How WordPress saved our open educational services program

Date: Saturday, July 15, 2017
Time: 3:30 - 4:15 pm (EDT) (UTC-04:00)
Location: Room 1028
Format: General Lecture Session

Session description

Our open textbooks program went from one college, three part-time staff, very little funding, an unwieldy website platform, no digitized book production, no statistics, no author participation and many unanswered questions like, “What are open textbooks and why should we care?” to: open educational services, 64 partner colleges, an executive director, advisory board, multiple book formats, author involvement, faster publishing and nearly 200,000 downloads of our textbooks. All of this is due to the flexibility of WordPress.


  • WordPress allowed us to make a responsive, discoverable, search engine-friendly site to serve our textbooks in a variety of formats.
  • WordPress allowed us to create custom statistics tracking system for our downloads.
  • WordPress allowed us to create custom taxonomies and fields for our book metadata, partner colleges, authors and coauthors, and download formats.
  • WordPress has an active community of developers and contributors. If we run into a problem, there is probably already an answer, update or a plugin for it.


Leah Root

Headshot of Leah Root
Publishing/Web Services Developer, State of New York University at Geneseo

Leah Root is a web developer for Milne Library at the State University of New York at Geneseo. She has been around the intertubes since the days of NetScape and Mosaic. Growing up during the 1980s (age of TRON), she was raised "command line" and learned BASIC programming on an Atari 400, graduating to a TRS-80. Leah earned a Masters in Imaging Arts from RIT that satisfied her desire to create imagery with a solid understanding of the mechanics of computer rendering by combing art and film history, traditional and computer animation with video production and programming in a UNIX environment. She loves WordPress because it combines the best of creativity and code. When not tethered to a computer or mobile device, Leah hikes with her dogs, transports rescue animals and trains in archery and martial arts.


  • General Lecture Session: How WordPress saved our open educational services program

Session video

Sessions were recorded and have been uploaded. View the schedule or visit our main videos page to view the videos.


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