European Practices of Overcoming Language Barriers in Times of Crisis: Open Educational Resources




open educational resources, language barriers, university library, distance education, ENOEL, linguocide, war in Ukraine, library in wartime, information support for distance learning, USUST, SPARC Europe


Objective. In any given country, the national language and education not only help to impart knowledge but also broaden the horizons of students, teaching them to be more tolerant of different cultures. Today, the Ukrainian language as an important component of national identity and state building is one of the main goals of Russia in its war against Ukraine. That is why one of the main challenges for higher education in Ukraine during wartime is to create modern and high-quality educational materials in the national language as quickly as possible, in order to facilitate remote teaching, learning and research processes at universities. The mechanism for responding to this challenge is to turn to the experience of creating, adapting and using Open Educational Resources (OER) in Europe and the rest of the world. The aim of the study is to consider the practices of creating, adapting and using OER in European universities and libraries in the context of their benefits, including the possibilities of overcoming language barriers in times of crisis. Methods. This article is based on the analysis of the literature on OER practices in facilitating the overcoming of language barriers, on the activities of ENOEL, on the practices of librarians and educationalists of several European universities, as well as on self-reflection and direct experience of the circumstances of the war by Ukrainian librarians, who continue information support of the educational process. Results. The theoretical aspects and implemented practical solutions demonstrate that OER can be an effective solution in times of crisis (whether a pandemic or a war) to the issue of quality information support of distance education with materials in the national language in any country in Europe and the world. In the context of higher education in Ukraine, OER is a means and one of the methods of overcoming linguocide by the Russian Federation – the purposeful destruction of the Ukrainian language as the main feature of the ethnic group. The experience of working with OER of the USUST Scientific Library (Dnipro, Ukraine) is the story of a library that was looking for opportunities to answer its local challenges and resolve problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, and found solutions that became necessary during the war with Russia. Conclusions. The authors hope that Ukrainian-language OER will soon become a mandatory element in the cultural environment of Ukrainian universities. And it is OER that can help overcome Ukrainian linguocide in educational resources. The experience of librarians of the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL) proves that one of the most important roles in this is played by university librarians.

Author Biographies

T. O. KOLESNYKOVA, Scientific Library, Ukrainian State University of Science and Technologies (Dnipro, Ukraine)

Tetiana Kolesnykova,
Director of the Scientific Library,
PhD Social Sciences, Communication,
Senior researcher

P. CORTI, SPARC Europe (Netherlands)

Paola Corti,
Open Education Community Manager

M. BUIST-ZHUK, University of Groningen Library, University of Groningen (Groningen, Netherlands)

Myroslava Buist-Zhuk,
Academic Information Specialist,
Pillar leader Open Education


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How to Cite

KOLESNYKOVA, T. O., CORTI, P., & BUIST-ZHUK, M. (2022). European Practices of Overcoming Language Barriers in Times of Crisis: Open Educational Resources. University Library at a New Stage of Social Communications Development. Conference Proceedings, (7), 202–217.