Affordable Course Materials: Electronic Textbooks and Open Educational Resources (An ALCTS Monograph)

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A College Board survey reports that a student’s average costs of textbooks for a year at a public four-year university is nearly $1,300. Equally worrisome is another study’s finding that two-thirds of students will skip using a textbook because of the cost. By offering and spotlighting affordable course materials, academic libraries can prove their value while helping to create a more equitable learning experience for students. In this book, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) has gathered its members’s; expertise to describe affordable text initiatives that promise to improve student learning and student retention. Topics covered include surprising findings on the most expensive courses for textbook requirements; a case study showing how LSU abandoned DDA, established requirements for e-books collections, and boosted usage to 17,000 unique titles accessed; ways to build on existing procedures and relationships of print reserves to develop e-book collections for courses; how to work productively with campus bookstores; analysis of library programs that offered grants to faculty for developing course texts at UCLA, North Carolina State University, and the University of Southern Mississippi; creating a textbook database so faculty can discover potential textbooks the library already has or could purchase in e-book format; measuring textbook usage through COUNTER reports or course reserve systems; and ideas for partnering with campus instructional technology and distance ed units. This valuable book demonstrates how librarians can use their collection, licensing, and faculty outreach know-how to help students and their instructors address skyrocketing textbook prices.

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