Anita Walz, first recipient of the University Libraries International Travel Supplemental Funding, attends Open Textbook Summit in Vancouver, BC Canada

Eight-Steps to Successful Change as applied to Open Initiatives

Anita presented on her “adaptation of John Kotter’s Eight-Steps to Successful Change as applied to Open Initiatives. (This was based on “Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail” HBR March/April 1995, and Kotter’s subsequent book Leading Change.) It was helpful to talk about application of each step and why the model may or may not be a good fit for Open Initiatives.”

A small sampling of what Anita found especially interesting at the conference:

  • “FANTASTIC” keynotes by Dr. Rajiv Jhangianai and students, Chardaye Buckert and Erik Queenan are linked here.
  • OER Library initiatives in the Pacific Northwest and in BC are much stronger among both two- and four-year institutions as a result of funding and technical/professional development support. Two library initiatives I’d like to look further into regarding OER and librarians in Virginia include BCOER Librarians and Librarians as Open Education Leaders.
  • A network of editors, faculty, project organizers, book sprint facilitators etc. has grown up around the BC Campus open textbook initiatives. These are important types of specialized skill-sets to foster/look for at VT and in the surrounding area.
  • There were numerous questions regarding the perceived “role” of librarians – particularly that librarians can and should be doing more than permissions and fact-checking. So, it was encouraging to be ahead of the curve here with regard to project planning, leadership within libraries etc.

Global librarian

Anita, a well-traveled librarian, comments on new experience this trip provided:

Having previously traveled for long periods in Asia and Africa, this trip was much easier logistically and linguistically. At the conference I found myself needing to ask for clarification regarding idioms and certain vocabulary whose use was unfamiliar to me. The relative proximity of the U.S. is obvious, but it was good to see that there are Canadian distinctions not erased by this close proximity. (It was interesting to see images of American dollars used to portray money in various presentations when carrying and using multicolored Canadian currency.) Other significant differences exist regarding Canada’s relationship to the Crown and the emphasis on First Nations that is not as readily seen in the U.S. – particularly as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations report on Canada’s residential schools was released while I was there.

For more information on Open Textbooks and freely available and openly licensed resources in general, see the University Libraries Open Educational Resources (OER) Getting Started Guide.


(Photo: “Open Textbook Summit 2015” by BCcampus_News.)