Call for Members – NEW LIBER Working Group on Educational Resources
In these extraordinary days of online teaching and learning, librarians are supporting their faculty with educational resources. This spring, LIBER is starting a new working group on Educational Resources in support of European librarians in their role to provide educational resources, both open and online.
The Rationale for this New Working Group
- As LIBER libraries are supporting research universities with collections and research support, during recent years their focus has broadened to supporting teaching and learning. At the LIBER Annual Conferences, we have seen growing interest in topics that address teaching and learning. A number of papers have addressed Open Educational Resources (OER), open education, student interaction (‘makerspaces’), and information literacy.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented move to online teaching and rising demand for online educational resources. Many research librarians are working very hard to support their teachers with advice on licenses, finding and (re-)using resources, and innovative methods for online interaction based on content (online feedback tooling etc.). There is a definite rise in the demand for Open Educational Resources (OER) and support for the creation and sharing of e-textbooks.
- There are specific issues arising when dealing with educational resources compared to research collections: the e-textbook market is a challenge, there are no consortium deals for educational content, resources come in different forms and shapes, language is a more important factor in education than it is in research, the diversity of the educational system throughout Europe, etc. While learning from developments supporting research, working with educational resources requires specific attention.
Librarians and Educational Resources
Libraries support their faculty with educational collections: on-site, online, and/or open, as books, e-textbooks, coursepacks, educational platforms, video, in 3D or VR, etc. The Working Group on Educational Resources will help librarians with their support on how to find, use, create, and share educational resources.
How to Find
The discovery of educational content requires a different focus with regards to educational level, language, quality assurance, and where to find it. Traditionally, libraries have always supported teaching with the provision of textbooks. Books on reading lists are available at the library, and teachers are supported when setting up the lists and choosing the right versions. For several years now, reading list software is taken into production and in connection to library systems to help setting up the lists. But to find and make available all content that is consistent with the intended learning outcomes, requires more than the traditional library discovery.
How to Use
What are restrictions in copyright when it comes to using the material in an educational environment? What can be used for what educational level? Can the material be edited and re-used in a different setting? And can e-textbooks be bought only at enormous costs for single concurrent users or can we work together in changing publisher models?
How to Create
Educational resources should not just transfer passive knowledge but should attract students into active learning and participation. What does that mean for the creation of educational material? Which pedagogical approaches can be applied? And how can we trust the quality, when peer review processes are not in place as they are in the publication process of research publications? There are many platforms and publishing tools that can help teachers create e-textbooks. The library can help setting up these platforms, offering support for using them and managing the content.
How to Share
While teaching online, teachers create courses and content that is worthy of being shared among colleagues. The library can help to preserve newly created content and can support sharing this content with the right licenses and copyright compliance. As OER repositories have existed for a long time already, use and demand have risen enormously, and librarians are needed to manage the repositories and help their faculty use them. Supporting open education through Open Educational Resources is a growing topic for librarians. While OER Librarian is a job title at libraries in the US, European libraries have started to work in this area as well. Practical support is needed when it comes to the creation, sharing, and finding OER but also with strategy, lobby, and policy building, making use of experiences in the field of Open Access/ Open Science.
Goals of the Working Group on Educational Resources
The Working Group on Educational Resources will support librarians on how to find, use, create and share educational resources. The new working group will set up knowledge exchange on library support for educational resources and will focus on how to:
- Help teachers find useful materials
- Manage and re-use educational materials
- Bring new developments in educational content into the university.
The Working Group will also work on the advancement of Open Educational Resources to:
- Promote the creation and use of OER
- Support management and worldwide sharing of OER
- Be ambassadors of including Open Education in Open Science programmes.
The new LIBER working group will work together with the SPARC Europe-led European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL) on achieving common Open Education goals and on their implementation. Both the LIBER working group and ENOEL support and promote Open Education messages in their our networks. They will jointly focus on selected common activities and complementing each other’s work.
Call for Members
LIBER is looking for members to join this new Educational Resources Working Group. Librarians working in education/collections support and willing to contribute to resource sharing, setting up joint activities to advance library support for educational content are called upon to join this new group. Since it is a new group, decide on common goals, setting up a plan and prioritise activities will be the first steps of the new members.
For information, please contact the LIBER Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or chair of the new Working Group, Hilde van Wijngaarden (email@example.com).