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List of North American OER Policies & Projects

Open Education

This resource provides examples of how institutions, companies, organizations and state governments across North America are working to expand the use, creation and improvement of Open Educational Resources. The list is not comprehensive but seeks to showcase successful projects, diverse approaches, and library involvement. For suggestions or corrections, contact Brady Yano.

Canadian OER Policies & Projects


  • Modeling a successful program in British Columbia, Campus Alberta launched an OER Initiative to provide funding for the province’s institutions to support development, use and evaluation of OER.

British Columbia

  • BC’s provicial government provided funding for the Open Textbook Project based at BCCampus to provide access to 40 open textbooks.
  • A new grassroots association of librarians called BCOER is working to develop a set of resources to support librarians in their interactions with faculty related to OER. Their first event was a Hackfest in May 2014.


  • The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan signed a tri-province MOU outlining terms for collaboration on open textbooks.

United States OER Policies & Projects


  • Maricopa Community Colleges’ Maricopa Millions project seeks to save students $5 million over 5 years through OER.
  • Arizona State University Libraries have developed a LibGuide for OER.
  • The University of Arizona has a website dedicated to OER supported by the Libraries in collaboration with a broad group of entities on campus.


  • State bills passed in 2012 SB1052 and SB1053 to create a library of 50 open textbooks.
  • UCLA Libraries’ Affordable Course Materials Initiative provides support and awards to faculty to identify free and low-cost alternatives including OER.
  • Cal State East Bay Libraries’ Textbook Alternatives program offers faculty stipends for affordable learning materials including OER.
  • Cal State San Marcos’ Cougars Affordable Learning Materials initiative aims to replace costly textbooks with library materials and OER.
  • San Jose State University’s library has developed an extensive collection of subject guides for OER.
  • Cal Poly Pomona’s library created a set of faculty case studies who have implemented affordable alternatives for students including OER.
  • Cal Poly San Louis Obispo’s library has hired a fellow to oversee the campus’s OER program.


  • In 2015 the state legislature passed SHB 6117 to create a statewide open textbook pilot program.
  • The University of Connecticut has an Open Initiative led by the Libraries in collaboration with others on campus.
  • The Fairfield University Library hosted a day-long workshop on OER.

District of Columbia

  • American University’s Open American initiative seeks to raise awareness and explore use of open textbooks and educational resources.


  • Orange Grove Texts Plus program works with Florida Virtual Campus and the University Press of Florida to curate and publish open textbooks.
  • Florida State University Libraries’ Alternative Textbook Grants program provides mini-grants to instructors to support the use of OER and other low-cost course materials.


  • The University System of Georgia’s Affordable Learning Solutions initiative prioritizes OER and is run by the state’s digital library.
  • Emory University Libraries’ Open Education Initiative provides mini-grants to faculty to support the use of OER and other low cost resources.


  • The University of Hawaii at Manoa has an OER Initiative with the library as a leading partner.






  • MIT’s OpenCourseWare project provides openly licensed course materials such as videos, textbooks and lecture notes for more than 2000 courses.
  • UMass Amherst’s Open Education Initiative has saved students over $1 million by working with faculty to replace expensive textbooks with OER and free materials.
  • Bristol Community College’s Open Education Initiative focuses on information literacy.
  • The North Shore Community College Library included promoting OER as part of its 2014-2015 action plan.


  • University of Michigan’s Open.Michigan project enables the university’s faculty to share OER they create, with a particularly large collection of resources medicine.
  • Washentaw Community College’s library has a detailed set of LibGuides with information about finding, assessing and adopting OER.


  • University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library provides a searchable catalog of open textbooks with faculty reviews. This project has expanded into the Open Textbook Network, of which many campuses on this list are members.
  • State bill passed in 2013 SF1236 including the expanded use of OER as as a performance goal for the MnSCU system.

New Hampshire

New York

North Dakota

  • State resolutions passed in 2013 HCR3009 and HCR3013 calling for the study and use of open textbooks in North Dakota’s higher education institutions.
  • University of North Dakota OER Initiative.



  • University of Oklahoma Libraries’ Alternative Textbook Initiative offers funding and support to faculty, and has a full-time librarian dedicated to OER.



  • Temple University Libraries’ Alternate Textbook Project provides support and funding to faculty to expand the use of OER and other low-cost resources.
  • Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative offers free online courses in a variety of subjects that include adaptive technology.
  • Penn State University’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ OER initiative.

Rhode Island

  • RI Office of Innovation, in partnership with Rhode Island College and all ten other higher education institutions in RI, launched a statewide Open Textbook Initiative to save students $5 million over five years.




  • The Vermont State Colleges’ Hartness Library maintains an extensive guide to OER.


  • Virginia Community College System’s Technology Strategic Plan offers mini-grants to support adoption of OER (pg. 9).
  • Tidewater Community College “Z-Degree” offers OER in every course for its entire business administration program.
  • Northern Virginia Community College offered 12 mini grants to faculty to support OER adoption.
  • Virginia State University’s School of Business revamped its core curriculum using open textbooks, producing improved student outcomes.
  • Virginia Tech’s Library offer assistance to faculty to locate OER.
  • The College of William and Mary library and student government have partnered on an OER initiative.



  • The University of Wisconsin Madison is crafting a strategy for OER as part of the Unizin initiative, and the Libraries have long published a Research Guide on OER.

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