Bluford Library Receives LSTA Grant to Lower Class Costs, Boost OER Use

08/02/2023 Library

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 2, 2023) – F.D. Bluford Library at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has received a $31,902 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to support an Open Educational Resources (OER) syllabus review service.

This service is designed to lower the cost of classes for N.C. A&T students and increase the use of high-quality OER within the university.

Bluford Library will pilot the syllabus review service where the grant team will evaluate the cost of a particular class. Each instructor will be provided with a list of free or low-cost alternatives to their course materials, which could include Open Educational Resources or materials licensed by the library.

“This grant has the potential to positively affect how institutions, students, and educators curate and engage in educational resources,” said cataloging and metadata librarian Franklin Robinson, principal investigator (PI).

“The financial impacts of Open Educational Resources are substantial and multifaceted,” he said. “OERs reduce costs for students, educational institutions, and educators, allowing for efficient resource allocation. By leveraging these resources, stakeholders in education can unlock financial savings, promote affordability and accessibility, as well as foster a more inclusive educational environment.”

Bluford Library is working in partnership with A&T’s Extended Campus and Gwendolyn Goddard, Ph.D., associate director of distance education, as co-PI. The grant team also includes Joanie Chavis, the library’s head of Research, Instructional and Engagement Services.

Bluford Library will maintain a collection of low-cost syllabi in A&T’s institutional repository, Aggie Digital Collections & Scholarship, which is hosted on the Digital Commons platform. This collection will help other instructors at the university and beyond identify lower-cost course materials.

LSTA grants are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services for their communities. This grant is one of two competitive LSTA grants Bluford Library received for fiscal year 2023-24.

For more information about A&T’s OER syllabus review service, email Robinson at fcrobins@ncat.edu.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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