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Xavier University of Louisiana for Education (XULA4ed) provides a free and open digital library to improve college affordability for students with free etextbooks and educational resources. Having free and immediate access to instructional resources will enable more students to enroll and succeed in more courses as they progress toward graduation in a timelier manner.

Learn more about this project.

Dr. Thomas Huckaba

Spotlight on Felicia Fulks

Working in Xavier since:
 August 2020

B.A. Journalism, MLIS 

Current Position: 
Learning Design and Open Education Librarian

Tell us what you do:
I work on instructional design for the library and with the different departments and colleges. I also work with faculty on Open Educational Resources.

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Committed lifelong learner.

What's the best part about working in a library?
Working students and seeing them light up when they understand a concept that previously caused them to struggle.

What's your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, which is about the Great Migration of Black people from the South to other parts of the country. If I could be any book character, it would be Zelie in Children of Blood and Bone. Who wouldn't want to learn about the potential power of her magic and save her people?

If you could have tea with someone dead or alive, who would it be?
Zora Neale Hurston. I want to ask her about her interviews with Cudjo Lewis, whose story is told in her book Barracoon.

What's something people don't know about you that might surprise them?
I am an avid amateur genealogist. I've been researching my family for over 20 years.

What's one thing you wish college students knew about using a library?
Librarians are some of the best researchers on campus. We are great at walking students through the research process and teaching them how to become better researchers.

Sarah Hernandez

Spotlight on Sarah Hernandez

Sarah Hernandez came to Xavier's Library Resource Center in early June. She will be working with various classes and students to ensure that they are comfortable and confident in the research process. As the First-Year Experience Librarian, Sarah primarily works with first and second-year students and lower-division XCORE courses. However, she is available to work with any students who may need assistance.

Coming from the Memphis Public Library, Sarah has worked with a wide range of customers and has experience in adult literacy, teen services, and college access. She looks forward to getting involved with the Affordable Learning Solutions program and getting to know the Xavier community.

Dr. Thomas Huckaba

Spotlight on Dr. Elizabeth Manley

We are pleased to award Xavier's first ever OER faculty mini-grant of $1000 to Dr. Elizabeth Manley for her OER Course Redevelopment. The course is Teaching Human Rights, Practicing Human Rights. Dr. Manley will present her OER redesign to the Xavier faculty later this spring and share the OER materials publicly. Congratulations!

Dr. Thomas Huckaba

Spotlight on Dr. Thomas Huckaba

Associate Professor, Biology
Xavier University of Louisiana

Dr. Huckaba is currently co-authoring an open-source introductory Biology series. Notice that it is not merely an "e-text" where students are asked to read pages 16-32 online instead of in a hard copy book. No, he and his team are making sure the students engage with the concepts and material from the beginning through projects and problems posed to them. This multi-media learning also features expert lectures, references and resources from women and minority scholars to ensure maximum inclusivity. Dr. Huckaba hopes to have the series ready next year sometime. We'll be checking back with you in 2019 Dr. Huckaba! For more information, email thuckaba@xula.edu.

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Explore the XULA Library Services:

Browse the collection of OER resources for ideas and helpful resources when planning and designing your workshops, flyers, etc.

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Open and Affordable Course Materials

Join us for a workshop from the University Library. Learn about tools and techniques for adopting and creating open and affordable course materials, and about what these materials offer in terms of student learning, financial savings, and pedagogical practice.

  • Led by: Felicia Fulks (Learning Design and Open Educational Resources Librarian); Emily Frank (Affordable Learning Program Administrator for LOUIS)
  • Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2021
  • Time: 12:15 - 1:05 PM
  • Location: Virtual
  • Sponsor: Xavier Library; CAT+FD

crossed out dollar sign indicating a free textbook

Zero Textbook Cost to Students: Dr. Elizabeth Manley Explains Her Journey into the World of OER

Tuesday, May 7 2019, 12:00-1:00pm, Xavier's Library, CAT Mellon Seminar Room 532B

Come have lunch and learn about Dr. Manley's work to transform her "Teaching Human Rights, Practicing Human Rights" course into one that uses only Open Educational Resources (OER) and therefore has a zero cost for textbooks. In addition to Dr. Manley's presentation, attendees are given resources for seeking OER materials for their own courses--a great way to update courses and save our students money! Sponsored by the Center for Continuing Studies and Distance Education.

Please RSVP here so we are sure to have enough boxed lunches on hand.

For more information, contact Karen Nichols: knichola@xula.edu, x7692

New Orleans celebrates OER WEEK early Due to the Mardi Gras holidays OER events happened in February this year. Xavier's contributions to the city-wide efforts:

OER Advocacy Workshop
February 26, 2019

Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education and Mo Nyamweya Coordinator of Open Education

Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education(left) and Mo Nyamweya (right), Coordinator of Open Education from SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

Open Textbook Library at Xavier
February 21, 2019

Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education and Mo Nyamweya Coordinator of Open Education

Emily Frank from LOUIS, the Louisiana academic library consortium, presented on the benefits of open textbooks.

ADD Free eTextbooks You're Using or Created Into MERLOT

Are you using free eTextbooks in your teaching or your learning? Have you created free eTextbooks? We invite you to catalog these resources in MERLOT. Your colleagues and students around the world will thank you!


First: Become a member of MERLOT (It will take about 2 minutes and it’s FREE).

Second: Fill out the online form to Contribute a Material. (It will take about 4 minutes the first time and step-by-step instructions for contributing materials (PDF) to MERLOT are available).


Enter key words below to search the SkillsCommons library for Free Workforce Development OER


Enter key words below to search the MERLOT library for Free eTextbooks

Advanced Search MERLOT Materials


Enter the ISBN of a book below to find related FREE eTextbooks.