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Integrating Library Content into Blackboard for SAU Faculty: Open Educational Resources

A guide for SAU faculty on how to add library e-books, articles, videos and more to your Blackboard courses


The items on this page are just a sampling of what is available.  Feel free to contact the St. Ambrose University Reference Librarians for assistance in finding other items available.  Call 333-6245, or visit the Librarians in the Library between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.

This page is designed to help the University community find, evaluate, and use OER.  However, don't forget that there are already many electronic resources available to you through the St. Ambrose University Library.  The Library has subscribed to full-text journals, databases, primary content, and e-books.  These resources are restricted for use by University faculty, staff, and students (you must log-in to access them when off-campus).  They do not allow for customization and re-use in the same way as OER materials.  Although they are not "open", they are resources that you can make available at no cost for your students.

For assistance with these licensed materials, please contact the Reference Librarians at 333-6245, or email  Or visit the Library website to access these materials:

General OER Sources

MERLOT ( is a free and open peer-reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community.  A good source for Business, Education, Music, Political Science, and Sociology subject areas.

OER Commons ( The OER Commons is a single search source that pulls from multiple OER collections, including MERLOT and Connexions.  It is a great first step in an OER search, but often more results can be found by searching the specific collection.  A good source for Business, Education, History, Life Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology subject areas. 

OER Starter Kit -- developed by the OER Librarian at Iowa State University, this resource provides an introduction to the use and creation of open educational resources.  It includes everything from copyright information to teaching with OER, and then publishing your own OER.

Accessibility Toolkit - 2nd edition ( is a free online collection of resources to help authors create their own  OER in accessible formats according to the concepts of universal design.

CCCOER -- Despite its name, the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources is an excellent resource for learning about OERs for all educational levels, finding OER materials, and finding academic articles about OER implementation. The consortium has assembled one of the best organized collections of OER resources and materials.

Open Textbook Collections

The following collections of OER materials include books, videos, course modules, and other material suitable for higher education.  Most have been peer-reviewed by faculty across the country.

OASIS -- Openly Available Sources Integrated Search

Search over 155,000 open educational resources (OER), developed by SUNY Geneseo.

The Open Textbook Library (OTL, is part of the Open Education Network, founded by the University of Minnesota.  There are over 850 textbooks (as of Spring 2021) that are peer-reviewed and must meet specific criteria to be included.

LibreTexts ( was founded by the University of California, Davis, and contains free online books, educational materials, and 3D interactive elements.  Additional materials are being added due to a grant from the Department of Education.

OpenStax ( was developed following traditional textbook publishing methods, including peer review, editorial support, and creation of ancillary content. Books are available in multiple formats (PDF, print on demand, on the Web) and are licensed to be revised and remixed by faculty who want create a custom solution for a course.

Open Book Publishers ( Search open access books in the Humanities and Social Sciences from this not-for-profit based in the United Kingdom. In addition to fee-based hardback, paperback and ebook editions, free online editions of every title is available in PDF, HTML and XML formats to read via the website or downloaded for reuse.

University of Michigan Press ( The UMP EBC is a comprehensive collection of the University of Michigan Press’s scholarly ebooks for sale to libraries. The Press adds at least 80 titles annually. The UMP EBC is fully accessible on Fulcrum, a leading community-developed, open-source platform for digital scholarship developed by Michigan Publishing and the U-M Library. Fulcrum offers users the ability to read books with associated digital enhancements, such as 3-D models, embedded audio, video, and databases; zoomable online images, and interactive media. 

Directory of Open Access Books  (  has over 13,000 peer-reviewed books from 282 publishers.

BCcampus OpenED  ( developed in British Columbia, and contains open textbooks on a variety of subjects from Art to Social Sciences.

Book Boon ( specializes in accounting, economics, engineering, marketing, management, and IT.  

University of Hawaii Open Educational Resources -- ( has textbooks on a variety of topics.

Milne Open Textbooks -- ( is an initiative established by the State University of New York, and includes open textbooks and open courses.

United Nations iLibrary -- This virtual library contains full text books and other reports produced by the United Nations.  It includes books, papers, and statistics on topics including drug use, gender issues, energy, environment, international law and trade, migration, children's issues, and outer space.

Digital Collections, Images, Videos

Digital Public Library of America -- digitized collections from libraries, museums, and archives all around the world. Includes an App Library that includes open data that can be used by software developers, researchers and others to create new learning environments and tools for discovery.

HippoCampus -- free videos in 13 subject areas

Internet Archive -- free movies, music, books, and access to the Wayback Machine

Khan Academy -- Interactive exercises, videos, and assessments in math and sciences

Library of Congress -- contains digitized photos, papers, maps, etc. in areas of art, history, government, 

NSDL: National Science Digital Library -- digital resources and learning objects in the areas of education, math, science, and technology.  Results can be filtered by education level.

PHET -- interactive simulations for science and math

Open Access Articles

Directory of Open Access Journals - full-text access to articles from over 8,000 scholarly and scientific journals.

Frontiers -- full-text access to articles in science, medicine and psychology

JURN -- over 3,000 arts and humanities journals; most have open access to articles, some with partial access

PLoS -- Public Library of Science.  Publishes peer-reviewed open-access journals in science and medicine

PubMed Central -- full-text access for articles from over 1,100 medical and scientific journals and selected articles in over 2,000 additional journal titles

SCIRP -- contains more than 200 open access journals in the areas of science, technology, and medicine