Libraries employees pursuing Open Education Network librarianship certificate

Lori Lysiak, Eiche Library, Altoona

Lori Lysiak is a reference and instruction librarian at the Robert E. Eiche Library, Penn State Altoona.

Credit: Photo provided

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two Penn State University Libraries employees have been accepted into the 2022 cohort of professionals seeking an Open Education Network (OEN) certificate in Open Librarianship.

Lori Lysiak, reference and instruction librarian at the Robert E. Eiche Library at Penn State Altoona, and Elizabeth Nelson, reference and instruction librarian at the Lehigh Valley Campus Library at Penn State Lehigh Valley, began their eight-month training in February.

The OEN is a community dedicated to working together to make higher education more affordable, equitable and accessible. Participants admitted to the certificate in Open Librarianship connect and collaborate with librarians from around the country to implement sustainable and effective open education programs for their local context, culture and goals. These objectives fit well with Penn State’s own open initiatives, which aim to enable affordable access to education and reduce barriers to the sharing and use of knowledge and information. 

By earning the certificate in Open Librarianship, Lysiak and Nelson will be poised to lead and advance the ongoing efforts of the Open and Affordable Education (OAER) Working Group and other OAER advocates, which are focused around enhancing equity of access to high-quality course materials, said Rebecca Miller Waltz, interim associate dean for learning and undergraduate services, University Libraries.

“I am grateful to Lori and Elizabeth for committing their time and energy to this program,” Waltz said. “I am excited to leverage the passion and expertise that they bring to this important work, and for the many upcoming OAER initiatives I know Lori and Elizabeth will help us successfully lead.” 

“The certificate in Open Librarianship is a terrific opportunity to expand my current work in this area,” said Lysiak, who is spearheading a two-phase project using e-books as a gateway to OAER. “I hope to develop new ideas on how to energize and excite faculty as well as implement sustainable open education programs.”

Lysiak also hopes to leverage the certificate program as an opportunity to work with the Penn State Altoona Council on Diversity and Inclusion to develop relevant materials and programming. “I enjoy offering workshops on open education to our faculty and other stakeholders and look forward to expanding this work to include affordability and equitable access for students,” she said.

“I hope this program will help me build a successful and exciting OAER adoption program for the Lehigh Valley campus,” said Nelson. “I also want to find ways to help instructors explore open pedagogy and get students engaged with creating and evaluating their own learning materials.”

For more information on OAER at Penn State, visit the OAER website or email [email protected].