Open Educational Resources and Affordability

Program Description

ACRL’s Open Educational Resources (OER) and Affordability RoadShow will help you understand the basics of OER and how libraries can be involved in affordability initiatives at your institution. This day-long, introductory workshop is intended for academic librarians and library staff interested in learning about OER and/or developing OER initiatives. The workshop begins with a morning of foundational knowledge about OER: What are OER? How do they impact faculty and students? Throughout the day, we also discuss examples of and opportunities for library involvement in affordability initiatives, analyze stakeholders and institutional context, and determine appropriate strategies and goals for real-world application.

Number of presenters: Two presenters for up to 100 participants.

Who Should Attend

This is an introductory workshop designed for attendees new to the topic of OER. It is appropriate for librarians with leadership and administrative responsibilities, liaisons, or any library staff member interested in building a foundational knowledge of affordable and open educational resources. Workshops are also open to campus partners who may be interested in learning about, leading, and/or supporting affordability initiatives, such as instructional designers, campus store managers, student government representatives, administrators, advisors, and others. Campuses considering hosting a workshop exclusive to their institution are encouraged to think broadly and inclusively about attendee invitations.

Learning Outcomes

Workshop participants will be able to...

  • Summarize key principles of open educational resources, affordability, and inclusion in order to explain common motivators and opportunities for the adoption, modification, and creation of open and alternative course materials.
  • Analyze how existing library skills and tools can be leveraged in order to advance the use of open and affordable resources in a variety of institutional contexts.
  • Identify possible roles for librarians and campus partners in supporting open and affordable resource use in order to articulate achievable actions that build community, further knowledge, and/or advance open and affordable resource solutions.

Sample Schedule

Total Time: 8 hours

Part 1: What?

  • 15 Minutes: Welcome and Workshop Overview
  • 75 Minutes: Foundational Knowledge
  • 15 Minutes: Break
  • 60 Minutes: Foundational Knowledge Activities & Discussion

Part 2: How?

  • 45 Minutes: Library Roles
  • 60 Minutes: Lunch
  • 90 Minutes: Stakeholders & Institutional Context
  • 15 Minutes: Break

Part 3: Why?

  • 30 Minutes: Student Voices
  • 45 Minutes: 15% Solutions + My Skills
  • 30 Minutes: Ask Me Anything Discussion


Heather Blicher headshot

Heather Blicher is the Program Director for the Community College Consortium for OER (CCCOER) at Open Education Global. Her focus is to advance the field of open education at community and technical colleges across North America, providing support in developing the next phase of open education innovation. She has 20+ years experience working in public and academic libraries, most recently working with Open Oregon Educational Resources as an equity consultant and instructional designer with a focus in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Heather earned a Master of Science in Information and Library Science from Florida State University, is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC), completed the Creative Commons Certificate program, and is a recipient of ACRL’s Distance Learning Librarianship Award.

Dr. Kathy Essmiller headshot

Dr. Kathy Essmiller is an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University, where she is the Coordinator of OpenOKState/OER Librarian. Kathy holds Masters degrees in trumpet performance and educational technology, a PhD in Learning, Design and Technology, and was a 2019 -2020 Open Education Group OER Research Fellow. Kathy is also a member of GO-GN, and the 2023 recipient of the 2023 Oklahoma Online Excellence | Open Education Impact Award. Kathy’s background is in music education, where she enjoyed over fifteen fantastic years making music with MS/HS band students (including her own two kids).

Ariana Santiago headshot

Ariana Santiago is the Head of Open Education Services at the University of Houston Libraries, where she provides leadership and strategy for open education services. She collaborates with Libraries and campus partners on services and resources that advance open education and pedagogy, including the adoption and creation of open educational resources. Ariana is a graduate of the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program and the American Library Association Emerging Leaders Program. Ariana earned an M.A. in Applied Learning and Instruction from the University of Central Florida, an M.A. in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida, and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida.

Bring this workshop to your campus!

Contact Margot Conahan at for more details.