Photo of oats growing in field with OATS logo in lower right corner

Written by on September 25, 2013

OATS: The Mustang Way

This fall, Kennedy Library launched a new initiative called OATS. This Q and A is here to tell you all about it!

What does OATS stand for?
OATS stands for Open Access to Textbooks for Students. We’re excited about the name because we’re the Mustangs and Mustangs eat oats.

That’s great, but what does OATS actually mean?
Good question. It means that Kennedy Library has added over 150 new textbooks, workbooks and study guides to Room 111, near the Research Help Desk. We decided to provide these books based on the high demand we have for our course reserves.

What are your hopes for OATS?
Textbooks and other study materials can be expensive, so this is another way we can help students succeed in their classes. They can use OATS along with their assigned texts for more study power.

So OATS are different than assigned texts?
Usually, yes. OATS are supplementary materials, not necessarily the assigned textbook. However, in lower division coursework especially, you may find that OATS offer much of the same introductory information that assigned textbooks do. Options are good! However, be sure to check your syllabus so that you know what textbook and edition have been assigned.

How can students and faculty use OATS?
OATS can be used within the library, scanned or copied, or sometimes accessed on the internet for free. OATS are for use in the library only. We want this collection to grow, not diminish. If items disappear then everyone loses out. That’s where The Mustang Way comes in.

How can people find OATS?
Look for the big window cling on the first floor near the elevators. OATS are in Room 111 near the Research Help Desk. You can also find OATS in PolyCat if you use “open access to textbooks for students” as a keyword search.

I hear there are actual oats, like that you can eat. Is that true?
Ha! Yep. We have ordered 600 packs of oatmeal and added stickers with OATS information right on the package. Because this is a unique collection we wanted to help spread the word in a unique way. Plus, what college student doesn’t like free food?

How do student and faculty offer feedback about OATS or make suggestions for new titles?
We welcome feedback! We want to be sure we are giving students what they need to succeed. Contact us on Facebook, Twitter or via the Feedback tab you’ll find on our website. Or send us a note at ude.yloplacnull@stao-bil.

Who was involved in making OATS?
Our Associate University Librarian Sarah Cohen started a committee last spring with Sharon Andresen, Mark Bieraugel, and Michael Price to find ways to improve course reserves. From this committee the idea of an open access reserve was born. Sarah worked with the collections department to select and order the books. Conny Liegl and I (Kristen Thorp) have been in charge of the design and marketing.

More about OATS is on our website.

Read more on affordable learning solutions, OATS, and open access textbooks for students.