Musselman Library is committed to providing Gettysburg College students with an affordable education

From 1834, when the Gettysburg College Board of Trustees allocated $500 for the establishment of the College’s first library, to 1981, when construction of the Musselman Library was completed, Gettysburg librarians and staff remained committed to inspire students in their academic pursuits while actively making their education more accessible and affordable.

When Janelle WertzbergerAssociate Dean and Director of Scholarly Communications at the Musselman Library, attended a conference in 2014 as part of her membership in the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), she discovered Open Educational Resources (OER), freely available to students and teachers. However, Wertzberger was not the first person on campus to learn about OER. Health Sciences Prof. Josef Brandauer had just started using an open textbook for his statistics course.

“OER provides an opportunity to implement inclusive strategies in the classroom that benefit all students,” said Brandauer, who is also director of the Johnson Center for Creative Teaching and Learning (JCCTL). “We cannot be ‘great’ instructors without welcoming all students into our learning environments. »

Janelle Wertzberger at Ovation 2022

Upon returning to campus, Wertzberger partnered with Brandauer to introduce OER to the rest of the Gettysburg College faculty and staff. Over the next eight years, more than 80 on-campus instructors adopted open textbooks for their courses, reaching more than 5,000 students. This fall semester, OER reached a monumental milestone: students saved a cumulative $1 million on textbooks as faculty switched to open textbooks.

The effects of these efforts are not only reflected in numbers. Story Major Theodore Szpakowski ’25 worked with the Musselman Library last year as one of Holley interns. After seeing the impact of OER on students, Szpakowski then created a presentation with Wertzberger on advocating for students in favor of OER.

“Teachers can tailor OER to their lessons, which provides a much more cohesive experience than reading a few chapters in multiple textbooks or reading out of order,” Szpakowski said. “They also save students money and create a fairer experience.”

Wertzberger has also been recognized as a Affordable Learning Champion by Affordable Learning in Pennsylvaniaa community of higher education partners working to advance the affordability of education. Management Professor Alice Brawley Newlin and Professor Marta Maras also received this honor for their dedication to affordable education. Together, Newlin and Maras remixed an open textbook to replace a $300 textbook for a course in statistical methods.

Applause 2022
Musselman Library celebrates scholarly work published by Gettysburg College faculty in Ovation 2022

The Musselman Library also supports academic efforts through its open-access institutional repository, The dome. The Dome provides free access to the scholarly and creative work of Gettysburg College faculty and students, which can be searched directly on the website or any online search engine. By following this work, the Musselman Library celebrates the academic pursuits and accomplishments of those on campus and makes those accomplishments more accessible to others around the world. Open access papers like those in The Cupola are cited far more frequently than works hidden behind a paywall, so they will also have a big impact on future work. On September 23, 2022, Ovation, formerly known as the College Authors Reception, celebrated and recognized authors among faculty and staff who have published in 2019, 2020and 2021.

The Wertzberger and Musselman Library will proudly continue to work toward more affordable resources for Gettysburg students. “Affordable resources have made a huge difference in the academic success and sense of belonging for hundreds of Gettysburg students,” she said. “The library is committed to this work on behalf of our students.”

Learn more about affordable resources from the Musselman Library.

By Helen O’Neill ’23
Pictures of Shawna Sherrell and Thia Anyaoku ’23
Posted: 10/17/22

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