Amanda Zerangue, MLS, JD is the Manager of Digital Services and Scholarly Communication Librarian at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Libraries. Amanda facilitates the digital scholarship services for the TWU community, specifically within the areas of Open Educational Resources (OER), scholarly publication and copyright, and licensing. In partnership with several campus departments, Amanda leads TWU’s OER initiative, named Helping Education with Alternate Resources and Textbooks, or H.E.A.R.T Initiative, with the goal of spreading awareness and education about this powerful opportunity to support student success. Prior to transitioning into academic librarianship, Amanda practiced school law for a number of years. Her research interests include copyright law, author rights, open access, and open educational resources.
In 2018, in an effort to develop a presence in support of Open Educational Resources (OER), the TWU Libraries implemented its “Helping Education with Alternate Resources and Textbooks Initiative,” or H.E.A.R.T. Initiative. The main objectives of the H.E.A.R.T. Initiative include introducing OER to the TWU community, assisting faculty members interested in substituting OER for traditional textbooks, and supporting faculty members in their application to the Texas OER Grant Program.
As part of my capstone for the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, and in an effort to create a more unified presence on campus, I sought strategic campus partners to help design, financially support, and promote campus programming and other incentives. The most important deliverable from this collaboration was the creation of the Departmental Award for Textbook Cost Savings. The process of developing this award and lessons learned can be found in my SPARC Capstone Final Report, Developing and Implementing a Departmental Award for Textbook Savings at Texas Woman’s University. Now, the TWU Libraries, in partnership with the Center for Faculty Excellence, Office of Technology, and Teaching & Learning with Technology together support programming and incentives to spread awareness about OER and other textbook cost savings options. This partnership strengthened and magnified the campus impact of OER, resulting in support at the highest level of campus administration.
My community resource, Collaborations and Conversations: Establishing an Open Educational Resources Initiative at a Small Public University, uses TWU as a case study to explore the unique concerns at a smaller university when beginning a grass-roots OER initiative. Starting with the initial project charter, this guide tracks the critical conversations with campus stakeholders, the development of the Departmental Award for Textbook Savings, as well as a recent proposal to further scale OER at TWU. Project and proposal outlines, marketing materials, and other documentation of the OER initiative may be reused and repurposed by others. My hope is that this guide will be useful and informative to other smaller institutions with minimal financial support for campus initiatives, particularly one which does not receive state or federal funding to incentivize adoption.