5 Leveraging Library Resources and Expertise

Ann Ludbrook and Ryerson University

Affordable Course Reading Discovery and Librarians

Librarians can be a great help in discovering open educational materials (OER) and open textbooks to be used in a zero textbook cost (ZTC) course. And also in how to use the library’s subscribed online resources in a ZTC course. TRU has an Open Education Librarian to help advise you on materials that might work for your course, and may have work plans available on how to support focused OER searching.[1] A librarian may be able to find a textbook or other resource that maps well to the current commercial textbook you are using. The TRU Library’s Open Education Resources (OER) LibGuide gives background on OER and highlight the best places to find different types of OER.

Course Reading List Service

The TRU Library’s Course Reading List Service provides instructors and students with one single online access point for course reading materials while assuring copyright compliance. Faculty can add, edit, and customize course reading lists. It functions like a digital course-pack or eReserves, and is accessible, free, and available to students 24 hours a day. The reading list can be integrated into a Moodle course, but also resides on the Library Reserves listing where students can browse the course reading lists by course name and number, instructor, and broad subject area. It can contain links to already licensed library e-resources (i.e., eBooks, articles, or streaming video), scanned copies of parts of print books and journal articles under TRU fair dealing guidelines,¬†information that you have personally created for student use (i.e. test solutions, drawings, notes, etc.),¬†web links to material on the public web, and/or web links to OER (including open textbooks) or public domain resources.

eBook and Scholarly Articles

Many of the TRU Library’s licensed eBooks have licences that allows access by multiple students in a course. Ask your subject librarian to check to see what the licence permissions are for an eBook that you want to use in your course. Please note that commercial textbooks are not available to be purchased in this model. Librarians can also help you find high quality peer-reviewed articles for courses. Scholarly online articles or eBook chapters can often be used in teaching as links or in PDF format in a password protected LMS – depending on the licence. Your subject librarian can help you with information about the Terms of Use of these resources.


Librarians can help with spreading the word about ZTC Degrees, though workshops and on boarding training for instructors. Librarians can also help train instructors in engaging with various aspects of open education, including how and where to find OER, tips on assessing the quality of OER, navigating Creative Commons licences, getting started with open pedagogy, and/or facilitating OER Writing Sprints. Reach out to the Open Education Librarian for more information.

Library Publishing Services – KEEP????

Some libraries even have services to assist with publishing OERs and grant programs available. Check to see if that service is available at your institution. For example SUNY Open Textbooks is a library initiative that supports publishing OER and has had more than 250000 textbook downloads worldwide.[2] Ryerson University Library in 2018 launched a pilot OER Grant program for $30000 that is continuing into Fall 2019.[3]


  1. West, Q. (n.d.). Searching for open materials. Libraries as Leaders. Retrieved from https://libraryasleader.org/searching-for-open-materials/
  2. SUNY Geneseo. (n.d.). Publishing, Digital Projects, & Scholarship. Retrieved from https://www.geneseo.edu/library/publishing
  3. Ryerson University Library (2018, 23 July). 2018/19 Ryerson University Library and Archives OER Grants. Retrieved from https://library.ryerson.ca/blog/2018/07/2018-19-ryerson-university-library-and-archives-oer-grants/ l


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Leveraging Library Resources and Expertise Copyright © by Ann Ludbrook and Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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