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Friday, October 22 • 10:00am - 10:25am
The UNESCO OER Recommendation and Europe's Academic Libraries

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Academic librarians are crucial actors in implementing OE policy, practice and principles and they have played a pivotal role in advancing them, developing Open Access, Open Scholarship and Open Science policies and practices.

SPARC Europe together with the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL) is gaining insights into Open Education (OE) practices within academic libraries of Higher Education in Europe. Covid-19 has shown us how important it is to have open digital educational resources for all. The European academic library community is helping us see how we can increase access to Open Education by participating in the “Open Education in European Libraries of Higher Education” Survey 2021.

Whilst some Higher Education libraries have taken on the OE challenge, others are still to do so. The aim of this survey is to explore and collect information about the work done by academic librarians to implement the UNESCO OER Recommendation, published in Nov 2019. The survey, developed in consultation with members of the ENOEL, is designed around the five areas of action of the Recommendation: Building capacity, Developing supportive policy, Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER, Sustaining OER, Promoting and reinforcing international cooperation. It was conducted from May to June 2021 and received 233 responses, providing a snapshot of OE in numerous European universities.

Survey data will influence SPARC Europe activities going forward to provide librarians with Open Education support. In that sense, we look forward to understanding 1) how librarians can weave the UNESCO recommendations into their day-to-day duties, 2) which challenges they encounter and 3) how we can increase and support Open Education in academic libraries of Higher Education in the future. The presentation will highlight some of these answers.

Many European librarians contributed to our survey on the same topic in 2019. The 2021 edition of the survey is slightly different in that it aims specifically to explore and collect information about Covid, on one side, and the work done by academic librarians to implement the five UNESCO OER Recommendation’s areas of action, on the other. We will also compare and contrast certain results of both surveys also seeing what has changed over time.

Through a conversation between the two presenters, the video will share a bird’s-eye view of the state of the art of the work of European academic librarians in OE; their challenges and benefits, and needs, will have a special focus in this presentation.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Widen their knowledge about how the areas of the UNESCO OER Recommendation are tackled in Europe at the present time in the context of academic libraries
  • Analyse the benefits and the challenges European librarians are encountering to have a different look at their own
  • Focus on the needs expressed by European Librarians and compare them with those in their context, or start a plan to collect them if not yet done
  • Generate new ideas to plan action toward the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation in the five areas of action.

avatar for Gema Santos-Hermosa

Gema Santos-Hermosa

Professor, University of Barcelona
Gema Santos-Hermosa hold a Ph.D in Information Science and Communication. Her doctoral thesis discusses the development and reuse of open educational resources (OER) in higher education. She is a professor at University of Barcelona (UB), in the Information and Audiovisual Media faculty... Read More →
avatar for Paola Corti

Paola Corti

Oe Community Manager, SPARC_EU

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Friday October 22, 2021 10:00am - 10:25am EDT
Room B