New Federal Grant Will Improve Access to Course Materials

Hannon Library has been awarded a $19,600 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), administered by the State Library of Oregon. 


The grant funds will be used for improving our Course Reserves textbook buying program, encouraging the use of open educational resources (OER), and expanding the accessibility of our collection. Upon learning that we received the LSTA grant, Carrie Forbes, University Librarian, said: “This grant will not only allow for the creation of best practices for textbook reserves, but most importantly, will increase student success and retention through the equitable access of course materials.”


Many SOU students struggle to afford their course materials and Hannon Library is well positioned to improve accessibility initiatives on campus. The grant funding will allow us to explore textbook affordability from different avenues: purchasing print and electronic course materials, providing print copies of open textbooks, and using controlled digital lending to distribute course materials. The data and feedback gained from this project will allow us to assess faculty and student needs, promote alternatives to high-cost textbooks, and create more sustainable models for course reserves.


Hannon Library will partner with faculty teaching general chemistry to make print copies of OER available to students for the full term. In addition, our membership in the Orbis Cascade Alliance will ensure that we can share best practices with the wider region of academic libraries to potentially improve services across the state and region. 


The timeframe for the LSTA grant is July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024. Hannon Library is honored to be selected for this grant program and can’t wait to see the impact for our campus community!