Librarians and Open Educational Resources: Survey Results

Around late October 2013, I had posted an invitation to participate in a survey circulated by the OER Research Hub (OERRH) in collaboration with the Community of Practice for Information Literacy Online Teaching (CoPILOT).

The OERRH researcher Beck Pitt started reporting on preliminary results from both questionnaires that targeted Librarians’ views, challenges and practices on creating and using OER, on licensing-related issues, and whether they measure the impact of those efforts.


The 312 respondents contributed to great deal of insight but they also brought to the surface new research questions, for instance,

  • To what extend are librarians making a decision in distributing to students compulsory/optional OER material?

Beck will report on more granular and comparative results in spring 2014. Until then have a look in her detailed preliminary results in her blog, feel free to comment below the post and stay tuned with the OER14 conference where these results will be the focus of our paper.


The image was created with Big Huge Labs (Flickr Toys)

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Celebrating Continuing Development and Open Practice

It took me a while but I finally got there… I can know consider myself a Chartered Librarian!

Celebrating the completion of my Chartership came as a surprise to me; I hadn’t thought it would give me such joy! Possibly because I tend to take as granted the fact that learning is a lifelong process and it makes sense when we spent some time to critically reflect on it.


Click on the image to download the portfolio.

Peter Elbow (1998) worked on the concept of “free writing” as a technique to overcome the writing block, as well as capturing an idea as it occurs without worrying about the rules of good/bad writing. Especially during my Chartership process, it was worth engaging in a 5min activity of reflecting on new ideas which enabled me to observe my growth when new meaning was becoming part of me.

The good habit of taking action on my learning and see it via a reflective lens was perhaps the most valuable outcome of my Chartership.

I also seized the opportunity to engage with Open practices and therefore I licensed my portfolio with a Creative Commons Licence making it public in case other candidates can benefit from relevant examples the way I did.  Moreover, I wanted to reinforce the idea that everything on the web may be public but not free to use unless the creator has stated so.

Finally, having heard of the outcome of my application, it dawned on me how significant the mentor is to the mentee’s achievement.

I would like to thank my mentor, David Clover who helped me see the Chartership through and for his immense patience, as well as Elizabeth Charles and Maria Cotera for the rich conversations and multi-level support and guidance throughout the past three years.


Elbow, P., 1998. Writing without teachers 25th ed., New York: Oxford University Press.

Zazani, E. 2013. CILIP Chartership Portfolio. [CC BY NC-ND]

The 3D model of the portfolio was created with the 3D-box maker []

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Librarians and Open Educational Resources

In one of my previous posts, I had mentioned the work that has been undertaken by the Open Educational Resources Research Hub  (for short, OER Research Hub or OERRH) and their ongoing research on “What the impact of OER on learning and teaching practices is”.

The COPILOT (Community of Practice for Information Literacy Online Teaching) collaborated with the researchers of the OERRH to develop a questionnaire and investigate how Librarians think about and use different types of online resources. 

COPILOT front side of flyer

The research data produced by the project will help people around the world make more informed decisions about online teaching and learning.

The COPILOT and the OER Research Hub would greatly value your participation in our research. To find out more about the project, and to take part in the questionnaire, please visit:

If you have questions regarding this study, you may contact the OER Research Hub by email:

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MOOCs and Librarians: Join the new #MOOCLib Mendeley Group

I set up a Mendeley group for librarians across all sectors to share literature and resources about the evolving nature of MOOCs and the role of the librarian. You don’t need to be directly involved with MOOCs to join. All are welcome! Members are also encouraged to share their experiences of participating in the MOOC provision in their Institutions. If you have any questions please add them in the comments below or send me a message via twitter to @EleniZazani

There is an ever-growing literature about MOOCs but which is this piece that influenced your thinking most? Let’s start adding content with the most influential for you text.

MOOCs & Librarians is a group in Computer and Information Science, Education on Mendeley

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MOOCs and Librarians: Keep the conversation live

Twitter escultura de arena - Twitter Sand sculpture by Rosaura Ochoa CC BY

Twitter escultura de arena – Twitter Sand sculpture by Rosaura Ochoa CC BY

On Twitter:

This is the second of the MOOCs and Librarians series of posts, following the one on opportunities for discussions via virtual forums and past conferences. Today’s post is focused on Twitter conversations including a poll on setting up a Twitter chat.

If you post MOOC-related news, comments, blog posts etc. try to use the #mooclib tag. I archive the tweets and have enabled open access to everyone who want to keep track of the conversation or see the raw data.

#moocLib Pie chartThe archive starts from the 13th of March 2013, from the first announcements of the Pennsylvania event,  to date. (21 Aug 2013). So far the discussion has generated 3,605 tweets and we have Shared 955 links.

Forthcoming Twitter Chat:

Would you like to chat on Twitter and share concerns? Take the quick poll.


Special thanks to Martin Hawksey for creating the Twitter Archiving Google Spreadsheet (TAGS) and keeps developing it for us to aggregate tweets. If you want to set up your own archive, start from Martin’s MESHe Blog.

Image credits:

Twitter escultura de arena” by Rosaura Ochoa is shared under a CC BY

“#moocLib Pie chart” by Eleni Zazani is shared under CC BY

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MOOCs and Librarians: Join the #MOOCLib conversation

Derivative work from Ed's Diary of a teaching machine shared with CC BY-NC-SA (see image credits)

Derivative work from Ed’s Diary of a teaching machine shared with CC BY-NC-SA (see image credits)

This is the first of a series of posts that explore and propose communication channels for librarians who are involved or interested in MOOCs.

A few months ago, in March to be exact, a new group was formed, namely, MOOCs and Librarianship, following the first event, “MOOCs and Libraries:
Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?”
, that took place in the University of Pennsylvania to explore challenges and opportunities that arise for Librarians as a result of MOOC provisions within their Institutions.

During this two-day meeting it became apparent that Librarians involved or to-be-involved in MOOCs enter an unexplored area and realised that communication on how to deal with challenges is vital.

Do you want to be part of the dialogue? See below some ways you can get involved.

Through Discussion Groups:

Google Group: MOOCs and Librarianship   – Free to join. Unlike its name the activity is not massive at the moment and therefore you will not be overwhelmed by the stream of conversations.

ACRL Group Discussion Group: Library Support for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Non-Librarian specific group

Association for Learning Technology. Special Interest Group on MOOCs.

Twitter account: @altmoocsig

Follow the outputs of two major Librarian-related Past MOOC events

18 & 19 March 2013
Title: MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?
Organisers: OCLC and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries
Download the presentations, watch the recorded talks and follow the outputs of the meeting.
Twitter conversations: #mooclib


Friday 12 July, 2013, First European MOOCs and Libraries Conference.
Title: MOOCs and Libraries: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Organisers: Open University Library, OCLC Research and JISC
Download the presentations.
Note: [Internet Explorer may cause you difficulty in downloading the presentations. In this case try Firefox or Chrome]
Twitter conversations: #mooclib

Image credits: Derivative work of the “Diary of a teaching machine” by Ed shared under CC BY NC-SA

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A fun new start!

Our life would be really boring if year after year we repeated ourselves in condensed slots during our contact time with students.

This is certainly not happening to me. Every so often I review all the learning materials, reflect and move on to change my approach.

In preparation of the forthcoming orientation a multi-fold question born in mind:

How can I explain in 10 minutes the library services across three sites and two Universities to either a big audience (in a lecture theatre) or to speed-dating-format of smaller groups, early in the evening and make the information stick to my students’ minds at the end of a tiring for them day?

So, I came up with a game that could address the above question very neatly;

The idea: The infolit* Die

“The die has been cast” – alea jacta est (Suetonius, Vita Divi Iuli, 121 CE, 33)


A cube resembling a die will bear on every side a question that relates to our services, including a number at each top corner. The number corresponds to a PowerPoint slide number that includes a visual representation of the answer.

A volunteer from the audience will be asked to roll the die.

At the moment, we refine the die and the corresponding questions before going to the printer services to create a sturdier cube.

When the cube is ready to roll, I will post images of the die and instructions in case you want to use a similar approach to your orientations.

Before closing this post, it’s worth acknowledging the source of my inspiration.

As a learner myself, one of the things I value the most is the opportunities given to events for unanticipated learning outcomes that come as a surprise.

In the middle of June, I participated in the Digital pedagogies: E-learning and digital humanities unconference, at UCL where Rodd Digges during his pitch was holding a cube and promised to initiate a discussion that would “provoke dialogue and debate around current issues in HE and FE.” At that very moment, his “prompt cube” sparked the idea in my mind and although I opted for attending another session on collaborative writing and didn’t have the opportunity to see the cube in action, I would like to thank Rodd for generating the surprising and unintended, creative learning outcome!

*Infolit for short stands for Information Literacy


Image Credits: “Dice” by Daniel Dionne shared under CC BY-SA

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