Red Light, Green Light: The Intersection of Libraries, Vendors, Apps and OER

Publication Date


Document Type




Publication Title

Charleston Conference

Conference Location

Charleston, SC


San Jose State University has been working to reduce textbook costs to students since 2012 through its Affordable Learning $olutions (AL$) campaign. As part of a larger California State University initiative, SJSU’s AL$ program has been coordinated by two librarians since its inception. Recently, the program has focused on the adoption of open educational resource (OER) material by teaching faculty to help with the rising cost of textbooks.

In this presentation, we will discuss how the maturing field of OER is now intersecting with libraries, vendors, and apps. Participants will learn about developments in OER discovery and ‘acquisition,’ particularly the growing interest of commercial vendors. Questions addressed will include:

  • Who has the responsibility for encouraging integration of these materials into the curriculum?
  • What does the monetizing of OER mean for libraries?
  • Should libraries team up with vendors to promote OER apps and platforms?

If the goal is to lower the cost of textbooks to students, then vendor platforms and apps can be another alternative to consider. By the end of this presentation, participants will have a better idea of whether or not to green light platforms and apps for open educational resources at their own institutions.