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About Project

Textbook prices have increased 88% over the last decade, averaging about $1,250 a year per student at four-year public colleges.The cost of textbooks and other course materials present barriers to the completion of a college education. Congress and other leaders consider Open Educational Resources (OER) as one solution to promoting college affordability. Studies have shown that over 90% students do as well or better in open textbook courses as compared to courses using traditional textbooks. As institutions that serve a large proportion of students that come from low-income families, Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCUs) are at the forefront of college affordability.

The HBCU Academic Librarians Open Educational Resources project is designed to promote college affordability through the training of academic librarians to become advocates of Open Education Resources initiatives at their respective institutions. The project consists of three major components: A Summit on Open Educational Resources, Textbook Transformation Grants, Webinar series and a project website.

Empowering HBCU academic librarians to become advocates for Open Educational Resources initiatives.


3 Simple Focuses

Empower librarians with knowledge and skills to become advocates for free and low-cost textbooks and serve as resources at their institutions for finding, adopting, and adapting free and affordable content.
Introduce librarians to best practices for the development, maintenance, and sustainability of an OER initiative on their respective campuses
Enable librarians to become more knowledgeable of the OER curation process.

Advisory Board

Mary Jo Fayoyin, M.S.L.S.

Retired Dean, Library Services
Savannah State University

William Cross

Director, Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center
North Carolina State University Libraries
North Carolina State University

Lena Pinkston, M.R.

Instructor & Program Coordinator
South Carolina State University
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

Faye Watkins

Dean of University Libraries
Florida A&M University

Lisa Petrides, Ph.D

CEO and Founder
Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME)

Audrey McCrary-Quarles, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Health Education
South Carolina State University

Nicole Starr Allen

Director of Open Education

Jennifer Cash, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
South Carolina State University

Monika Rhue Nooma

HBCU Library Alliance Board Chair
Director of Library Services and Curation
Johnson C. Smith University

Amy Trepal

Shared Content & Licensing Librarian Coordinator, SCALE Affordable Learning Task Force
South Carolina PASCAL

Project Staff

Dr. Ruth A. Hodges

Principal Investigator
Interim Dean
Miller F. Whittaker Library
South Carolina State University

Sharon R. Goodwin

Program Assistant
South Carolina State University

Dr. Diane M. Burnette

Co-Principal Investigator and Executive Director
Center for Online and Distance Education
South Carolina State University

Mr. Roodgery Rosemberg

Digital Media Designer
South Carolina State University

Carolyn Fortson

Project Manager
South Carolina State University

Dr. Reginald H. Williams

Assistant Professor
Project Evaluator
Department of Education
South Carolina State University

Textbook Transformation Grants

Through a blind review evaluation process, twelve HBCUs were selected to receive a Textbook Transformation Grant (TBTG) sub-award.  Faculty and librarian teams will work in partnership to redesign a General Education Course (GEC) to replace a commercial textbook with a low-cost or no-cost textbook.

The Textbook Transformation Grant sub-award recipient institutions and the title of the GEC courses that will be redesigned are listed below. Click HERE for a summary of each institution’s textbook transformation project!

Atlanta University Center – Morehouse College
Social Problems and Global Issues

Bennett College
Introduction to United States Government

Florida A&M University
Introduction to African American History

Lincoln University of Pennsylvania
Introduction to Mass Communications

Miles College
English Composition I

St. Philip’s College
Fine Arts Appreciation

Tennessee State University
American History II

Trenholm State Community College
Principles of Biology I

Prairie View A&M University
College Biology I

South Carolina State University
History of World Civilization-Beginnings to 1750

University of the Virgin Islands
World Literature I

Texas Southern University
Introduction to Computer Science


The project includes three webinars focusing on topics related to Open Educational Resources and provide more focused and in-depth training on specific aspects of OER. Click below for the Grant Information Webinar.

OER Professional Development Webinar Series

South Carolina State University will host a series of professional development webinars on topics related to open educational resources. Librarians and faculty at colleges and universities are invited to attend the webinars which will be presented via Zoom.  All webinars will be held from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST.  Pre-registration is required.  Registration confirmations will include the Zoom connection instructions.
For more information, download the webinar flyer.


October 22, 2020
Finding Quality Open Textbooks: Openstax
Daniel Williamson, Managing Director
Click here for Recording

November 12, 2020
OER as a Social Justice Issue
Katie Miller, Library Director
Aiken Technical College
Click here for Recording

January 21, 2021
Customizing and Creating OER Content
Melinda Boland, Director
OER Commons
Click here to Register

February 18, 2021
From Lemons to Lemonade:  How Librarians Can use Lessons from the Pandemic to Position Themselves as Advocates for OER
Mary Jo Fayoyin, Retired Librarian
Savannah State University
Click here to Register

  • DATE

    February 9-11, 2020

    Charleston, SC


    Stay Tuned

Summit on Open Educational Resources

A Summit on Open Educational Resources will be held February 9-11, 2020, Charleston, South Carolina.  The Summit provides training on Open Educational Resources (OER) that will empower and equip librarians with the knowledge to become advocates and leaders of the OER and affordable learning movement at their respective campuses. Librarian and faculty teams from public and private HBCUs will be invited to attend the Summit, devoted to professional development activities on OERs.

Download the summit program booklet HERE.

The following meals are included in the summit program:
Monday, February 10, 2020 – Breakfast and Lunch
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 – Breakfast

Our Speakers

Contact us