IFLA has issued a brief on open educational resources (OER), building on the recent UNESCO recommendation. It underlines the role that librarians can play in creating, curating and ensuring access to these materials, and key issues surrounding OER.

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning and research materials made available for free, and with no or only limited restrictions, to support access to knowledge. Their value has been recognised by many institutions, including international organisations such as UNESCO and the OECD.

To raise awareness of their potential, and showcase the broader impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide, the Open Education Consortium founded Open Education Week in 2013. 

Libraries as Supporters of OER

Librarians have and continue to play a key role in supporting OER, by encouraging their creation and use, ensuring their availability, accessibility and visibility, curating materials and ensuring their quality, providing copyright advice and building digital skills among users.

IFLA has already actively support efforts towards making more materials openly accessible through its 2011 open access statement and wishes to underline the benefits that OER bring to that same goal.

The brief celebrates the commitment of the library sector to making OER a reality and encourages continued engagement by providing background information. It shares the definition of OER, its advantages and challenges to it, as well as international, regional and national policies that are defining and guiding them. 

Access the Open Educational Resources and Libraries Brief.

See also the European Network of Open Education Librarians, run by SPARC Europe.