By: Paul Glassman, Justin Thomas, Emily Apterbach  | 

Yeshiva University Libraries Take Proactive Steps Towards Affordable Education with Open Educational Resources  

Yeshiva University Libraries have set ambitious goals for 2023-2025, strategically incorporating open educational resources (OER) into their initiatives. OER includes a diverse range of freely accessible teaching, learning and research materials, including textbooks, articles, videos, software and more, all made available under an open license. We also encourage using materials that are available via Yeshiva University Libraries. The move to OER adoption and leveraging library-licensed materials as textbook alternatives aligns with the university's commitment to supporting student success by addressing the escalating costs of textbooks and promoting equitable access to essential course materials. 

Recognizing the financial constraints students face due to soaring textbook expenses, Yeshiva University Libraries are championing OER and using library-licensed materials as a valuable alternative. The initiative aims to create courses with zero textbook costs, ensuring that all students have equal access to required materials from the beginning of their courses. This proactive approach not only eliminates delays in learning but also reduces the need for students to catch up later. 

In a significant recognition of their efforts, the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) invited Yeshiva University to participate in its prestigious 2023-24 Institute on Open Educational Resources. The YU team, consisting of Paul Glassman (Director of Scholarly and Cultural Resources, Benjamin Gottesman Librarian), Wendy Kosakoff (Public Services and Outreach Librarian, Pollack Library), Emily Apterbach (Research & Instruction Librarian, Hedi Steinberg Library), Sara Asher (Dean of Students), Lauren Fitzgerald (Professor, Department of English and Director, Wilf Campus Writing Center) and Justin Thomas (User Experience Librarian), collaborated to develop an action plan. This plan focuses on further promoting affordability on YU's campuses. 

As part of the action plan, Yeshiva University librarians will collaborate with faculty members in high-enrollment courses during the spring of 2024. Together, they will identify open educational resources to replace costly textbooks for the fall 2024 semester. This collaborative effort marks a significant stride towards the university's commitment to providing an affordable education for all students.

Paul Glassman is the director of scholarly and cultural resources and Benjamin Gottesman Librarian at the Mendel Gottesman Libary on Wilf Campus.

Justin Thomas is the public services and user experience librarian at the Pollak Libary on Wilf Campus.

Emily Apterbach is a research and instruction librarian at the Hedi Steinberg Library on Beren Campus.


Photo Caption: Yeshiva University Libraries are incorporating open educational resources into their initiatives

Photo Credit: Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons