The Student Government Association has named the UT Libraries their SGA Campus Partner of the Year for 2017-18. Librarian Rachel Caldwell accepted the award at SGA’s Transition Ceremony on April 26.
The UT Libraries was recognized for collaborating with SGA to encourage the use of open educational resources (OER) in university courses. Open textbooks, one type of OER, can be read online for free, potentially saving each student hundreds of dollars a year. For several years, the Libraries has spearheaded an effort, led by scholarly communication librarian Rachel Caldwell, to inform campus about how open textbooks benefit both students and instructors.
In 2017, the Libraries worked with SGA to establish the SGA Open Education Award, which recognizes instructors who adopt OER in their courses. Together, SGA and the Libraries have been tracking the savings from adoptions of open textbooks. During the 2017-18 academic year, UT instructors who adopted open textbooks in their courses saved students almost $750,000.
The Libraries’ administration also was acknowledged for inviting SGA input to library planning with a standing invitation to the SGA president or delegate to hold an ex officio seat on the Libraries’ Dean’s Student Advisory Committee (DSAC). This ensures valuable feedback from SGA on improving library services and resources. DSAC members, in turn, were invited to review nominations and make recommendations for SGA Open Education Awards.
Rachel Caldwell and student success librarian Anna Sandelli, both of whom worked closely with the SGA over the past year, look forward to another productive year of collaboration in 2018-19.