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Open Education: Librarian Tool Box

A "getting started" guide overviewing open, editable, and lower-cost textbooks and open teaching & learning resources for faculty, students, and librarians.

About the Librarian Tool Box

[NOTE: This site is not actively updated at present.] The Librarian OER Toolbox is a collection of links to (mostly) open resources. It is designed for librarians, expert searchers, and people who "enjoy the hunt" through overwhelming volumes of information. This site represents the most comprehensive lists we have found of the places to look for open educational resources written in English. WARNING: Using this page may cause information overload. Proceed with caution.

Scrappy Strategies for Getting Started in Open Education

The OER Starter Kit (2019) and Workbook (2020)

To Boldly Go: First-year exploration of OER Initiatives (2014 PPT, but still relevant)

SPARC Open Education Leadership Program Curriculum (course)

OTN OER Librarian Bootcamp (course)


Webinar recording: Effectively Encouraging Use of OER on Your Campus (Nicole Finkbeiner)

How to conduct a reference interview for Course Materials (short videos & templates) (Quill West)

Webinar recording: On Becoming Open Education Leaders (Quill West)

Webinars on various topics (CCCOER)

Import MARC records from the Open Textbook Library


Open: The Philosophy and Practices and are Revolutionizing Education and Science Open Access & CC BY 


OpenLearningHub Includes videos, blogs, Twitter discussions and more. See also: #OpenLearning17 #OpenLearning18 #OpenLearning19 on Twitter

Year of Open


Open Pedagogy Notebook (DeRosa/Jhanghani)

Six perspectives on Open Pedagogy (Year of Open)

Discussion on Open Pedagogy (CCCOER)

Open Pedagogy as a foundational concept (BCCampus)

See also: #openped or #openpedagogy on Twitter


 "LearnOER" in 10 modules (Open Washington)

Adopting Open Educational Resources in the Classroom (Linda Williams & Lumen Learning)

See also: #oer on Twitter


Coursera MOOC: Copyright for Educators & Librarians     Framework for Analyzing any U.S. Copyright Problem

Book: Copyright Law for Educators & Librarians (not open access)

Article: The Beauty of Some Rights Reserved: Introducing Creative Commons to Librarians, Faculty, and Students

Video: Get Creative: Being the Origin and Adventures of the Creative Commons Licensing Project (~6 minutes)

Creative Commons licenses (includes human readable summaries and legal text for each license)


Open Textbook Network (Member listserv, summer institute, and service opportunities ($) 

OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program (by application. Planning, community, strategy, accountability)

SPARC Library & OER Forum (Public listserv and monthly topical teleconferences)

Community College Consortium on OER (Listserv, public webinars, advisory meetings and more)

Digital Pedagogy Lab (Institute, articles, podcasts, Journal of Hybrid Pedagogy


Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit (BCCampus)

Recorded open office hours (OTN and Rebus Community for Open Textbook Creation)

More resources at: Open Textbook Authoring & Editing

Recordings (or webinars)

What are Research Libraries doing regarding OER?

Ethics & OER

OER stewards contribute, empower, attribute and release

OER & Lower Cost Textbooks

Open Textbooks (free, Faculty-editable)

Open Stax College (Rice University)

BC Campus Open ED

Open Textbook Library

MERLOT (material type=open textbook)

Open Textbooks CCCOER

College Open Textbooks

Open SUNY Textbooks


Lower-Cost (Faculty-Editable)

Boundless ($)

Flatworld Knowledge  ($)

Thuze ($)


VT Libraries

VT Faculty - Contact your VT College Librarian regarding purchase of a multi-user eBook version.

VT Faculty & Students - Contact the VT OER Librarian for assistance in locating OER.


Slightly lower cost commercial Custom Textbooks (Note: these tend to have lower or zero re-sale value)

Bedford, Freeman & Worth, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, & Wiley

Open Courseware

California Learning Resource Network

Carnegie Mellon University - Open + Free Courses



MIT Open Courseware


National Repository of Online Courses

Notre Dame OpenCourseWare

Open Courseware Library

Open Yale Courses

OpenCourseWare data faceted search

OpenCourseWare Consortium

Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) Academy


Stanford Online

Tufts OpenCourseWare

UNU Open Coursware (archived site)

Utah State OpenCourseWare


Library OER initiatives (from SPARC) - an list of OER initiatives involving libraries or librarians. Organized geographically.

LibraryAsLeader (Washington state) initiative and the BCOER Librarians group are particularly notable.

A number of international, state, regional, and local OER consortia also exist, including: OpenVAOpenWashington, and many others. Annual conferences, such as OpenEd and Open Education Global are excellent places to explore and obtain support.


A variety of impact, project, policy and other OER maps are also available from the OER Research Hub

Recommended Readings

Judith, Kate and Bull, David, (March 2016) Assessing the Potential for Openness: A Framework for Examining Course-Level OER Implementation in Higher Education, Education Policy Analysis Archives v24, p.42.

Billings, Marilyn, et al. (2012) “Open Educational Resources as Learning Materials: Prospects and Strategies for University Libraries” RLI 280 p2-10 

Babson Survey Research Group surveys on Open Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education. (2012 & 2014). The 2014 survey focuses on level of faculty awareness of OER.

ChaeBoyoung and Jenkins, Mark (2015) "A Qualitative Investigation of Faculty Open Educational Resource Usage in the Washington Community and Technical College System: Models for Support and Implementation" Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Collins, Sue and Levy, Peter (2013) “Guide to the Use of Open Educational Resources in K-12 and Postsecondary Education” Software & Information Industry Association.

Florida Virtual Campus (2012) 2012 Faculty and Administrator Open Educational Resources SurveyTallahassee, FL: Author. 

Kazakoff-Lane, Carmen [2014] “Environmental Scan and Assessment of OERs, MOOCs and Libraries: What Effectiveness and Sustainability Means for Libraries’ Impact on Open Education”  

Kleinman, Mill (2008) “The Beauty of ‘Some Rights Reserved’: Introducing Creative Commons to librarians, faculty, and students. C&RL News. Vol.69, No. 10.

Kleymeer, Pieter, Kleinman, Molly, and Hansee, Ted (2010) “Reaching the Heart of the University: Libraries and the Future of OER” Presented at the Open Education 2010 Conference, November 2-4, 2010. Barcelona Spain. 

Charleston Conference (Nov 2014) issue "Library Roles with Textbook Affordability" Against the Grain 26(5). [Nearly 50+ pages Library and OER projects descriptions] Not Open Access. Ask your Collections Development Department if they have a copy or online subscription.]

Walz, Anita (2015) "Open and Editable: Exploring Library Engagement in Open Educational Resource Adoption, Adaptation and Authoring" Virginia Libraries. Vol.61:23-31.


All original content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 3rd-party content including, but not limited to images and linked items, are subject to their own license terms. CC BY License

Tools and more tools

Open eLearning Content Repositories (by topic)

VT Library eBooks

Communities & Author Tools