CARL Ignites Strategic Discussion by OER Librarian Leaders
The past seven years have seen the development of provincial funding programs and individual projects across Canada aimed at lowering the cost of student learning materials while also offering instructors accessible content that they can tailor and develop to suit their evolving pedagogical practices. In 2012, BCcampus launched Canada’s first publicly funded open textbook development project, followed by initiatives in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario.
Individual OER projects aimed at supporting a specific course or area of study have also cropped up at post-secondary educational institutions throughout Canada, often the result of collaborations involving faculty, librarians, and centres for teaching and learning.
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries has been monitoring the development of OER for several years. CARL plans on supporting its member institutions in their OER endeavours by coordinating expertise, training, infrastructure, and other areas to advance the OER movement in Canada.
To jumpstart these future initiatives, CARL invited ten emerging and established library leaders in OER to a one-day working meeting to identify needs at the national level, to help define a possible role for CARL as well as possible collaborations with existing organizations at the helm of open education advocacy and production.
The meeting was hosted on August 22, 2018 by York University Libraries and led by York’s Dean of Libraries, Joy Kirchner, who also sits on CARL’s Advancing Research Committee.
eCampusOntario Program Coordinator Lillian Rigling participated in the event: “It was amazing to see Canadian librarians come together to discuss their commitment and passion for building capacity for Open Education work. eCampusOntario is excited to continue to be a part of supporting librarians’ interest and involvement in Open Education initiatives.”
CARL is confident that with continued input from this group, as well as from the rest of the burgeoning librarian OER community in Canada, we will soon be able to announce a slate of activities that supplement existing opportunities for Canadian academic and research libraries within open education.