LAWRENCE — KU Libraries continue to support open educational resources (OER) by providing grant funding to two KU instructors who have created openly licensed textbooks for use by the public.
The Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, located in Watson Library, manages the OER grant initiative.
Responding to the increased costs of textbooks, KU Libraries have expanded the long-time advocacy for open access into educational resources by implementing an open textbook program at KU. Through contributions by the Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright and private gifts from KU Libraries’ Parents’ Campaign, the initiative has already funded several grants to adopt, adapt or create OER to replace commercial texts in KU classrooms.
“The initiative to reduce the costs for instructional materials is one of the most important efforts the libraries are involved in,” said Kevin L. Smith, dean of libraries. “These grants allow us to put the value we place on open access into practice in a way that also supports another core library value — student success — and we are able to develop partnerships across campus with those who share these goals.”
Laura Hobson Herlihy, a lecturer in Latin American & Caribbean Studies, and Rafael Martins, a doctoral student in philosophy, recently completed their grant-funded projects.
“Green Man/Blue Woman: A Miskitu Operetta Set in the Nicaraguan Rainforest,” written by Herlihy, was published in 2017 and is freely available to access through KU ScholarWorks. The operetta involves themes of politics, romance and voodoo.
“Classics in Moral & Political Philosophy: An Open Collection,” written by Martins, is also available in KU ScholarWorks. Martins used the OER grant to identify and collect public domain copies of classic readings in philosophy in order to curate a collection of primary readings that will replace more costly anthologies frequently used in classes for non-philosophy majors.
“The University of Kansas Libraries, and especially the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright and the Budig Media Production Studio, provided extraordinarily magnificent support for our OER projects, from grant application to everything else you might need,” Martins said. “The staff at KU Libraries were so available and willing to go beyond their best to help us with our project.”