Open Education Resources: The New Paradigm in Academic Libraries

Academic library budgets are contracting while library usage is increasing. How can academic libraries best help campuses reduce costs and better serve their communities? One strategy is collecting campus-created content online and making it available through the campus Institutional Repository. All faculty, including tenure track and adjuncts, at California State University San Marcos were invited to participate in a brief Web-based survey with both quantitative and qualitative questions. With an 18% response rate, the survey results indicate a strong interest in free or reduced cost educational materials, as well as a high level of concern about the cost of educational materials. Faculty responses indicate they are looking for alternatives to high priced curriculum materials, and are looking to the library for assistance. The crisis in scholarly communication and educational budgets is coming together to create a surge of support for free or low cost educational resources. Many campuses across the country have created programs to support open educational resources, with the main push coming from campus libraries or librarians. The data from this survey and examination of current campus climate, combined with the analysis of implementation factors by other organizations, will bolster the argument for libraries to create open repositories for campus scholarship.