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ACRL/CJCLS OER Librarian Toolkit

Created by the CJCLS OER Taskforce with the purpose of advancing capacity in OER Research.


Image of four circles that include the term OER

Welcome to the OER Librarian Toolkit

This toolkit was developed based on a survey conducted by the OER Taskforce under the leadership of Walter Butler.  We hope that value of this toolkit will be in connecting librarians with active OER Communities and resources that reflect the value of  the work of academic librarians. 

Please contact editor Walter Butler or Roe McKernan with suggestions.

Scope Notes

This toolkit is not intended to be a guide about copyright in general or a list of existing OER repositories. You can find a list of example OER LibGuides, or use SPARC's "Connect OER" to discover OER activities.


Nathasha Alvarez, East Los Angeles Community College

Heather Blicher, Southern New Hampshire University

Rowena McKernan, MLIS  Whatcom Community College

OER Committee

Coffee & Conversations

Accessibility - Questions Handout

April 4, 2022, at 1 PM ET 

Summer 2021 Webinars

During the Summer of 2021, the OER Committee put on these two panels. If you have further questions, please contact the committee. 

OER: What's Next? Series

OER: What's next? Equity Diversity July 22, 2021

Panel: Equity through OER: a Blueprint and Rubric Presentation by Ann Fiddler & Dr. Rebecca Karoff

Recording Link:

Slides Link:

OER: What’s next? Accessibility - August 3, 2021

Panel: Creating and Evaluating Accessible OER Presentation by Elisabeth Morel & Aura Lippincott 

Recording Link:

Slides Link:



Why Accessibility?

"Accessibility is important for everyone and benefits everyone. Open access and open pedagogy is about building and sharing knowledge with as many people as possible and accessibility is part of that mission and means making your OER usable by people of all abilities.  In addition, with the increase of student centered content creation, we need to make sure the creation side of digital tools, platforms, and projects are also accessible to as many people as possible." 

From Digital Tool Box for Teaching and Scholarship, created by Brooklyn College Library, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Overview Article

OER & Accessibility: Working Toward Inclusive Learning
Examines topics including 'Design as a Privilege and a Responsibility' and 'How OER Can Enhance Accessibility.' From Camille Thomas and SPARC. (2018, October 9).



Selected Resources & Toolkits


About OER Advocacy - Introduction

Successful OER advocacy requires a range of skills, knowledge, and interests, including:

  • Passion about the concept of openness
  • Clarity on the economic and pedagogical benefits of OER
  • Insight into how the policy environment may constrain or enable OER use
  • Understanding of the pros and cons of different open licensing arrangements
  • Access to practical examples of OER use to illustrate key points
  • Up-to-date knowledge of the arguments for and against the use of OER
  • Ability to engage audiences effectively 
  • Capacity to leverage students, administrators, faculty, and library staff as advocacy partners

(From: The Learning Portal: College Libraries Ontario, with content derived from A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources by Commonwealth of Learning, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)

Recommended Tools

Explore these areas.

Spotlight: "Make Textbooks Affordable" Student PIRGs Campaign

While the campaign is designed for use by students in their advocacy efforts, many research reports and ROI information is available that can inform your own advocacy practices.

Assessment & Research

Research Tools

OER Research Toolkit
From Open Education Group

Open Education Group Publications
Many of the publications are based on the COUP Research Framework (see tab 'OER Frameworks').


An Open Education Reader
A collection of readings on open education with commentary. Created for a graduate course at Brigham Young University. Edited by David Wiley.

Policies & Initiatives

"Free to Learn" Guide
An OER Policy Development Guidebook for Community College Governance Officials.  Written by Hal Plotkin and published by Creative Commons.

The Evolution of Affordable Content Efforts in the Higher Education Environment: Programs, Case Studies, and Examples
Provides both inspiration and guidance for those beginning work on affordable content and evidence of the growth that has occurred in this arena over the last decade.

Calculate Your Impact


Open Pedagogy Basics

Image result for open pedagogyOpen Pedagogy refers to collaborative teaching and learning practices that help educators to advance a culture of sharing and active learning through OER.1

Open Pedagogy matters because

  • It can support students in developing critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
  • It may enable educators to expand their academic competencies, and create more collaborative, engaging learning experiences for students.

Recommended Resources

OER Communities

OER Communities

Community College Consortium for Open Education Resources

Community College Consortium for Open Education Resources

"CCCOER is a growing consortium of community and technical colleges committed to expanding access to education and increasing student success through adoption of open educational policy, practices, and resources. We are celebrating our 10th Anniversary in 2017-18 with retrospectives from the amazing visionaries, leaders, and members who have contributed to building our community."

SPARC Open Logo


"SPARC is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education".

The SPARC Libraries & OER Forum (LibOER) is a vibrant community of practice for academic and research librarians interested in open education. Established in 2013, this network connects more than 1,000 subscribers primarily in the U.S. and Canada through a public email discussion list and a monthly community call. The goals of this forum are:

  • Enable librarians (and others connected to the library community) to share ideas, resources and best practices pertaining to OER and open educational practices.
  • Support coordination on librarian-focused events and educational programming about OER.
  • Disseminate important updates about policy, research, projects and other news from the broader OER movement.

Subscribe to the email discussion list

Publishing OER


Rebus iconRebus Community | Collaboration & Community for OER

"Rebus Community is a platform for creating and publishing open textbooks. We provide OER projects with publishing guidance, support forums, a Contributor Marketplace, and dedicated discussion spaces."  This community includes project homepages where project leads and contributors can track progress, publicize news, and communicate needs. This is a great place to begin if you are new to managing open textbook creation.

Image result for library Publishing CoalitionLibrary Publishing Coalition

"The LPC is an independent, community-led membership association of academic and research libraries and library consortia engaged in scholarly publishing."

Publishing Tools


Related image Open publishing. Open web. Open source.

"Pressbooks is a book content management system that exports in multiple formats: ebooks, webbooks, print-ready PDF, and various XML flavours. The system is built on top of WordPress Multisite, and makes significant changes to the admin interface, web presentation layer and export routines of a vanilla WordPress install."

Resource Spotlight:

The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)

Authors: Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde

"The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) is a living repository of collective knowledge, written to equip all those who want to publish open textbooks with the resources they need. Representing two years of collaboration, innumerable conversations and exchanges, and a wide range of collective knowledge and experience, the Guide is a book-in-progress and will evolve and grow over time."

Coko Foundation


"PubSweet is a free, open source framework for building state-of-the-art publishing platforms. PubSweet enables you to easily build a publishing platform tailored to your own needs. It is designed to be modular and flexible. PubSweet consists of a server and client that work together, and both can be modified and extended with components to add functionality to the system. There's also a command-line tool that helps manage PubSweet apps."

OER Frameworks

Theoretical and conceptual frameworks provide evidence of academic standards and procedure. They also offer an explanation of why the study is pertinent and how the researcher expects to fill the gap in the literature. 

Imenda, S. (2014). Is there a conceptual difference between theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Journal of Social Sciences, 38(2), pp.185-195.

Research Frameworks

COUP Framework (Open Education Group)

Image representing COUP Framework which includes Cost, Outcomes, Use, Perceptions
"An approach to studying the impact of open educational resources (like open textbooks) and open pedagogy in secondary and post-secondary education." COUP stands for:

  • Cost
  • Outcomes
  • Usage
  • Perceptions



CARE Framework

"The purpose of the CARE Framework is to articulate a set of shared values and a collective vision for the future of education and learning enabled by the widespread adoption and use of OER. It aims to address the question of how an individual, institution, or organization seeking to be a good steward can contribute to the growth and sustainability of the OER movement consistent with the community’s values."

  1. Contribute: OER stewards actively contribute to efforts, whether financially or via in-kind contributions, to advance the awareness, improvement, and distribution of OER; and
  2. Attribute: OER stewards practice conspicuous attribution, ensuring that all who create or remix OER are properly and clearly credited for their contributions; and
  3. Release: OER stewards ensure OER can be released and used beyond the course and platform in which it was created or delivered; and
  4. Empower: OER stewards are inclusive and strive to meet the diverse needs of all learners, including by supporting the participation of new and non-traditional voices in OER creation and adoption.

Developed by Lisa Petrides, Douglas Levin, and C. Edward Watson.


OER Adoption PyramidOER Adoption Pyramid

"This analytical framework helps distinguish and compare the factors shaping lecturers’ OER adoption which are both immediate (over which they have personal control) and remote (over which they have less or no control)"

Cox, G., & Trotter, H. (2017). An OER framework, heuristic and lens: Tools for understanding lecturers’ adoption of OER. Open Praxis, 9(2), 151-171. doi: