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Welcome to Napa Valley College Library

Open Resources: Home

NVC OER Liaison

The OER liaison for Napa Valley College is Erin Quealy. If you have questions about OER or ZTC, please contact her at

Types of Open Resources

In addition to the resources that the library pays for, there are many high-quality free resources available online that you can use in your classes (there are also poor quality resources, but that is another discussion about evaluation). They are two main categories you will encounter: Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Access (OA). Napa Valley College encourages faculty to consider adopting open resources for their classes in order to mitigate some of the high costs of textbooks. 

Open Educational Resources (OER) are "high-quality teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license, such as a Creative Commons license, that permits their free use and repurposing by others, and may include other resources that are legally available and free of cost to students" (from California Community Colleges). 

Open Access (OA) "makes research accessible immediately upon publication with no restrictions. Anyone with internet access can find, read, mine, cite and share OA articles at no cost to them" (from PLOS). 

Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) - in 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB132 into law. Among many other initiatives designed to increase the success of community college students, this bill directly addressed the high costs of textbooks, requiring "a community college district, as a condition of receiving funding, to strive to implement zero-textbook-cost degrees" and included $115 million in funding. 

OER: Curate and Create

Open Access Explained

Eisen, Jonathan & Nick Shockey. "Open Access Explained!" YouTube, uploaded by Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics), 25 October 2012,