Local Government in North Carolina Available Now as Open-Source Publication

Local Government in North Carolina Front Cover

Local Government in North Carolina, an interactive, multi-platform collaboration between School faculty members Ricardo S. Morse and Gordon Whitaker, is now available for free access.

This publication can be used at the K-12 level by informal learners, adult education programs, and as a supplement for civic education programs such as local government citizens academies. The e-book is enhanced with multimedia features—such as augmented reality, videos, podcasts, and interactive data charts. 

Local Government in North Carolina is published under the creative commons license as an Open Educational Resource (OER). The term Open Educational Resources was coined in 2002 during a forum held by the UNESCO as the open provision of educational resources, enabled by information and communication technologies for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non-commercial purposes.

The book showcases the role, form, structure, and functions of local government through multimedia storytelling and fosters civic engagement in a technology-rich learning environment.

  • The podcast channel is intended to house a growing number of episodes that showcase the people behind local government.
  • The augmented reality features in this book were developed with Metaverse.
  • All data charts for this book have been created with Tableau Public for interactive exploration.

Since the early 1990s, the North Carolina City County Management Association’s (NCCCMA) Civic Education Project has supported the creation and dissemination of Local Government in North Carolina, working with Whitaker. The first edition was published and made available free of charge to classrooms across North Carolina in 1993. Subsequent editions were published in 2003, 2009, and 2012 with the support of NCCCMA. Shortly after the fourth edition was published, Whitaker retired after 40 years of service at UNC.

Whitaker entrusted his School colleague Morse to take the lead on the effort when it came time to update the text in 2018. Again, with funding support from NCCCMA, the work to update the text commenced with a focus not only on updating content, but also in modernizing the format and expanding the scope of the book’s audience.

The publication has been updated periodically since 1993. Offering the 2021 edition under a creative commons license makes it easy to contextualize, translate, and repurpose the material. The textbook is intended to be used in a variety of civic education contexts within the state of North Carolina and beyond. Educators can generate versions for different states, specific age groups, educational purposes or settings.

Learn more about the creation of this publication and the related features or start reading today.