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Buffalo State to Host SUNY Librarians Association Conference

Buffalo State to Host SUNY Librarians Association Conference

Posted: June 6, 2013

Librarians from across New York will discuss the many aspects of open access during the State University of New York Librarians Association’s (SUNYLA) annual conference June 12–14 on the Buffalo State campus. This year’s theme, “Opening Minds, Inspiring Tomorrow,” will include sessions on such topics as open resources, open access and scholarly communities, and e-textbook initiatives.

David Wiley, associate professor of instructional psychology and technology in the David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University, will deliver the keynote address, “Reclaiming Open: The Many Benefits of Truly Open Education,” on June 13 at 8:30 a.m. in Rockwell Hall. A nationally recognized expert in open education, Wiley also leads the McKay School’s Access to Knowledge Initiative. His talk is open to the campus community and will be streamed live.

Named as a top priority in her State of the University address in January, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has begun working with faculty and staff across the system to realize Open SUNY as the largest source of online learning in the country. The 64-campus system will offer a network of online courses to all its students, regardless of which campus they attend or where their financial aid comes from.

“Through this conference, librarians and others in the campus community will have a better handle on what open education is and what it means for librarians, faculty, and students,” said Mark McBride, Buffalo State associate librarian, who is coordinating this year’s conference.

For instance, open educational resources would provide a way for campuses to share content including text, video, and other digital content with one another. Academic libraries could be viewed as publishers for academic and scholarly content, including journals, textbooks, and other materials used for scholarship and teaching, and this would push costs down for students.

“It builds a knowledge community where everyone with expertise can create and share content together,” McBride said.

Approximately 180 attendees are expected at this year’s conference, the majority of whom are SUNY librarians. However, McBride added that librarians from city and suburban public librarians are attending, as are librarians from other academic institutions in Boston and New York City. Buffalo State last hosted the SUNYLA conference in 2001. Having the group here more than a decade later gives the college a chance to show off the library and its many updates to campus, McBride said.

“This is a really exciting time. A lot of cool things are happening in SUNY,” McBride said. “Buffalo State is positioned to be a big voice in Open SUNY. We have a great cast and crew to help online learning take off.”

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