“Make a difference in your students’ lives with free, openly-licensed textbooks.” (OTN)
Ohio University Libraries is one of the newest members of the Open Textbook Network (OTN), a nationwide consortium of approximately 600 academic institutions collaborating to encourage the use and growth of open educational materials—primarily through license-free textbooks and academic freedom.
“We focus intensely on academic freedom,” said Sarah Cohen, OTN’s managing director, in a story by American Libraries. “We want faculty members to choose a book that meets the needs of their students and the needs of their course, and we suggest an open textbook may be a way to do that.”
According to OTN, their library’s collections of license-free textbooks “…have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality… [and] can be downloaded for no cost.“
And textbook affordability means students save money.
“Open text initiatives can have a significant impact on student cost, but there are other benefits as well,” said Janet Hulm, assistant dean for collections and digital initiatives.
“They provide a platform for faculty where they are not necessarily confined to a single textbook because of its cost, but instead have the flexibility to write, edit and publish outside of traditional publishing models or even utilize multiple open texts for classroom use.”
As part of Ohio University Libraries’ ongoing initiative to provide faculty with resources to freely promote research and share ideas, we will be hosting an OTN workshop for interested faculty on October 17 to learn more about open textbooks.
“What we are hoping to do is reach faculty who are interested and want to learn more, so they understand the platform, the controls, and the value of open textbooks,” said Hulm.