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The Forest

LIT Advisory Committee Minutes: March 29, 2017

LIT Advisory Committee Minutes 03-29-2017
Present:  Bob Holliday (Chair), Jim Cubit, Kent Grote, Beatrice Skeffington-Palmieri ’19, Dominique Allion
Guest: Cory Stevens
Open Educational Resources
Jim Cubit and Cory Stevens presented information on the open education resources  (OER) movement.  OERs are freely accessible, openly licensed materials that are useful for teaching and learning.  The interest in OERs has grown in recent years in response to the rising costs of textbooks.  For example, in the past 10 years, textbooks have increased in cost by 88%.  In the fall of 2016, the average price of a textbook was $251.  Access to supporting educational material has been shown to be an important contributor to student academic success, and there is growing concern that this success is threatened as the cost of learning materials rises. 
Some faculty have chosen to create their own supplemental educational materials in lieu of assigning a textbook.  There are now efforts underway to coordinate and support the sharing of these materials.  A leading example is the Open Textbook Network, developed at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Open Education.  They provide support to faculty who are developing OERs and also maintain a repository of openly licensed textbooks available for anyone to download and use for free.  Two consortia that the library belongs to are exploring a consortial membership in the Open Textbook Network.   An institution does not have to be a member of the Open Textbook Network to use the openly licensed textbooks.
The library will keep appropriate campus groups aware of future OER developments.  
Lever Press
Jim informed the committee about the Lever Press, a new endeavor that is editorially aligned with the ethos and mission of liberal arts colleges.  The press publishes open access, digitally native, peer-reviewed scholarly monographs with a special focus on publishing scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.  Authors and their supporting institutions are not charged publication fees by the press.  Mark Edington, Director of the Amherst College Press and member of the Lever Press Operations Group, will be on campus at an event co-sponsored by the Learning and Teaching Center and LIT on Tuesday, April 4th to present more information to faculty about the Lever Press.  The discussion will take place at noon in Donnelley and Lee Library room 221.  Soup and salad will be available. 
Next meeting is scheduled for April 19, 12pm.
Dominique Allion