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Time-sensitive Advocacy by Tues, 3/26

Dear members,

On Wednesday, March 27, the House Education Committee will vote to send HB 2213 and HB 2214 to the Joint Ways & Means Committee. These bills support open education and affordable textbooks in higher ed.

The committee members need to know that their constituents care about this issue. If you are represented by one of the committee members listed below, will you please email, call, or visit with this message (sample included)?

Find out who represents you: https://bit.ly/1zqJ5pm

HB 2213 would require each of Oregon’s 24 public colleges and universities to create a textbook affordability plan.

HB 2214 continues to fund Oregon’s textbook affordability and open education program, which includes offering grants to faculty who redesign their courses to include open educational resources.

Thank you, and please feel free to share this message!


Chair: Rep Doherty, Democrat – District 35 – Tigard

Vice Chair: Rep Alonso León, Democrat – District 22 – Woodburn

Vice Chair: Cheri Helt, Republican – District 54 – Bend

Rep Hernandez, Democrat – District 47 – Portland

Rep Neron, Democrat – District 26 – Aloha, Beaverton, Hillsboro, King City, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville

Rep Reardon, Democrat – District 48 – Happy Valley

Rep Reschke, Republican – District 56 – Klamath Falls

Rep Sollman, Democrat – District 30 – Hillsboro

Rep Wallan, Republican – District 6 – Medford


Dear Representative _______,

The high cost of textbooks is a barrier to Oregon students completing their college or university degree. HB 2214 continues to fund textbook affordability and open education in Oregon through a program that has a track record of helping students save millions of dollars on textbooks. Can I count on your support for HB 2214 when it is scheduled for a work session?

Please let me know if there are any questions I can answer about this bill.

Thank you,

[constituent name]

Feedback Survey for the ESSA State Plan Framework

Our OLA/OASL/ACRL Task Force on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) continues to work to get school libraries into Oregon’s implementation plan.  You can help by responding to the Oregon Department of Education’s survey on the plan.  The Task Force developed suggestions for some of the questions on the survey.  These are available on the OLA website at http://www.olaweb.org/oregon-school-libraries-and-the-every-student-succeeds-act.  The more input from Oregon’s library community, the better.

The survey closes January 16, so please act now. Take the survey here: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=399

Take Action: Senate Confirming Hearing for Secretary of Education

Senate confirmation hearings begin today for President-Elect Trump’s cabinet nominees. On Wednesday, January 11th at 10:00am, the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions is scheduled to begin hearings on Betsy deVos’ nomination as Secretary of Education. Engage in the process by adding your voice to the conversation. Contact the Committee Chair (R) or the Ranking Member (D) (Oregon has no senators on this committee).

Committee Chair, Lamar Alexandar (R), (202) 224-4944 (Washington, D.C. office)
Ranking Member, Patty Murray (D), (202) 224-2621 (Washington, D.C. office)

ACRL-OR Supports School Library Programs

In a recent collaborative effort between the Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL), the Oregon Library Association (OLA), and the Oregon chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL-OR), a task force formed to write a policy advisory letter to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), regarding their implementation plan for ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). All three organizations respectfully recommended to support school librarians as part of this plan.

ACRL-OR recognizes the role that school libraries play in student learning and success and in creating successful college students, and hope to see this reflected in our state’s implementation of ESSA. At this stage in the process, we believe that combining our support with OASL and OLA will provide the strongest message, but look forward to further supporting this effort from an academic library perspective in the future.  Please read the letter sent to the Deputy Superintendent of ODE in November 2016 here: http://www.olaweb.org/assets/Communications/2016-17_communications/oasllettertoode.pdf

ACRL Road Trip: From Baltimore to Washington, D.C. to Meet Your Legislator

Are you going to the ACRL conference in Baltimore this spring? Interested in a little side trip to Washington, D.C.?

A fellow ACRL-Oregon member suggested that this might be an ideal time to go talk to your legislators! You can make an appointment to talk to legislative staff about what matters to you in Oregon and in your district, be it libraries, copyright, intellectual freedom, privacy, or higher education.

How do I set up a meeting?

Most of the legislators have a “contact me” page on their website and some of them include a “request a meeting” option, which is probably the best way to schedule a meeting. You can also call their DC office directly (again, phone numbers are on the website).

Use this easy tool to find your elected officials: http://cqrcengage.com/alaor/. Enter your zip code to find information tailored to your district.

What do I talk about? Do I have to come up with talking points on my own?

You don’t have to do this alone. There are resources available to help you from:

  • Your own library: Materials from you library (in your legislator’s district) can help you tell your story.
  • The State Library: they make a handout each year of how LSTA dollars are used; additionally, the State Librarian, MaryKay Dahlgreen, is an excellent resource who knows what is happening with libraries, copyright, privacy, etc. at a national level because the State Librarians meet regularly.
  • The OLA Library Development and Legislative Development CommitteeFeel free to contact committee co-chairs Abigail Elder or Janet Webster for any questions or help in preparing for your meeting.

Upcoming Opportunities to Meet Your Legislators

While everyone is energized by getting back to school and putting events on the calendar for the year, here are two great opportunities to meet with legislators this coming school year.

OLA State Legislative Day will be March 1, 2017 in Salem.  Legislators love OLA legislative day! We meet with legislators throughout the day on topics of interest to libraries and our patrons. We also staff a table with children’s books and invite lawmakers to choose a book that we donate to a school or library in their district (we also create READ posters of the legislators holding their book.) We can help you make appointments with your legislators, connect with other library staffers from your district, and provide talking points and issue briefs.

National Library Legislative Day is May 1-2, 2017 in Washington DC.  This is a great way to ensure that your expertise and viewpoints are shared with our legislators, and an awesome development opportunity for anyone interested in advocacy.

If you are interested in either opportunity or want more details, please contact Abigail Elder, co-chair of the OLA Legislative Committee.

OER action around the state

It’s a hot moment for the open education movement in Oregon. Over the past 5 years, I’ve worked on OER (open educational resources) initiatives at two colleges now — Lane Community College and now at Portland Community College — and, finally, it feels like there is statewide momentum. At many institutions, libraries are leading the way to more affordable education by helping instructors replace expensive course materials with open or library-provided materials. ACRL-OR has already honored one great project out of CGCC, and many other colleges are working on similar initiatives.

Here at PCC, we’re proud to report that open and low-cost materials are already saving students over $70,000 per term, but we’re pressing to do more. Our OER Steering Committee, which I co-chair with our fantastic colleague, Rachel Bridgewater, has set a goal to save students 1 million dollars by fall 2017. We currently have 3 PCC teams who received state funding from openoregon.org in math, reading, and health, and I’m working to prep folks to apply for the second round of funding, which should be announced later this fall.

Screenshot of Oregon House Bill 2871

In other big news, over the summer, the Oregon legislature passed a bill, HB 2871, which:

  • funds 2 OER positions within HECC
  • requires HECC to identify OER for 30 transferable, high-enrollment courses
  • funds OER “grant programs” for Oregon colleges and universities
  • requires Oregon colleges and universities to label “low cost or no cost” courses in their catalogs and schedules

Wow. There’s a lot packed in there, and we’ve got our work cut out for us, but, here at PCC, we’re hopeful that this means more productive funding and OER energy from the state.

Meanwhile, back at PCC, I’m grateful to have such wonderful librarian colleagues who have been helping interested faculty in their liaison areas explore OER. Especially at such a large institution, it really takes a village to get any traction. We’ve got faculty in many disciplines experimenting, and some who have used open resources for years, but many are still skeptical. This year, I am going to continue to reach out to faculty, especially in high-enrollment transfer classes where many open options already exists (check out the University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library for a start). If we can get just one or two of those courses to switch from a traditional textbook to an open one, the potential student savings would be huge, and faculty in other areas would have a local model to build upon.

Is your institution exploring or creating OER? How are you involved?

Your Action Needed! Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) reintroduced in 114th Congress

The bipartisan FASTR Act, reintroduced in both the U.S. House and Senate, would require that U.S. federal government agencies with extramural research budgets in excess of $100 million establish consistent, permanent public access policies for articles reporting on their funded research. Today’s SPARC press release notes that “articles reporting on the results of taxpayer-funded research would be made available to the general public to freely access and fully use.  FASTR would codify the 2013 White House Directive to provide greater public access to taxpayer-funded research.”

Academic librarians across Oregon can play an important role in supporting such legislation…make your support known to your elected representatives. SPARC provides an editable letter which can be submitted online to your legislators.Please support the FASTR Act today!

Uta Hussong-Christian
ACRL-OR Vice-president (2014-2015)
Instruction & Science Librarian | Associate Professor
Oregon State University Libraries

Adoption of Oregon school library standards

As we detailed last week, this is the kick-off post to what will hopefully be a long-running monthly series of posts by ACRL-OR Board members. These posts will cover topics ranging from what is happening at specific academic libraries in Oregon, to statewide initiatives that ACRL-OR or OLA are dealing with, to national-level ACRL goings-on.

Each board member is assigned to one of the 58 (who knew!?!) academic libraries in Oregon, but if you have something to share from your local context, feel free to go straight to either the current ACRL-OR President or the Communications Coordinator — see our Board Members page for contact info — and we can help to share your news or ideas.

OASL School Library StandardsThis month, I’d like to briefly highlight some library happenings at the state level. For the past two years, one of the goals of ACRL-OR has been to find ways to support our colleagues who are school librarians or media specialists. Many of you are likely aware of the decline in school libraries across the state (and country) and the impact this has had on school media specialists. As academic librarians, we are concerned about this issue, both because this affects our colleagues, but also because of the impact this shift has on students as they transition to the post-secondary environment. Without a foundation of information literacy instruction provided in the K-12 setting, college and university students’ potential for success is markedly diminished.

One of the ways the Oregon Association of School Librarians has sought to strengthen their position is through the endorsement of school library standards (https://sites.google.com/site/oregonschoollibrarystandards/) by the State Board of Education. ACRL-OR was one of many groups who wrote letters in support of this initiative. As you may know, on January 22, 2015, the Oregon State Board of Education adopted the Oregon School Library Standards. Wahoo!

There is certainly much work ahead for Oregon’s school libraries, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction. Academic librarians can add their support to school libraries by talking to school administrators and local legislators. We need to work as a team as we all seek to cultivate life-long learners, critical thinkers, and engaged citizens.

Hannah Gascho Rempel
ACRL-OR President (2014-2015)
Oregon State University Libraries
Corvallis, OR 97331

OSU Implements Open Access Policy!

The Oregon State University Faculty Senate formally voted yesterday, June 13, 2013, to pass a university-wide open access policy!  Shan Sutton, the Associate University Librarian for Research and Scholarly Communication, and Michael Boock, head of the Libraries Center for Digital Scholarship and Services, spearheaded the OSU Libraries & Press initiative. Both worked closely with the OSU Faculty Senate Library Committee, in particular, Marit Bovbjerg (chair) and Rich Carter, over the many months of outreach and advocacy needed to bring this initiative to fruition.

Shan and Michael both credit numerous library faculty and staff who have worked for several years on outreach and initiatives related to open access. Among them are  Bonnie Avery, Deanne Bruner, Debbie Campbell and Sue Kunda, along with members of the Scholarly Communication Working Group.

Information about the Open Access Policy, including links to various presentations to the OSU Faculty Senate is available at:  http://cdss.library.oregonstate.edu/open-access