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PALSave Textbook Creation Grant program releases new open textbook: “Writing for Digital Media”

INDIANAPOLIS and ANDERSON, Ind.—The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) is pleased to announce the release of "Writing for Digital Media" by Cara Miller, Associate Professor and Director of the English Program at Anderson University. 

This open textbook, made possible through a Textbook Creation Grant from the PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning program, addresses the evolving landscape of writing in the digital age. As a peer-reviewed, open educational resource—OER—it is entirely free to students and is ready for use in any classroom.

About the Book

Writing for Digital Media mockup 6 x 9From social media to websites and blogs, the online realm has become a dynamic space for personal expression, professional communication, academic discourse, and civic engagement. In an era where communication is increasingly mediated through digital platforms, this book explores functions from a critical and rhetorical perspective and provides practical skills and strategies that students can put into practice in their digital writing. 

Key features include:

  • Critical Exploration: The textbook critically examines the functions of digital writing in various contexts, helping students develop a nuanced understanding of digital communication.
  • Rhetorical Perspective: Through a rhetorical lens, the book emphasizes the importance of crafting messages that are not only effective but also ethically and persuasively communicated in the digital realm.
  • Practical Skills and Strategies: The book provides practical guidance that students can apply to enhance their digital writing abilities.

"Working on this project was both challenging and fun,” says Miller. “I think it's important to provide students with quality, open-access resources, and this textbook is my attempt at a comprehensive guide—imbued with both theory and practical application—that students can refer to again and again in their digital writing. I'm grateful for the consistent support that I received from PALNI throughout the entire process."

“The publishing of this book is an achievement in its own right, but it is all the more impressive and demonstrative of Dr. Miller's commitment to affordable learning for students when seen in the context of her many other OER efforts,” adds PALNI board member James Bell, Director of Libraries and Associate Professor of Library Science at Anderson. “Dr. Miller has participated in multiple other grant initiatives through PALNI and PALSave. These include redesigning courses using open textbooks and resources produced by other content experts, as well as reading and writing thorough reviews of current open textbooks, in order to better promote or educate other teaching faculty about available OER options. Approximately 90% of the courses Dr. Miller teaches each year are ‘zero textbook-cost,’ reducing the hidden and sometimes burdensome costs that stack up for students. She is an exemplar of the movement for affordable learning!”

Collaborating with PALNI

Miller received a PALSave Textbook Creation Grant for the project in 2022. Offered to faculty from PALNI-supported institutions, the grant allows educators to develop open textbooks that are freely available online, making them part of a nationwide effort to reduce the cost of course materials for college students. Financed with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., each grant provides a maximum of $6,500 per project or $5,000 per author. Currently, there are 15 grant-funded titles published or in production through PALNI.

“Dr. Miller, an expert in writing, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this project. Additionally, her commitment to open education aligns seamlessly with PALSave's goal of fostering the creation and adoption of affordable and accessible learning materials,” says Amanda Hurford, PALNI Scholarly Communications Director and PALSave program lead. “Thanks to her work, countless students will have access to a critical resource for understanding and applying skills in digital communication. PALNI is grateful to Dr. Miller, and to our funding organization, Lilly Endowment, for enabling us to support this project.” 

Project Manager Sylvia Yang, Music and Performing Arts Librarian at DePauw University, and PALNI Publishing Project Coordinator Heather Myers also supported the book’s creation.

“Writing for Digital Media” by Cara Miller is available for free through the PALNI Press. 

Visit PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning online to learn more about Textbook Creation Grants and other OER opportunities offered through PALNI.


About the PALSave Textbook Creation Grant Program

With support from Lilly Endowment Inc., PALNI's PALSave Textbook Creation Grant Program awards funding to faculty members from PALNI-supported institutions to create open textbooks.

Faculty are periodically invited to submit creation grant proposals for the courses they teach. Textbooks may cover any discipline at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. PALNI seeks proposals for textbooks geared toward specific fields of study that meet the inclusion criteria for the Open Textbook Library. 

The PALNI Open Educational Resource (OER) Publishing Task Force selects projects for funding based on proposal quality, clearly defined goals, need within the current open access body of work, and adoption potential within PALNI schools and beyond.

PALNI coordinates peer review, copyediting, layout, and hosting services to assist grant recipients in their textbook creation. Each textbook is also supported by a local project manager to monitor progress and answer questions throughout development. The open textbooks are published on the PALNI Press-supported Pressbooks platform alongside other faculty-contributed works and are ultimately submitted to the Open Textbook Library and OER repositories.

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

About the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana

The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) is a non-profit organization that supports collaboration for library and information services for 24 colleges, universities and seminaries throughout the state. From its inception in 1992, the PALNI collaboration has been a key avenue for its supported institutions to contain costs while providing more effective library services. More recently, PALNI has adopted a model of deep collaboration that pools resources and people as a tool to expand services while keeping costs down. PALNI’s board of directors, composed of all 24 library deans and directors from the supported organizations, convened a Future Framing Task Force in 2019 to address ongoing demographic challenges in higher education. The board has escalated this work in the wake of COVID-19, as the consortium seeks to manage the increased need for online support while reducing costs. Simultaneously, PALNI is expanding collaboration within its institutions and with external library partners to address challenges and build cost-effective services. Visit the PALNI website for more information.

PALNI Supported Institutions

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary | 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-of-the-Woods College | Saint Mary’s College | Saint Meinrad’s Seminary and School of Theology | Taylor University | Trine University | University of Indianapolis | Wabash College

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