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State Library of Pennsylvania: More than $120,000 Awarded to Support Open and Affordable Learning Across the Commonwealth

10/20/2021

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL), along with the Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI), today announced that more than $120,000 has been awarded to 33 projects at institutions of higher education through the second round of Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (PA GOAL).

“One of the best ways we can support learners is through forming partnerships that can drive targeted funding and resources where they’re needed, and the PA GOAL program creates access in areas with specific needs,” said Acting Deputy Secretary and State Librarian for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries Susan Banks. “This will make a real difference for educators and learners in communities across the commonwealth, and OCL is proud to support this impactful initiative.”

During this round, $129,366 was awarded to fund projects in three categories. Seventeen will result in the redesign of one or more courses to use open or zero-cost materials in lieu of traditional textbooks; 11 will result in the creation of new, openly licensed textbooks or other course materials like homework sets, lecture slides, or course modules for a learning management system; and five will reimburse the costs of library-licensed materials adopted to replace student-purchased materials for courses to be taught in the coming academic year. 

The funded projects will be hosted by 22 institutions across Pennsylvania. Fifteen projects are hosted by publicly funded institutions, and 18 are hosted by independent non-profit institutions, with nine at institutions offering two-year degrees, and 24 at institutions offering four-year degrees.

To date, 63 projects have been funded across the commonwealth through PA GOAL. 

Funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) established by the CARES Act of 2020 and through PDE and OCL, PA GOAL provides zero-cost textbook alternatives across a wide range of Pennsylvania institutions, with a particular focus on support for underserved or underfunded institutions, including rural, publicly funded, and community colleges. The program reduces out-of-pocket student costs and increases the opportunity for student success, especially among economically or otherwise disadvantaged students.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries within the Pennsylvania Department of Education supports, develops, and provides library services for learning and advancement. For more information on the Pennsylvania State Library, visit their website and follow them on Twitter

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website or follow PDE on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest

PALCI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization consisting of 71 academic and research libraries in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. PALCI libraries partner to serve more than 800,000 students, faculty, and staff, through a variety of programs, and PALCI also serves as the administrative home for the Affordable Learning PA initiative, to create a community of practice for open educational resources (OER), including textbooks and related educational materials. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Kendall Alexander, PDE, kenalexand@pa.gov

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