OER information workshop at CSI

[Note: we can use this image because the creator released it as "public domain" with the following statement: "I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law." Pretty cool, right?!]

On April 11, 2018, Anne Hays gave a workshop on how faculty can lower cost barriers for their students using Open Educational Resources (OER). She began by describing the problem: not only has the cost of education continued to increase while state and federal funding have decreased, but textbook costs have risen at 3–4 times the rate of inflation.  At CUNY, students are advised to budget $1,364–$1,516 for textbooks for two semesters. Economics professor John Lynham from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa explains why textbook costs have risen so dramatically.

In 2017, CUNY received a $4 million grant from the New York State Governor’s Office to support OER initiatives across the CUNY schools. Typically released under a Creative Commons license (the most common being CC-BY), OER are freely available educational resources that confer the user with the right to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the material. In a roundup of existing research on OER, the Open Education Group found that in general, students and teachers judged “OER to be as good or better than traditional textbooks” and that “students [did] not perform worse when utilizing OER,” concluding that “students, parents and taxpayers stand to save literally billions of dollars without any negative impact on learning through the adoption of OER.”

Hays went on to show that by converting selected sections within the Economics, Biology, English, and Library departments, faculty were able to reduce textbook costs for CSI students by $296,060 in spring 2018 alone. Hays then discussed how to find OER materials, ways to evaluate their quality, and how faculty can participate.

Join us on April 17 from 2:30–4:00 PM in the Learning Library Lab (room 214), where Cailean Cooney from CityTech will be giving another faculty workshop on how OER helps both students and faculty. Faculty will be given the opportunity to review an OER textbook of their choosing for $200; faculty who then choose to adopt the textbook for the fall will receive an additional $300. Interested faculty can also apply to join the OER Initiative at CSI for more significant funding.

View our website: The CSI Library’s Guide to OER

When: Tuesday, April 17, 2:30–4:00 PM
Where: Building 1L, Library Learning Lab, room 214
RSVP: Anne.Hays@csi.cuny.edu
More details here.
(This event is co-sponsored by the CSI Library and the Faculty Center for Professional Development.)

–Betsy Yoon, OER Project Assistant & Adjunct Librarian

[Note: we can use this image because the creator released it as “public domain” with the following statement: “I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.” Pretty cool, right?!]


Sustainability at CSI

CSI Campus on a sunny dayIn honor of Earth Day, the Greener Library Committee will host a talk featuring Lillian McGinn, Director of Campus Planning, and Cameron Christensen, Assistant Vice President of Campus Planning & Facilities Management.

They will discuss sustainability initiatives on campus, such as those involving construction on Loop Road and ‘green’ strategies related to facilities.

When: Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Where: Library Archives & Special Collections, 1L-216

This is a CC Clue event.

Triangle Factory Fire Film Screening

107th Anniversary of the Triangle Factory FireIn honor of Women’s History Month and the anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire please join us for a film screening of “Triangle: Remembering the Fire” on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 during Club Hours (2:30pm-3:30pm), in the Library Theater, 1L-103.

To learn more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and its impact on the union movement, worker protections, and fire safety laws, please visit: http://rememberthetrianglefire.org

This is a CC Clue event.

For a list of library events and exhibits, see our event calendar: http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/events/

Wall Street Journal online — free access

image of the wall street journal newspaperCUNY’s Office of Library Services has arranged for all members of the college community to get free access to the digital Wall Street Journal for the year. All you need is an email address ending in “cuny.edu” and you can view the paper on any computer or on your mobile devices using the WSJ mobile apps in less than 5 minutes.

Go to https://partner.wsj.com/enter-redemption-code/CUNYnd5wtb6z and register.  Detailed instructions are provided below.  Faculty and staff will have one year of free access; students should automatically have access until their expected graduation date. If you have a current JSW subscription call 1-800-JOURNAL (1-800-568-7625) to receive a partial credit.  You can also access the subscription sign-up link and instructions on the library website by using the “Wall Street Journal Online” entry on our Databases A-Z list. The CSI library also has a separate subscription that will allow you to access historical WSJ articles from 1984 to the present. You can use the Databases A-Z link and click on the “Wall Street Journal [ProQuest]” title. No registration is needed for this access.

How to get the Wall Street Journal Online:

  • Go to https://partner.wsj.com/enter-redemption-code/CUNYnd5wtb6z.
  • Enter your full name and CSI email address.
  • Then select your status (Student, Staff, or Professor) under “Account Type.”
  • Pick your password. It can be whatever you chose, it doesn’t need to match any other CSI or CUNY accounts. On your regular devices, this password can be automatically saved after you enter it once.
  • You must agree to the policies and agreements, which have been approved by CUNY Legal, but you do NOT need to accept the email updates and offers.
  • Read on your desktop or download the free Wall Street Journal official app through the Apple App Store or Google Play. You will need to enter your account information when you first use the App.

For any questions on access or assistance using this resource in your classes, please contact the CSI library. We will be glad to help in any way we can!

Interim Chief Librarian Amy Stempler

Interview with Mark Aaron Polger, co-author of Engaging Diverse Learners

Cover of the book Engage Diverse LearnersThis is an interview with Mark Aaron Polger, co-author of Engaging Diverse Learners: Teaching Strategies for Academic Librarians ( Libraries Unlimited / ABC-CLIO, 2017). He co-authored the book with Scott Sheidlower. Anne Hays, fellow librarian at the College of Staten Island, conducted the interview.

AH: Can you give us your elevator pitch on what your book is about?

MAP: The book I co-wrote is a “how to” guide on teaching strategies to help foster student engagement in the Information Literacy classroom.

AH: When you were doing research for the book, what was the most interesting thing you learned?

MAP: The most interesting thing I learned was that there were so many different definitions to student engagement and it meant different things to different people. I also learned that librarians use a variety of teaching techniques to engage their students. I also learned that student engagement does not always lead to learning.

AH: During the long writing process, did anything in particular keep you inspired to write?

MAP: We were inspired by our curiosity to discover what other librarians do in the classroom to promote engagement in the class. Having a collaborator helps because we often shared ideas and we learned from our interviews with other librarians. It inspired to think differently about our teaching, to try different techniques, and to get outside our comfort zone.

AH: What was the hardest part of writing the book?

MAP: Having a co-author who is a friend can pose some challenges. We have different personalities and teach differently. I use theatrics, performance, and exaggeration in my classes and my co-author uses humor and shock. In addition, we both have busy lives so writing together and consolidating different chapters may result in 2 different “voices”. This can be a challenge when trying to write a book with a cohesive “voice”.

AH: What was the best part of writing the book?

MAP: The best part of writing the book was the research involved and my understanding of student engagement. I read about different learning theories and when applied to different teaching techniques, I felt like it came together. I also learned that many librarians experiment with their teaching and that it’s always a work in progress. There is no “right way” to teach.

AH: If a publisher asked you to write a sequel, is there anything you didn’t put in this book that you would like to add?

MAP: I think if I had to write a sequel, I think perhaps writing about the outcomes of student engagement can be addressed. I think it would be interesting to discover whether an engaged class means they will learn better, get better grades, graduate with a higher GPA. Librarians do not conduct a lot of longitudinal research because we do have access to our students progress over a 5 or 10 year period of time. That would be interesting to follow students’ academic paths to see their progress.

AH: Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans?

MAP: Student engagement depends on so many external factors that we must not blame ourselves if our class is seen as a fail. Student engagement involves the right mixing of ingredients and if something is off balance, then students might not be engaged. It’s not the end of the world. Librarians are fortunate that we teach many one-shots and with practice, I think our teaching gets better.

On a completely separate topic, I wanted to plug the upcoming book I’m working on. I’m currently finishing another book (this time as solo author) on a Library Marketing Guidebook for Beginners. I’m hoping to complete it this Spring.

AH: Can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the interview!

[Mark Aaron Polger is the First Year Outreach Librarian at the College of Staten Island Library]