KU Libraries to host Pressbooks workshop, announce Textbook Hero during Open Education Week 

KU Libraries’ Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright will host a workshop on Pressbooks, the Libraries’ open textbook publishing platform, and announce the 2023 Textbook Heroes selection during an online event on Wednesday, March 8, at 10 a.m., in conjunction with Open Education Week (March 6-10). As defined by Scholarly Publishing and Resources Coalition (SPARC), “Open Education encompasses resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment." 

Registration is now open for the free online workshop, which will introduce Pressbooks, provide an overview of the platform and time for hands-on practice. The participants will learn how to use Pressbooks to create or adapt open textbooks, which support their teaching and students’ success. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in Q&A with Heather Mac Bean, the Open Education Librarian of the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright. Examples of open textbooks by KU authors include, “Speak Out, Call In: Public Speaking as Advocacy” by Dr. Meggie Mapes and “Problem Solving in Teams and Groups” by Dr. Cameron Piercy. 

“Pressbooks has been an amazing partner and platform as I’ve written, developed, and edited my open textbook, 'Speak Out, Call In: Public Speaking as Advocacy,’” said Mapes, Introductory Course Director in Communications Studies. “The platform is user-friendly, and the Pressbooks staff have been responsive, timely and helpful as I workshopped how to organize the content and make images accessible. While new software can feel daunting, I felt much more confident and capable after a few short tutorial videos.” 

At the online event, KU Libraries will announce the 2023 Textbook Hero, recognizing a colleague in the KU community who has significantly contributed to Open Education. Since 2019, KU Libraries has used the Textbook Heroes program to honor members of the KU community who have taken extraordinary initiative to increase the affordability of required course materials. Last spring’s cohort included members of KU's Open Language Resource Center (OLRC), who work to increase the capacity to teach and learn foreign languages, and Axel Heinichen, a KU Open Educational Resources (OER) student helping transition OER materials to Pressbooks. 

Open Education Week, an annual, global event aimed at raising awareness about OER, began in 2012 and provides an opportunity to participate host activities, share open assets, engage in conversation, attend events hosted by others and promote Open Education in the community.  

Learn more about KU Libraries’ Open Education Resources. General inquiries or questions about the event can be directed at Heather Mac Bean, heather-macbean@ku.edu or oer@ku.edu.