The University of Arkansas Libraries will continue advocating for the use and awareness of open educational resources, or OER for short, as a way to lower the burden of higher education costs, enhance student success and allow faculty to innovate in their teaching through a series of events in 2020.

During Open Education Week in March, University Libraries will sponsor OE-ARkansas, a gathering of educators, administrators and librarians from across the state looking to support open education initiatives on their campuses or use OER in their courses. This free, one-day event is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 6. The program will feature panels in the morning that explore faculty uses of OER, national open education involvement and community college perspectives, while the second half of the day will be dedicated unconference time for participants to engage in deep-dive conversations and problem-solving. Registration is limited to 50 attendees, and spots are filling quickly. The full event details, schedule and registration are available online.

For additional information or if you have questions about OE-ARkansas, please contact Stephanie Pierce at

In partnership with Global Campus and North Carolina State University Libraries, the Open Education Southern Symposium (OESS), a day-and-a half regional conference, will be held July 16-17, 2020 on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh. The inaugural symposium was held at the University of Arkansas in fall 2018 and was created with the mission to provide equitable access and opportunities for open education professional development in the southern United States.

The 2020 conference theme is Open Connections: Regional and Local Community Building for Equality and Sustainability. Anita Walz, assistant director of open education and scholarly communication librarian at Virginia Tech will be the keynote speaker.

“The response to our inaugural event was overwhelmingly positive, so I’m thrilled that the holding of the Open Education Southern Symposium is possible again in 2020 through the continued support of the Libraries and Global Campus,” said Stephanie Pierce, head of the Physics Library and founder of the Open Education Southern Symposium. “We’re also particularly excited to be partnering with North Carolina State University Libraries this year in order to continue to push our mission and goals forward.”

Registration for the Open Education Southern Symposium is available online. The registration fee is $99 and includes full participation in both days, breakfast both days, lunch on Thursday, snacks and beverages, and an event gift. Registration is limited to 150 attendees, and the deadline to register is June 16.

The Open Education Southern Symposium call for proposals is also currently open. Proposal submissions close Sunday, February 16 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Please contact the Planning Committee at for more information or with questions.

To learn more about open educational materials and the University’s own OER Course Conversion program, please visit the University Libraries’ OER website.