Our sister school at UMass Amherst is at the forefront of the Open Text, or Open Educational Resoures (OER) movement. Fueled by the dedication and enthusiasm of librarian Marilyn Billings and her colleagues, Amherst's program is now a national model, for reasons listed below.
Amherst's program incorporates the main elements of Open Texts
1. Specifically, featuring open-access educational resources (OERs) published on the Internet, and shared as part of the Creative Commons
2. Including library-licensed and owned resource packets (e-books and journal articles)
3. Featuring textbooks that faculty produce; i.e. Creative Commons Texts
Amherst's program offers competitive, Open Text grants to its faculty
1. A competitive grant program both motivates and compensates its faculty for the extra time and effort required to pursue any of the OER options
Amherst Librarian Marilyn Billings notes:
Based on my experiences at UMB and UMD, it’s useful to have a program for the campus. We’d be glad to participate and I could recommend pulling in an outside speaker as well. In addition, I’d recommend that the library partner with academic IT and Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (or equivalent) to provide the support needed by the faculty. I also created a small group (4-5 people) of faculty and support partners to review the proposals.