role and on campus collaborations in this arena.
Advocacy, promotion, and awareness-raising educational efforts are key to helping faculty
understand the array of course content options available to them and to work for change of culture
and practice in the future. Helping interested faculty discover existing affordable content (whether
it is library licensed or OER) and then providing easy access to that content (through reserves or
support for implementing OER) are important service/support efforts that utilize a range of librarian
and technology systems expertise and infrastructure support. Libraries also have the opportunity to
advance the conversation regarding teaching and learning promotion criteria that support ACC/OER.
Finally, publishing or hosting newly created open content, as well as providing needed copyright and
licensing advice, are viewed as necessary future investments in many library spaces. Given the wide
range of funding models, project types carried out (course reserves, publishing, authoring, copyright,
open licensing support, etc.), the varying roles across campus partnerships, as well as libraries support
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