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UMass Amherst Libraries' Jeremy Smith Contributes to OER Book

Left: cover of book "OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians. Edited by Andrew Wesolek, Jonathan Lashley, Anne Langley. Right: headshot of Jeremy Smith.

Jeremy Smith, Digital Project Manager at the UMass Amherst Libraries, contributed to a recently published book titled OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians.

The book “is a perfect primer for anyone working with open educational resources (OER) on a university or college campus,” says Smith. “OER are teaching materials (textbooks, syllabi, readings, course outlines, slides, notes, videos, workbooks, lab manuals, etc.) that are released with an open, non-exclusive, copyright. The book contains an amazing amount of useful real-world examples from knowledgeable faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and advocates.”

Smith contributed to two chapters in the book. “Open Partnerships: Identifying and Recruiting Allies for Open Educational Resources Initiatives,” a chapter written by Smith and fellow collaborators Rebel Cummings-Sauls, Matt Ruen, and Sarah Beaubien, “addresses working with campus partners like students, administration, faculty, fellow librarians, instructional designers, etc. to develop a successful OER program.” Smith also wrote a solo chapter, “Seeking Alternatives to High-Cost Textbooks: Six Years of The Open Education Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,” in which he “discusses the history of the UMass Amherst Open Education Initiative, which began in 2011 and offers grants to faculty to adopt, adapt, or create OER.”

The book itself is open access, made available under a creative commons license for free download. Smith believes that this is an opportune moment in academia for such a guide to be published.

“As OER becomes increasingly popular on colleges campuses in the United States as well as the world, it is important for new practitioners to have a resource that gives them the tools to mount a successful OER effort on their campus,” he says. “The book can also be a resource for people on campus who wish to address issues around college affordability, student success and retention, and revolutionary pedagogical practices.”

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Procrastination Station Hours: Thanksgiving Week 2018

Procrastination Station CMS

Closed on Saturday, 11/17, and Sunday, 11/18

Open 8-4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11/19-11/21

Closed Thursday, 11/22

Open 8-4 p.m. Friday 11/23

Closed on Saturday, 11/24

Open 11 a.m.-12 a.m. (midnight) Sunday, 11/25

Open into regular schedule 8 a.m.-24 hours Monday, 11/26


Check here for full list of UMass Amherst Libraries hours.

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Call for Submissions: Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award 2019

Upward angle of leafy tree with branches that look like wheel spokes.

Call for submissions! Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award

Deadline: February 22, 2019

All currently enrolled undergraduate UMass Amherst students, part or full-time, are eligible. Submit your project here.

Papers, theses, design and multimedia projects, and art that present research of a sustainability topic (environmental, social, and/or economic) will be accepted. The first prize recipient will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and two second place winners will receive $750 scholarships. Winners will be honored at a spring sustainability event in the UMass Amherst Libraries.

Applicants must be nominated by a UMass Amherst faculty member. Projects created from spring 2018 through fall 2018 may be submitted for review.

The award promotes an in-depth understanding of sustainability topics, research strategies, and the use of library resources, providing participating students with vital skills they will carry into future academic and vocational endeavors.  The award is funded by the UMass Amherst Libraries’ national award-winning Sustainability Fund.

Winners of previous awards are accessible in the Sustainability Student Showcase on ScholarWorks, the University’s digital repository.
For more information, contact Madeleine Charney, Research Services Librarian, 413-577-0784,

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Ask Us!

Learning Commons Refresh


ONE stop for questions. Go ahead - Ask Us!

You spoke; we listened! Based on your feedback, in partnership with Information Technology, we're refreshing part of the Learning Commons in the Du Bois Library:

-ONE service desk for all your borrowing, research, and tech needs
-ONE easily visible and accessible space for printers
-NEW spaces for PCs
-NEW work surfaces with a splash of color

Check out the new and improved Learning Commons this fall!

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Dean of UMass Amherst Libraries Elected President of Boston Library Consortium

Simon for CMS

The UMass Amherst Libraries are pleased to announce that Simon Neame, Dean of Libraries, has been elected President of the Boston Library Consortium (BLC).

Founded in 1970, the BLC is a community of academic and research libraries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire that fosters interlibrary collaboration, innovation, and sharing of resources.

“I’m honored to be elected President of the BLC for a one-year term,” said Neame. “The BLC provides access for our faculty and students to the rich collections of research libraries across New England, as well as opportunities for UMass Amherst Libraries’ staff to participate in a diverse range of professional development programs.”

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UMassic Amherst Libraries...?

Dinosaur CMS

Libraries find a get you the best resources possible. Welcome to UMassic Amherst Libraries.


A dinosaur has been spotted in the Du Bois Library.

Experts believe it is a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Possibly aggressive due to frustration at not being able to reach books on shelves.

Please check our social media pages for further information. #UMassicAmherstLibraries.

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Study in the Graduate Commons!

Grad Commons CMS

Students Asked—We Listened

The campus's first-ever Graduate Commons, located on Floor 5 of the Du Bois Library, is a result of input gathered through surveys and focus groups assessing the needs of graduate students. The space is filled with workstations, conference rooms, and secure storage for scholarly materials.


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Falcon Season 2018

Falcon Season

Falcon Season 2018 is here!

Falcon Cam is live on our website and our YouTube channel.

When we installed the camera for the 2018 season on April 23, we found one egg in the nest. Because of the cold temperatures and wet weather in April, it appears the single early egg is inviable. With the past as our guide, we are hopeful the mating pair will lay additional eggs this season. Thank you for watching.

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Digital Media Lab Announces Winners of Virtual Reality Contest

Transforming the UMass Amherst Community through Virtual Reality

Ready Player One 1

The UMass Amherst Libraries Digital Media Lab is pleased to announce the winners of the Ready Player One Virtual Reality Competition. To commemorate the lab’s new virtual reality (VR) capabilities from HTC VIVE, the official partner of the new film, Ready Player One, UMass Amherst students were challenged to produce a short video describing their vision of how VR technology and its applications could enhance student life on campus.

First Place: Parker Louison ’20, for an idea based on a VR application to develop simulations of various career paths and areas of study. This will help students “test the waters” of their various interests, stretching their perspectives on their own capabilities and helping them thrive in and be passionate about their future careers. Louison received an HTC VIVE set valued at $599 donated to the UMass Amherst Libraries by Dr. Steve Acquah, Digital Media Lab Unit Coordinator and Associate Adjunct Professor of Chemistry.

Second Place: Benjamin Abraham ’21, for an idea to incorporate VR into UMass Medical Services to help military veterans cope with traumatic experiences. VR therapy using applications such as Bravemind may help in the healing process of our nation’s combat personnel. Abraham received a copy of the book Ready Player One, signed by author Ernest Cline, and a $20 Cinemark Gift Card.

Third Place: Harrison Packer ’19, for an idea to enhance the sustainability aspect of campus life with a virtual reality app supporting clean energy initiatives, allowing students to examine how green technology can affect the environment. Packer received a $20 Cinemark Gift Card.

Acquah, who also serves as Director of the Global Educational Outreach for Science Engineering and Technology (GEOSET) initiative founded with one of the 1996 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, is very pleased with the outcome of the competition.

“The students at UMass Amherst show a passion for their campus community with creative and innovative ideas that can enhance campus life,” he stated. “I’m looking forward to working with our talented students on their ideas for VR applications. Our team, including the leader of our VR facility, Yuntian Hu, is ready to help enhance the student experience through technology.”

Currently located on Floor 3 of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, the UMass Amherst Digital Media Lab is a multimedia and 3D print production space designed to support students working on video, audio, animation, and 3D modeling.

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UMass Amherst Libraries Made Partner in Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum Pilot Study

Makerspace CMS Photo

The UMass Amherst Libraries have been chosen by the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Nevada-Reno as one of four additional university partners to participate in a pilot study entitled Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum.

Funded by a $49,800 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the study seeks to explore the impacts of academic library makerspaces–spaces with technological resources and equipment for project-based collaboration–on undergraduate student learning.

Sarah Hutton, Head of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Services at the UMass Amherst Libraries and President of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) New England Chapter, applied for the partnership on behalf of the Digital Media Lab, a cross-disciplinary makerspace in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library where all students have access to professional-quality audiovisual production facilities and equipment, as well as the Makerbot Innovation Center for 3D printing.

As a partner in the study, the UMass Amherst Libraries will work towards four main goals: to pilot a diverse selection of undergraduate courses in academic library makerspaces; to expand and improve the early stage list of maker-based competencies originally developed by UTA Libraries’ Maker Literacies Task Force; to create and explore various assessment methods and tools for measuring student learning in makerspaces; and to develop an online repository of Open Educational Resources (OER) for utilizing and assessing maker-based competencies.

To accomplish these goals, Hutton will be collaborating with UMass Amherst Professors Alex Schreyer in the Building and Construction Technology program and Charlie Schweik of Environmental Conservation and the School of Public Policy over the Spring 2018 semester in their Makerspace-related class offerings: Schreyer’s “Designing with 3D CAD & BIM” and “Studies in Building Information Modeling” and Schweik’s “Makerspace Leadership and Outreach.”

According to Hutton, “Our hope is to develop competencies that could hopefully be as widely recognized and utilized as the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy–essentially, a common language for curriculum mapping and development throughout makerspaces in libraries all over the country and the world.”

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