Read more about Using Open Educational Resources to Promote Social Justice

Using Open Educational Resources to Promote Social Justice

(1 review)

Kevin Adams, Alfred, NY

Murray Anderson, Athabasca, Alberta

Elissah Becknell, Minneapolis, MN

CJ Ivory, Carrollton, Georgia

Angela Pashia, Carrollton, Georgia

Copyright Year: 2022

Publisher: Association of College and Research Libraries

Language: English

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Reviewed by Joel Leader, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington on 11/3/22

This book covers a wide range of topics related to social justice and how OER can be harnessed to remove obstacles for marginalized populations. Further, the chapters critically examine the institutional policies and approaches prevalent in higher... read more

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Section I. Theory and Problematizing
  • Section II. Open Praxis
  • Section III. Decolonizing Learning in the Global South
  • Section IV. Scaling up with Institutional Policies (Approaches)
  • Section V. Building and Decolonizing OER Platforms

Ancillary Material

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  • About the Book

    As so often is the case, the idea for this book came from a twisting path. Not long after we began collaborating and presenting together at conferences, we were invited to draft a chapter on critical race theory (CRT) in academic libraries. An invited chapter is, of course, very flattering, so we proceeded without much thought to who the publisher would be. Angela had been working on social justice issues for a while at that point, while CJ had a wealth of expertise on open educational resources (OER). We merged our two areas of expertise in drafting that chapter, discussing OER as an opportunity to not only save students money but incorporate CRT into the curriculum—both in content and in practice.

    We submitted the final draft and were dismayed when we received the publication agreement. The publisher was unwilling to allow us to retain the copyright, even after we shared the licensing agreement that the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Press uses as an example. In discussing how to proceed—should we submit this chapter somewhere else?—we realized that we were really excited about extending the discussion of OER beyond just ensuring that all students can afford to access their course materials. So we pitched the idea of an edited volume on this topic to a publisher that we know has publishing practices we support (chapter authors retain copyright and select the Creative Commons license they prefer for their work), and here we are!

    Our entrance to academic work on social justice was through a focus on CRT. We outline this background here but wish to emphasize that it explicitly addresses only one aspect of social justice. For us, the structural understanding of racism in the United States creates a foundation upon which to understand other structures of oppression as well as intersectionality.

    About the Contributors


    Kevin Adams is an information literacy librarian at Alfred University. His research focuses on critical librarianship and critical information literacy.

    Murray Anderson is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Health Disciplines at Athabasca University. He has 20-plus years of experience as both a private and public health care practitioner, including roles as a coordinator, outreach worker, and crisis response clinician. His research focuses on the stigma and trauma attached to those dealing with issues related to clutter and hoarding. He also maintains a small, private practice where he works with couples, addiction issues, and those dealing with life transitions.

    Elissah Becknell is a faculty librarian at Minneapolis Community & Technical College Library and teaches in the Library Information Technology and Information Studies departments. She is an advocate for teaching information as a discipline and liberal art in its own right. Critical information literacy and culturally responsive pedagogy greatly influence the content of Elissah’s teaching. She uses open education resources and zines in her classroom and advocates their use on her campus.


    CJ Ivory is an associate professor and librarian at the University of West Georgia where she teaches information literacy and research with a focus on social justice. She is also an advocate for open education on her campus and works with faculty across disciplines to support the implementation of open textbook alternatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Central Florida and MLIS from Florida State University. Her research interests include information literacy instruction, social justice education, and open pedagogy.

    Angela Pashia has over a decade of experience as an academic librarian focusing on teaching critical information literacy, mentoring colleagues, working against structural oppression within libraries, and growing as a collaborative leader. Angela’s first co-edited book (with Jessica Critten), Critical Approaches to Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Courses, was selected as an ACRL Instruction Section, Teaching Methods Committee Selected Resource in 2020. Angela currently works as professor and head of the learning and research support department at Ingram Library, University of West Georgia, and is beginning to explore opportunities to support other scholars as a book and career coach.

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