About Us

The Open Textbook Network (OTN) helps higher education institutions and systems advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses.

We maintain the Open Textbook Library, the premiere resource for peer-reviewed academic textbooks. All of our textbooks are free, openly licensed, and complete; their adoption creates a measurable, positive impact on student success.

With our members, we move the open education conversation forward on local and national levels.



Steering Committee

Certificate in OER Librarianship Instructors


David Ernst

David Ernst, Ph.D.

Graduate faculty and Chief Information Officer in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. David is the Director of the Center for Open Education and the Executive Director of the Open Textbook Network, which works to improve higher education through the advancement of open textbooks.

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Sarah Faye Cohen

Sarah is the Senior Managing Director of the Open Textbook Network. She earned her MS in Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and is a graduate of Smith College. She is a two-time award winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.


Karen Lauritsen

Karen is Director of Publishing with the Open Textbook Network. Previously, Library Journal named her a Mover and Shaker in technology. She received her M.A. in Education from UC Berkeley and a for fun degree in improvisation from the Second City.


Tanya Grosz

Tanya is the Director of Educational Programs with the Open Textbook Network. Tanya began her career as a high school English teacher before completing a Ph.D. in Education and Online Teaching and Learning. After hearing Cable Green keynote at the MN eLearning Summit in 2011, a new love for open education began, and with the OTN’s help, she spearheaded an open textbook initiative at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul which led to the creation of the first Z degree in the state of MN.


Barry Stehlik

Barry makes sure everyone gets where they need to go and keeps the network on track. With so many members and continued growth there is an endless sea of things to do and maintain. Barry handles it all with ease so we can focus our efforts on helping students.

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Jared Erlien

Jared is a Student Admin for the Open Textbook Library. He earned his AS degree in Computer Science at Normandale Community College, and is currently pursuing his BS in Computer Science with a focus in Cyber Security at the University of Minnesota.



Marilyn Billings

Marilyn Billings is the Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a position she has held since 2006. She is the head of the Office of Scholarly Communication and provides oversight of UMass Amherst’s digital repository ScholarWorks. She was a founding member of the Open Textbook Network and has led the campus’ Open Education Initiative since 2011. Marilyn received her BS in Biology and Psychology from Bates College and her MLIS from the University of Rhode Island.

Josh Bolick

Josh Bolick

Josh is the Scholarly Communication Librarian in the University of Kansas’ Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, where he leads the OER Working Group to advance open education at KU. He previously worked on open access and other scholarly communication issues at Florida State University Libraries. He received his undergraduate degree in History and Philosophy/Religion at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and his MLIS at Florida State University.

Meg Brown-Sica

Meg Brown-Sica

Meg is the Assistant Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Previously she served at the University of Colorado Denver as the Associate Library Director for Technology and Special Collections. She received her undergraduate degree in English and Spanish Literature at Franklin and Marshall College and her MLIS from the University of South Florida.

Meg Brown-Sica

Abbey Dvorak

Abbey Dvorak, Ph.D., MT-BC, is an Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at the University of Kansas (KU). She is a member of the KU Textbook Working Group charged with exploring ways to support and encourage the use of open educational resources on campus. Dr. Dvorak became a presenter for the Open Textbook Network in 2016 after attending a faculty workshop facilitated by Dave Ernst, reviewing and adopting an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library, and realizing the impact that her choice of textbooks could have on student success. Dr. Dvorak received her BA in Music Education from Briar Cliff University in 1997, her MA and Equivalency in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa in 2004, and her PhD in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa in 2011.

Emily Frank

Emily Frank

Emily Frank is the Coordinator of Scholarship and Open Access for Louisiana State University Libraries. She leads the library’s affordable course materials projects, including an e-textbook initiative focused on aligning licensed e-books with courses and the OER program. She coordinates local projects under the Affordable Learning LOUISiana initiative spearheaded by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, the state library consortium, and collaborates with librarians statewide to extend the scope of this initiative. She received her MLIS from the University of Kentucky and an International Master’s in Digital Library Learning from universities in Norway, Estonia, and Italy through a program funded by the European Union.

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Steve Kaufman

Steve is a Senior Instructional Designer and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at the University of Akron. Prior to joining UA, Steve served as the Associate Director of Online Learning at Ashland University. Currently, he serves as one of the Ohio Quality Matters Consortium’s State Leads and is proud to be one of Ohio’s Affordable Learning Ambassadors and a trainer for the Open Textbook Network. Through his experience, he has been able to help grow online programs as well as provide insight and guidance into the course development process. He specializes in working one-on-one with faculty members to help them create dynamic, well-designed, objective-focused courses. His research interests include: open education, gamification, metacognitive strategies, and student engagement.

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Jonathan Lashley, Ph.D.

Jonathan serves as the Senior Instructional Technologist at Boise State University, where he manages projects and coordinates communities of practice related to open, online, and technology-enhanced instruction. He also teaches as an adjunct in the First-Year Writing program. Jonathan was one of the first OER Research and Designing with OER (DOER) fellows under the Open Education Group, and his scholarship continues to focus on institutional strategies for promoting awareness, collaboration, and support of open education at the postsecondary level. Recently, he co-edited and -authored OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians.

Merinda McLure

Merinda McLure

Merinda serves as one of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Leads in the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, where she is also the Health & Human Sciences Librarian and an Associate Professor. She was a 2016-2017 OER Research Fellow with the Open Education Group’s fellowship program. Previously, she served as the Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarian and Health and Human Sciences Librarian at Colorado State University. She joined the Open Textbook Network in 2015, after participating in the Network’s inaugural summer institute and organizing a successful Open Textbook Network visit for the Colorado State University community. Merinda received her MLIS in 2002 from The University of British Columbia.

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Michelle Reed

Writer-turned-librarian, Michelle serves as the Director of Open Educational Resources at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. She leads OER initiatives, directs OER publishing, and manages a grant program to advance the use of open resources on campus. She is also active in statewide OER efforts, serving on the UT System Affordable Learning Accelerator Task Force, and collaborates with students on OER accessibility research as a site supervisor for UTA’s Disability Studies Program.

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Jasmine Roberts

Jasmine Roberts is a strategic communication lecturer in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. She teaches public relations writing and campaign courses. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies and Spanish at the University of Michigan and her master’s degree in communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to pursuing an academic career, Jasmine worked as a marketing/public relations professional for non profit and entertainment industries. Jasmine is the author of “Writing of Strategic Communication industries,” an openly-licensed textbook and writing guide for those interested in the strategic communication field. She is also a 2017 – 2018 research fellow with the Open Education Group.

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Esperanza Zenon

Dr.  Esperanza Zenon is an Associate Professor of Physical Science at River Parishes Community College (RPCC).  She is the current Division Coordinator for Math and Natural Sciences, the Chair of the Center for Teaching Excellence Committee, and she is a member of the Online Course Review Committee. She is very passionate about equity for girls in STEM, and serves as the Louisiana Team Leader for the LaSTEM Girls Collaborative Project and the LASTEM Equity Pipeline Project, two NSF-funded projects that work to promote positive equity outcomes for girls in STEM and Tech careers.  She also serves as the Director of the BASF TECH Academy @ RPCC, a program which provides high school seniors the opportunity to get exposure to technical degree programs at RPCC and industries that use those degrees. Dr. Zenon is also very involved with several OER projects, including the Open Textbook Network, the Open Education Consortium, and the OER grant project at RPCC. Dr. Zenon has a Master of Arts degree in Physics from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D in Science/Mathematics Education from Southern University.

Steering Committee

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Anna Bendo

Anna Bendo is the Director of Affordable Learning Initiatives at OhioLINK. In this role, Anna manages OhioLINK’s initiatives to lower the cost of college for Ohio higher education students by assisting our member libraries and campuses in identifying strategies for Open and Affordable Learning textbook and course material adoption, and helping locate statewide shareable library materials as well as open educational resources that are no cost or lower cost to students. Anna has been in this role since July 2017. Before joining OhioLINK, Anna coordinated online student services at the statewide level including an online catalog of distance learning courses and degrees and wrote reports on the status of online and competency-based education in the state of Ohio. Anna has a Ph.D. in Student Affairs from the University of Maryland, an Masters in Teaching from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in History and Spanish from the College of William and Mary.

Cheryl Cuillier

Cheryl Cuillier

Cheryl Cuillier is the Open Education Librarian at the University of Arizona Libraries in Tucson. She coordinates campus OER initiatives and collaborates with a wide range of university partners. She has spoken about OER and other ways of reducing the cost of course materials at a number of national and regional conferences. An active member of the Open Textbook Network since 2015, she currently serves on the Open Textbook Network Steering Committee. She is also a Faculty Senator and involved in library faculty governance.

Amanda Hurford

Amanda Hurford

Amanda Hurford is the Scholarly Communications Director for the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI). She holds a Master of Library Science with a specialization in Library Technology Management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. In Amanda’s role at PALNI, she develops and supports scholarly communications initiatives of the 24 PALNI-supported institutions, and raises awareness of topics such as open access publishing and open educational resources. Under Amanda’s direction, PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning, was established in 2018.

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Amanda Larson

Amanda Larson is the Open Education Librarian at the Penn State University Libraries in Pennsylvania, where she coordinates affordable content initiatives across the campuses and provides guidance on copyright, creative commons licensing, and project management. She also serves as a liaison for faculty to other University units creating OER. She holds dual Bachelor degrees in English and History, a Master of Arts in Literature, and an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at UW-Madison, she worked with faculty creating open textbooks using Pressbooks. Her professional interests include open education, privacy and student data, and incorporating open pedagogy into information-literacy instruction sessions.

Jonathan Poritz

Jonathan Poritz

Jonathan is associate professor of mathematics and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Colorado State University – Pueblo. Before CSU-P, he was one of those tattered minstrel mathematicians one sees wandering dusty backroads with nothing but chalk on his coat and a theorem on his lips: in total, he was a student or faculty member at around a dozen universities in five timezones. He also worked in various IT firms, from start-ups to multi-nationals, doing things like AI, cryptography, and consulting on public policy towards technology. In Colorado, Jonathan has written two OER math textbooks and serves on the state OER Council. His AB is from Harvard University and his Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago, both in mathematics. Much more information about him can be found at https://poritz.net/jonathan.

Relinda Ruth

Relinda Ruth

Relinda Ruth is the Director of Educational Resources and OER Specialist at the University of Arkansas-Cossatot. She is responsible for the Educational Resource Center (ERC), which includes Kimball Library, all tutoring services, and the college’s award-winning textbook rental/ OER program, along with textbook procurement. She also teaches English courses as an adjunct instructor. As the college’s OER Specialist, Relinda is responsible for the development and implementation of policies relating to open licensing, OER initiatives and practices, and provides guidance on creative commons licensing and OER content. She compiles open resources and provides OER usage training for faculty. Relinda chairs the college’s OER Board, raises awareness of open education activities, and as a leading contact for OER in Arkansas, she encourages broad participation across the state through conferences. She holds an MA in English and a BS in English and Mass Communications from Texas A&M University-Texarkana, and is also certified for specialization in open licensing and the Commons through Creative Commons. Relinda is an outspoken advocate for open resources and is excited to assist OTN’s members.

Certificate in OER Librarianship Instructors

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Will Cross

Will Cross is the Director of the Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center in the NCSU Libraries where he guides legal policy and practice and leads digital scholarship and publishing initiatives. Trained as a lawyer and librarian, Will speaks and writes on the intersection of legal issues, innovative library practice, and open culture. He teaches with the ACRL Scholarly Communication Roadshow and in the UNC SILS and serves as co-PI on two IMLS planning grants focused on developing open educational resources (OER) for teaching scholarly communication and on the development of an “Open Textbook Toolkit” that leverages library publishing services to support open pedagogy.

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Cheryl Cuillier

Cheryl Cuillier is the Open Education Librarian at the University of Arizona Libraries in Tucson. She coordinates campus OER initiatives and collaborates with a wide range of university partners. She has spoken about OER and other ways of reducing the cost of course materials at a number of national and regional conferences. An active member of the Open Textbook Network since 2015, she currently serves on the Open Textbook Network Steering Committee. She is also a Faculty Senator and involved in library faculty governance.

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Mandi Goodsett

Mandi Goodsett is the Performing Arts and Humanities Librarian at Cleveland State University. She earned her MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. Mandi’s professional interests include open education, critical thinking and library instruction, and distance learning. In keeping with her interest in promoting open education, Mandi also serves as an OhioLINK Affordable Learning Ambassador for Ohio. To learn more about Mandi, you can visit her website at www.mandigoodsett.com.

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Olivia Reinauer

Olivia Reinauer is the Coordinator of Library Services at the Chesapeake Campus of Tidewater Community College (TCC) in Virginia. She serves on the TCC OER Advisory Taskforce and leads the library’s OER Team, whose members teach an online OER training course for faculty and support faculty in locating and adopting open educational resources. Olivia served as an OER System Leader for the Virtual Library of Virginia’s (VIVA) consortial membership with the OTN from 2015-2019. She currently serves on VIVA’s Open and Affordable Course Content Committee, which advises on VIVA’s course redesign grant program and other open and affordable initiatives at the state level.

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David Rose

David Rose is an instructional designer at American University’s Washington College of Law and an OER Research Fellow for the Open Education Group. After 5 years designing free, open, online courses at the Saylor Academy, he joined AU in 2017 to run Open American, American University’s OER grant program out of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning. Now at the Law School, David teaches the Faculty Online Training Course and consults with instructors about online and open pedagogy. David has a Master’s degree in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University. Visit DavidBRose.com for more information.

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Jeanne Hoover

Jeanne Hoover is the Scholarly Communication Librarian at East Carolina University. She leads the Research and Scholarly Communication team in supporting faculty and student scholarly communication needs on campus. In this role, she helps coordinate ECU’s mini-grant textbook program, provides workshops on scholarly communication topics, and manages the institutional repository. She is also active in state-wide OER and textbook affordability initiatives through the University of North Carolina System and NC LIVE’s Open Education North Carolina. Jeanne was a 2018-2019 SPARC Open Education Leadership Fellow.

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Lily Todorinova

Lily Todorinova is the Undergraduate Experience Librarian/Open Educational Research at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Lily has been involved with open education since 2015, as a participant in the Open Textbook Network Institute and as a participant in the first OER Librarianship Certificate Program. Lily’s interests include open pedagogy, open research, and student/faculty outreach.

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Elaine Thornton

Elaine Thornton Is the Open Education and Distance Learning Librarian at the University of Arkansas. She coordinates OER initiatives and works with a dedicated team of faculty and staff to promote these initiatives and advocate for expanding OER on campus. In addition to open education, her research and professional interests include adult and lifelong learning, professional development and continuing education, and mentoring especially as these issues relate to academic librarians. Elaine earned an MS in library science from the University of North Texas and an MA in history from the University of Michigan.