What Drives Shane Nackerud

To slash the cost of courses?

Shane Nackerud
Shane Nackerud, Technology Lead, Library Initiatives
University Libraries

As the father of a U student, Shane Nackerud knows how much college costs. That drives him to do everything in his power to lower those costs.

In his work as co-lead (with Kristi Jensen) of the University Libraries’ eLearning Support Initiative, Nackerud helps faculty replace expensive textbooks with alternatives like library materials and open textbooks.

“We also help faculty publish open textbooks and make ‘fair use’ claims for materials, such as book chapters,” he says. “Fair use is a muscle faculty should exercise, and we help them learn how to do that.”

Libraries/Bookstores Partnership

Among the eLearning Initiative’s many projects is a partnership in which the University Bookstores sends the Libraries lists of textbooks students are required to buy. Then Nackerud and his colleagues identify which exist as library ebooks.

“In fall semester 2015, about 400 classes’ worth of ebooks were found,” Nackerud notes. “With all our efforts together, we estimate potential 2015-16 student savings of $1.3 million.”

Digital Course Packs

In the Digital Course Pack project, Nackerud helps cut costs of course material, which may harbor built-in copyright fees, by using freely available library-licensed content and helping faculty learn how to make fair use claims where possible.  

Course pack costs are shrunk to a minimum through work provided by the Libraries’ Course Reserves service, the Libraries’ Copyright Permissions Service, and in partnership with the University Bookstores. No wonder he calls the U a special place “because of the partnerships we have.

“I’m working toward a world where high-cost textbooks aren’t the first thing considered — open textbooks and library-licensed materials are.”

And then there’s football, adds Nackerud, whose office could double as a memorabilia showcase.

“I love Gopher football,” he enthuses. “I love working for an employer that has a football team.”

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