A little over a year ago, a self motivated, insightful School of Information master’s student, Katy Mahraj, came to Open.Michigan wanting to learn more about open education and how it might fit into her passion for connecting people with useful health sciences information and resources. She was also working with the Taubman Health Sciences Library (THL). Katy partnered with Kate Saylor, THL’s Outreach Librarian to come up with a plan to align MLibrary’s use of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license more directly with the resources THL creates to serve its various communities. Katy, THL, and Open.Michigan developed a strategy to support THL librarians as they create content (research guides, instructional materials, workshops, tutorials and course-related lectures) and to better enable them to share these resources with the global learning community.
THL is the first library at the University of Michigan to contribute staff-created content to Open.Michigan’s collection of resources.This partnership enables the material produced by THL to be used faster and better by its constituents and fosters the creation of stronger, more effective materials by encouraging collaboration and innovation around teaching materials on a global scale. By partnering with Open.Michigan, THL is able to share and promote its content to a wider audience of collaborators, educators, and self-learners for legal use and reuse worldwide; streamline submission of library-produced content into Deep Blue, the University’s institutional repository; and position themselves as an advocate at the University and in the broader library community for improved information sharing through better understanding and use of openly licensed content.
Katy received training in the dScribe process and through the last year, she acted as a bridge between Open.Michigan and THL librarians. She created an intake process tailored to THL workflows for candidates to publish as OER, answered basic questions about using Creative Commons licenses and sharing strategies, and set up meetings and feedback sessions with the Open.Michigan team. These are exactly the types of partnerships we aim to build across campus, enabling University of Michigan departments to meet their goals through the development and publication of accessible, adaptable content. As we strive to support a culture of sharing, we try to connect with local champions embedded in departments, libraries, and initiatives across campus. These folks are able to connect the processes and perspectives of open educational practices with the on-the-ground needs and goals of our diverse University of Michigan community.
In the first year of this partnership, we laid a strong foundation for continuing to work with the THL team to build open content together. You can see the resources we published last year online at http://open.umich.edu/education/mlibrary/thl.