Local Hosting of Faculty-Created Open Education Resources

Launching Pressbooks

Keywords: Pressbooks, Open Educational Resources, OER, Open Source, ebooks, digital texbooks, self-hosting


Rising costs of secondary education institutions, coupled with the inflated cost of textbooks, have forced students to make decisions on whether they can afford the primary materials for their classes. Publishers working to supply digital access codes, which limit the ability of students to copy, print, or share the materials, or resell the textbook after the course is over, have further pushed students into forgoing purchasing materials. In recent years, institutions have moved to support OER (Open Education Resources) initiatives to provide students a cost-free primary text or supplement to their materials. This allows students unfettered access to quality resources that help drive engagement in courses, from homework to discussions. While larger institutions or in-state partnerships with resource sharing consortiums, such as the MnPALS cooperation with the state of Minnesota, provide access to platforms like Pressbooks, smaller institutions and private colleges don’t always have the ability to negotiate these types of relationships. In this case study, I will cover the foundations necessary to start a low-cost, self-hosted solution to support faculty creation of OER material and the available resources that the University of Dubuque utilized in their development process. This overview will briefly cover the skills and knowledge needed to support the growth of this initiative with minimal complexity and as little jargon as possible.


“About the Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project.”, Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project, Accessed September 1, 2021, https://mlpp.pressbooks.pub/about-the-minnesota-library-publishing-project/.

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Braddlee and Amy VanScoy, “Bridging the Chasm: Faculty Support Roles for Academic Librarians in the Adoption of Open Educational Resources,” College & Research Libraries (May 2019): 429.

Caitlin A. Schleicher, Christopher A. Barnes, and Ronald A. Joslin, “OER Initiatives at Liberal Arts Colleges: Building Support at Three Small, Private Institutions,” Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 8 (2020): 16.

Dale Easley, “The Story of the Earth.” Dale Easley, September 1, 2021, http://www.daleeasley.com/resources/Physical/GeoMain.pdf.

Dale Easley, The Story of Earth (Dubuque: University of Dubuque Pressbooks), http://pressbooks.dbq.edu/storyoftheearth/.

“Educational License Application”, cPanel, accessed March 14, 2022, https://input.cpanel.net/s3/edu.

“How to Upgrade to OAuth2 Security for Existing Google/Gmail Accounts.”, Postbox, Accessed September 1, 2021, https://support.postbox-inc.com/hc/en-us/articles/218446767-How-to-Upgrade-to-OAuth2-Security-for-Existing-Google-Gmail-Accounts.

“Import from a Word Document.”, Pressbooks User Guide, Accessed March 14, 2022, https://guide.pressbooks.com/chapter/bring-your-content-into-pressbooks/#chapter-156-section-3.

“Installation.”, Pressbooks Documentation, Pressbooks, last modified February 23, 2022, https://docs.pressbooks.org/installation/.

Jennifer Snoek-Brown, Dale Coleman, and Candice Watkins, “From Spark to Flame, Lighting the Way for Sustainable Student OER Advocacy Framework at a Community College,” Scholarly Communication 82, no. 8 (2021): 2.

Karen Okamoto, “Making Higher Education More Affordable, One Course Reading at a Time: Academic Libraries as Key Advocates for Open Access Textbooks and Educational Resources,” Public Services Quarterly 9, no. 4 (2013): 4.

PressbooksEDU, PressbooksEDU Plans Q3 2019, received July 26, 2019, Adobe PDF.

How to Cite
Letriz, J. (2022). Local Hosting of Faculty-Created Open Education Resources. Information Technology and Libraries, 41(1). https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v41i1.13803