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Student Success Librarian Jackie Mayse recently sat down with faculty member Beth Hoag to discuss her experiences transitioning to the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in her classes at CIA. Thank you, Beth for sharing your journey with OER-enabled pedagogy!

Can you introduce yourself? What is your role at CIA?

Sure. I'm Beth Hoag and as of this year I am a Senior Professor of Practice in the Liberal Arts Department. Prior to this year, I was a full-time lecturer for four years, and before that I was an adjunct. In total, I have been here for almost 10 years. 

Can you tell me about your journey in OER-enabled pedagogy in your classes?

As the only Anthropologist and faculty member teaching anthropology at CIA, I have always designed my own curriculum which gives me a wide latitude to pick books that I think are most appropriate for my courses. When I started ten years ago, I was using commercially available textbooks, but I quickly looked around to find the best textbook available that was reasonably priced or was easily accessible as a used book. The cost of textbooks has always bothered me, especially since my students are unlikely to use an Anthropology textbook again for another course. Later on, maybe the second or third year here, I worked with the publisher of two textbooks to offer an unbound copy through the bookstore. That saved students a bit of money and was the beginning of my thinking about how to make textbooks more affordable.

How long ago did you start adopting OERs in your classes?

The first time that I really thought about an open access book was when the American Anthropological Association, and the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges, worked together to put out a first of its kind open access Cultural Anthropology textbook. An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology was first published in 2017 and is now in its second edition.

What motivated you to try this approach?

I decided to switch to open access textbooks in my classes when those two books became available. I have always been concerned with the cost burden of textbooks to students and an open access textbook solved that issue. Students can access them at no cost. I also like that Open Access textbooks are edited by many different people. So, although it's a single book, there's a wide variety of authors, points of view, and perspectives. Representation of diverse voices was important to me and motivated me to use open access books. 

How has the library played a role in you adopting OERs in your classes?

Through working with Laura, I realized that there were eBooks that could be accessed through the library that I could use in my classes. These weren't textbooks but books that the publisher provided access to through the library. So these weren't necessarily open access, but I started using them because they are available through the library at no additional cost to students. When I realized that these books could be accessed through the library, I began to think "How can I design an entire syllabus and reading selection for courses that don't rely on a textbook?". Currently, three of my courses are designed around resources that are solely accessed through the library. 

Also, the work of Jackie Lagunzad, who manages course reserves for faculty, has been phenomenal. In my Canvas course reserve, everything in my syllabus is listed in the order that we read it with the permalinks. Truly, the support I have received from the library is phenomenal. 

If you could give one piece of advice to other faculty members trying to implement OER materials in their classes, what would it be? 

I think an initial small step, and this is always going to be discipline specific, is to first of all see if your textbook can be replaced with something else. That's either an OER or pieced together. There are a lot of places that may not have an entire textbook, but might have resources that can be replaced. So I think, first and foremost is looking through your discipline to see who is out there doing that kind of work. I would also suggest that you talk to Laura and the Library staff to see what other resources are accessible to your students.

As we wrap up, is there anything else you'd like to share about OER textbooks?

I just think that people shouldn't be afraid of it. It's really amazing. Taking a little bit of time or to work with our librarians, to find out what resources are available. Because the benefits for ourselves and our students, I think far outweigh the time or any negative. I can't even think of a real negative. What would not be right with using free and openly accessible textbooks? It also democratizes education a little bit, it diversifies voices, it supports students by not charging them more money. There's really, I don't think, any single downside.


In our discussion Beth talks about the use of open access textbooks (OERs), as well as eBooks and articles accessed through the library. The materials accessed through the library are examples of affordable learning resources, and are not open educational resources (OERs).

The open-access textbooks Beth uses in her classes are:

  • Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology, first published in 2017, now in its second edition

  • Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology, first published in 2019, also in its second edition

  • Gendered Lives: Global Issues, for her gender class, published in 2022

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profile-icon Laura M. Ponikvar

Beginning today (March 18, 2024), the Jessica R. Gund Memorial Library will be handing out FREE solar eclipse glasses to CIA students and employees so you can safely experience the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024! 

The library has a limited number of glasses, so we will be giving out one pair per CIA ID on a first come, first served basis. We want everyone at CIA to have the chance to get glasses if they need them. 

You must show your CIA ID to get a pair of glasses - no exceptions! 


solar eclipse glasses

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profile-icon Jackie Lagunzad

The library is celebrating Women's History Month this March with a display showcasing print books discussing the work of women in art from the CIA Library collection.

Learn more about the titles in this display by visiting our Library Displays LibGuide!

When you visit our guide, you can also see additional titles from past displays and see more titles from our eBook collection.

In March, CIA Library is celebrating international women's history month.

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profile-icon Dana Bjorklund
Cover ArtArt and Trousers by David Elliott
Call Number: N 7260 .E45 2021
An illustrated collection of essays on modern and contemporary Asian art by a key figure of the international contemporary art world. With more than thirty essays and 640 color images, Art and Trousers moves deftly between regional analysis, portraits of individual artists, and a metaphorical history of trousers. This book presents a panoramic view of contemporary art from across Asia, focusing on the impacts of invention, exchange, colonization, politics, social development, and gender. Moving deftly between regional analysis, portraits of individual artists, and a metaphorical history of trousers, Elliott begins with a discussion about the important coexistence of traditional and modern ideas and motifs in contemporary Asian art. In a rejection of prevalent cultural chichés about globalization, he shows how many of today's leading artists developed practices that are international in outlook while still rooted in specific perspectives from Asia, and form a dynamic culture of the present that extends far beyond this vast continent.
Cover Art
Smokehouse Associates edited by Eric Booker
Call Number: N 6538 .A35 S66 2022
Between 1968 and 1970, the artist collective Smokehouse Associates transformed Harlem with vibrant, community-oriented abstract murals and sculptures. Established by William T. Williams and including Melvin Edwards, Guy Ciarcia, and Billy Rose, Smokehouse grew to encompass a range of creative practitioners united around the revolutionary potential of public art. Though relatively unknown today, Smokehouse was ambitious in its scale, community engagement, and interaction with the built environment.
Published over fifty years after the collective’s founding, Smokehouse Associates offers the first critical examination of the group’s work. Eric Booker provides a historical overview of the collective; Charles Davis II and James Trainor delve into contextual histories of public art, urban design, and architecture; and an artist roundtable moderated by Ashley James presents critical reflections. With previously unpublished images and ephemera and a rich chronology, Smokehouse Associates serves as a sourcebook that expands the narrative of public art and social practice in the United States to include the contributions of artists of African descent.
Cover Art
Women in Concrete Poetry 1959-1979 edited by Alex Balgiu & Mónica de la Torre
Call Number: PN 6110 .C77 W66 2020

Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959-1979 takes as its point of departure Materializzazione del linguaggio—the groundbreaking exhibition of visual and concrete poetry by women curated by Italian feminist artist Mirella Bentivoglio for the Venice Biennale in 1978. Through this exhibition and others she curated, Bentivoglio traced constellations of women artists working at the intersection of the verbal and visual who sought to “reactivate the atrophied tools of communication” and liberate words from the conventions of genre, gender, and the strictures of the patriarchy and normative syntax.


The works in this volume evolved from previous manifestations of concrete poetry as defined in foundational manifestos by Öyvind Fahlström, Eugen Gomringer, and the Brazilian Noigandres Group. While some works are easily recognized as concrete poetry, as documented in canonical anthologies edited by Mary Ellen Solt and Emmett Williams in the late ’60s, it also features expansive, serial works that are overtly feminist and often trouble legibility. Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959-1979 revisits the figures in Bentivoglio’s orbit and includes works by women practicing in other milieus in the United States, Eastern Europe, and South America who were similarly concerned with activating the visual and sonic properties of language and experimenting with poetry’s spatial syntax.


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