Amy Ballmer is Chairperson of Research & Collection Development at the Pratt Institute Libraries and Visiting Professor at Pratt’s School of Information. She holds an M.L.S. in Information and Library Science and an M.S. In Theory, Criticism, and History of Art, Design and Architecture, both from the Pratt Institute. Prior to joining Pratt in 2017 Amy was a reference & instruction librarian at public, academic, and museum libraries in Chicago and New York City. Her research practice is collaborative and centers on a critical examination of how library collections are acquired, described and organized and how this affects scholarship and teaching. Amy first became exposed to the possibilities presented by open access and open education while a librarian at the City University of New York. In 2013 she co-led CUNY’s inaugural Open Textbook initiative efforts and since arriving at Pratt has focused on raising awareness and interest in OA and OER. As an Open Education Leadership Fellow, Amy will gain the skills and insight necessary to move her institution into a more active engagement with and commitment to open education.
Amy’s capstone is a guide that will help Pratt Institute administration and faculty successfully meet strategic plan goals to (1) reduce the cost of a Pratt education and (2) create an open access (OA) repository for faculty and student research, creative work, and pedagogical materials. Although focused on Pratt, the plan set out in the guide is transferable to other art, design, liberal arts institutions that, like Pratt, may struggle with getting a foothold on integrating open education into the curriculum and open access into the research mindset.