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Supporting the role of libraries in education

Open Educational Resources

SB 810, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2017, required the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to undertake a study to determine the feasibility of creating a state repository of open educational resources (OER). In conducting the study, THECB was required to seek input from relevant state agencies, textbook publishers, representatives of the open educational resource community, and other stakeholders.

THECB hosted a meeting in Austin to gather insights and information from invited stakeholders. Texas’ college and university libraries were well represented, and Tracey Mendoza, Dean for Academic Success: Learning Support at Northeast Lakeview College, a member of the Texas Library Association Legislative Committee participated as the association’s representative.

Several key issues were raised for THECB consideration:

Clearly defined scope – What need will a statewide repository meet? What problem(s) will it solve? How will it support institutions as they implement OER?

Budget – Developing a statewide depository will be a very expensive endeavor. Does the state have the resources? Would the Legislature be willing to allocate adequate funds for development, and ongoing support and management?

Usage and Discovery – Much of the reluctance in adopting OER is due to the difficulty in curating resources from boundless sites and resources, questions of authoritativeness, lack of course alignment in scope and sequence, limited value-added enhancements like test-banks and interactive activities, and the inability to embed in Learning Management Systems. How will a statewide repository address these issues?

Quality – It is important that faculty trust the value of the OER. Will a statewide repository allow for robust peer-reviews of materials, and support faculty ratings and comments?

Role of Librarians – As Nicole Allen, director of open education at SPARC stated, “Searching is not finding.”  Librarians and instructional designers are essential to OER creation and discovery. They have the expertise to assist faculty searching for appropriate materials, and to create robust course and instruction materials. How will a statewide repository support this?

EC – 12 School Libraries

The time to advocate for your library is before you face budget or program cuts. The Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL), a TLA division, provides resources which designed to support school librarians’ proactive efforts to keep your effective school library program whole, and growing. White papers, webinar recordings, and toolkits are available on the TASL Advocacy Resources page.

School Library Program Standards 2018

Revised and adopted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commissioners on March 9, 2018. The revised standards establish guidelines for school library programs at five levels: distinguished, accomplished, proficient, developing, and improvement needed. Supplemental Resources and Crosswalks were also developed and are available on the TSLAC website.

Download the standards

School Administrator’s Toolkit

From interview questions to checklists for posting job descriptions, to strategies for creating a vibrant school library program, this tool kit offers a wealth of resources. It is designed for school administrators and HR departments to better inform them when hiring and retaining library personnel.

School Administrator’s Toolkit






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