Spring 2020 Update

PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning was awarded a five year $520,000 grant by Lilly Endowment, Inc. mid-2019.  We recently submitted our first program report to Lilly, demonstrating key activities and performance indicators through December 31, 2019.  The graphic handout below accompanied the report as a high level overview of what PALSave has been up to.

Also, Course Resign Grants applications are open! Visit the following page for more information:

PALSave update handout

Fall 2019 Open Textbook Workshops

Though we are only a few weeks into the fall semester, The PALSave team has already been busy preparing and delivering open textbook workshops! In September, presentations were held for at DePauw University, and Wabash College, with a total of 30 faculty attending.

We are also excited to announce a virtual version of the workshop, Open Textbooks: Access, Affordability, & Success, for faculty who have been unable to attend a workshop on their campus. This Zoom webinar will be held on Monday, Oct 21 from 3-4pm, and faculty attendees from PALNI supported institutions will be eligible to receive a $200 stipend for completing a review of a textbook from the Open Textbook Library. Sign up to attend here

The webinar workshop is part of a whole set of activities the Scholarly Communications and PALSave groups are coordinating for Open Access (OA) week, October 21-25. Be sure to watch for more announcements related to OA week on the PALNI community. 
Interested in bringing the workshop to your campus? Fill out the form at this link. For more information about the PALSave program, contact us at palsave@palni.edu

PALSave System Leaders Attend Open Textbook Network Summit

Four PALSave System Leaders returned to Chaska, Minnesota for the annual Open Textbook Network Summit. This yearly gathering, held each July, brings together OTN members for learning, collaboration, and conversation.

The focus of this year’s OTN Summit was inclusion and equity. Attendees took part in a one day workshop, led by Jess Mitchell from the Inclusive Design Research Centre, and were challenged to think about how open education programs promote and connect to institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. 

There were also breakout and summit sessions focused on collecting data on open education initiatives, publishing open texts, and changes to OTN working groups and support systems. 

Attending the OTN Summit each year is helpful for keeping our system leaders aware of the latest initiatives being launched by the Open Textbook Network, as well as providing educational opportunities that will help us expand the PALSave program into new directions, like publishing and adapting open works.

The PalSave System leaders are:

Amanda Hurford, Scholarly Communications Director for PALNI
Erin Milanese, Affordable Learning Project Coordinator for PALNI & Head of Learning Technologies for Goshen College
Heather Myers, Public Services Librarian for Anderson University
Jennifer Raye, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Butler University
Dr. Tim Ziebarth, Executive Dean, The School of Professional and Online Education for Grace College and Seminary

For more information about the PALSave program, or to bring the PALSave team to your campus, please contact us at palsave@palni.edu

Four of the PALSave System Leaders in Chaska, MN
From left to right: Heather Myers, Amanda Hurford, Jennifer Raye, Erin Milanese

Erin Milanese joins PALNI as Affordable Learning Project Coordinator

Erin Milanese will be joining the PALNI team as the quarter-time PALNI Affordable Learning Project Coordinator on July 1, 2019.

Erin is based out of Goshen College, and has been working to develop the PALSave program as one of the Admin Team members and Open Textbook Network System Leaders for the past year. She’s also collaborated on Goshen’s Textbook Savings Project, bringing valuable on the ground experience to this initiative.

Erin will be providing project support for the grant-based PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning program. Working with the Scholarly Communications Director, she will coordinate efforts to educate faculty about Open Educational Resources (OER) and support the use of affordable alternatives to commercial textbooks. For more information about Erin’s role, see the Affordable Learning Project Coordinator position description here.

Private Academic Library Network of Indiana’s Affordable Education Initiative Garners Support from Lilly Endowment

Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded $520,000 to the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) for PALSave, an affordable education initiative that will combat rising textbook costs and their detrimental effects on student success and retention.

“The PALSave program will provide education and funding support to the faculty of the 24 private Indiana colleges, universities, and seminaries to adopt, adapt, and create affordable learning materials,” said Kirsten Leonard, Executive Director of PALNI. “The five-year funding from Lilly Endowment will enable PALNI to make a real difference to student success and reduce debt by supporting the implementation of course materials that are free to students and customizable by faculty.” 

The average cost of textbooks annually is about $1,300. While only a portion of the overall price for college, the cost of textbooks can have a negative effect on student success.  Research from The Student Public Interest Research Groups and U.S. PIRG Education Fund shows that some students have to borrow more to pay for college, are likely not to buy required materials at some point, and might even drop a class because of text prices. PALNI is pleased to offer the PALSave program in response to this need and to help provide a proactive solution to textbook affordability.The grant will enable PALNI to support course transformations using course materials which are free to students, focusing on Open Educational Resources (OER) worldwide. OER are openly licensed and fully customizable course materials.

Amanda Hurford, PALNI’s Scholarly Communications Director and project lead states, “Recent research demonstrates that students provided with open course materials show improved academic outcomes and retention. By providing faculty education about affordable course material options, and offering support and incentives to implement them, we envision a big impact on student success and savings.”

The project will develop expertise, tools, and content to be used in the course redesign process, and also build community around affordable learning within the twenty-four PALNI-supported institutions.  This collaborative structure between faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and institutions will allow for innovation and rapid growth over the five-year program. In addition, Ms. Hurford is sharing PALNI’s work with two regional groups, the Academic Libraries of Indiana and the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Progress and impact will be provided and updated on the PALSave website: https://palsave.palni.org/

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. More information can be found at www.lillyendowment.org.

About the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI): www.palni.edu

PALNI is a non-profit organization supporting collaboration for library and information services to the libraries of its twenty-four supported institutions. Over time, the library deans and directors who sit on the PALNI board have adjusted the organization’s strategic direction as the internet and information services landscape have changed. PALNI has expanded beyond providing a resource management system to sharing expertise in many areas including strategic planning, reference, information fluency, outreach, data management and configuration, and has identified greater collaboration in acquisitions as a key goal.

PALNI Supported Institutions:

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary | Ancilla College | Anderson University | Bethel University | Butler University | Concordia Theological Seminary | Christian Theological Seminary | DePauw University | Earlham College | Franklin College | Goshen College | Grace College | Hanover College | Huntington University | Manchester University | Marian University | Oakland City University | University of Saint Francis | Saint Mary’s College | Saint Meinrad’s Seminary and School of Theology | Taylor University | Trine University | University of Indianapolis | Wabash College

Check out our Timeline!

This site now has a timeline page illustrating the PALSave story, all the way from the start.

PALSave Timeline

June 2020

10 Courses Transformed with Course Redesign Grants

April 2020

OER Publishing Pilot Started and PALSave Communication Plan Created

March 2020

Full-Scale Launch of Course Redesign Grants

February 2020

PALSave Data Plan Created: Measuring Impact and Perceptions of Zero Cost Course Materials

January 2020

2019 Key Activities and Performance Indicators Reported

Open Textbooks Reviewed by PALNI-supported faculty


In honor of Open Education Week, the PALSave Team would like to extend gratitude to the numerous faculty members who have taken their time to write reviews of titles in the Open Textbook Library, which is the collection of open textbooks maintained by the Open Textbook Network. These titles offer a glimpse into the breadth of subjects in the Library. The reviews provided by PALNI-supported faculty will benefit others considering open textbooks. Have a look!

You are invited: PALSave’s Open Textbook Network Workshop, 3/18/19

PALNI campuses are affiliate members of the Open Textbook Network (OTN) through PALSave, and we’d like to invite you to a workshop with OTN’s leadership to learn about developing successful Open Educational Resource (OER) programs on your campus.

The workshop is Monday, March 18, 2019, at Indiana Wesleyan University North Campus.  Register here

Feel free to email palsave@palni.edu for more information about the workshop or our program.  We hope you can join!

PALSave Campus Leaders learn how to launch cost-saving textbook program on their campus

On November 5, 2018 leaders – including bookstore managers, instructional technologists, and librarians – from over half of PALNI’s supported institutions attended a workshop facilitated by the Open Textbook Network to learn how to roll out this new program on their campus. Attendees were trained to encourage the faculty adoption of open educational resources (OER) in the classroom, and in doing so maximize student success.

PALSave System Leader and University of Saint Francis Teaching and Learning Services Coordinator Andrea Cohn remarked on the workshop success and PALSave benefits: “The best takeaway from the OTN Workshop was that open educational resources really are a win for everyone involved. Faculty benefit from the ability to have complete academic freedom in customizing OER texts to fit needs, students benefit from having free access from day one to the texts in multiple formats, and administration benefits from lowered student cost of attending the university and knowing that they are addressing one of the largest social justice issues facing college students today.”

Other campus departments, such as the campus bookstore, are onboard with the PALSave initiative. “I am most excited about the impact PALSave can have on student success. As a bookstore manager, I believe that if a student spends less on textbooks, they have more money to spend on my t-shirts,” explains Candy Pancake, bookstore manager for Oakland City University. She views PALSave as a student success partner rather than competition for sales, noting: “I had never really seen the library as having any interest in the [textbook] adoption process. But now, I have gained a great co-champion for the textbook affordability initiative I am working on.”

PALNI recently joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN) as the first step to further its initiatives for affordable education and student success across the state. OTN maintains the Open Textbook Library, and is well known for helping organizations to advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses. They have had great success with their initiative: OTN members have saved their students over 8.5 million dollars!

As part of PALNI, supported institutions can enjoy affiliate status in OTN, have access to a trained team to educate faculty on benefits of OER, and obtain help redesigning courses via the PALSave team, at no additional cost to the institution. Additionally, OTN staff will be coming to back to Indiana this spring to facilitate a follow-up Campus Leader Workshop (date to be announced).

For more information about PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning or PALNI’s membership in OTN, contact PALNI Scholarly Communications Director Amanda Hurford (amanda@palni.edu).