Across the globe, the annual Open Education Week is being celebrated, raising awareness about the increasing price of education, specifically textbooks. This year, AU’s Nicholson Library is joining the celebration, led by Public Services Librarian Heather Myers.
“It is a week where people in higher education support open education and its movements—it’s a week where people can know what’s going on and what kind of services and support they can find in the community,” she said.
Open education is a philosophy about producing, sharing and building on knowledge. Open educational resources (OERs) are open-access resources such as textbooks, lesson plans and presentation slides that can be accessed, reused and modified freely, making education more affordable and realistic for students.
“Education costs have been going up year after year for quite some time—the cost of textbooks has gone up over 1000%,” said Myers. “Open-access textbooks are being produced to alleviate that stress on students because even a little bit of help can be a big boost for student populations.”
Myers explained that she hopes to see more classes on campus using open-access textbooks. Although she anticipates that Open Education Week will bring more awareness to the issue, Myers explained that the change can’t be expected overnight.
“This can be a slow build,” she said. “I don’t know how much you are going to see soon or how soon you will start to see a lot.”
Myers explained that students interested in open education resources can reach out to their professors, as well as reach out to her.
“If anyone wants to talk to me, they’re welcome to drop by or shoot me an email,” she said. “I’d love to discuss their concerns and what’s available.”