The University Libraries encourages faculty to move away from high cost commercial textbooks, and use new, more affordable curricular resource strategies.

Many services help faculty consider alternatives to high cost textbooks including:

  • open textbooks,
  • digital course packs,
  • copyright and intellectual property advising,
  • and help using existing library collections.

Open textbooks

Textbook costs create a burden on college students that impacts their academic success.

The rising costs of commercial textbooks continue to outstrip inflation. This affects access to higher education and student learning, as students stop buying textbooks. Open textbooks lessen the burden of textbook costs.

Open textbooks are full, real textbooks, licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed. Many quality open textbooks are available for faculty to choose from. Projects like Open Textbook Library and OpenStax College give access to free, peer-reviewed textbooks that cover many subjects.

Digital course packs

Digital course packs combine different course-related materials into a single point of access, online, and in an accessible format.

Course materials may be

  • library licensed items,
  • lawfully determined fair use items,
  • open access materials,
  • or materials that may need small royalty payments.

Digital course packs by the libraries are more affordable and accessible for students. They deliver content through many devices (like iPads) and services (like Moodle).

They streamline the course pack creation process for faculty and instructors. They also give guidance and services to deliver the best, high quality, and most appropriate course content for students.

Copyright and intellectual property advising

Copyright issues come up in the course of teaching - showing films, sharing readings, claiming fair use, and a host of other issues.

The Libraries help faculty with these issues and more. Consult Nancy Sims, Copyright Program Librarian, to learn more about copyright and intellectual property in the online course environment.

The copyright information and resources site, as well as workshops, are also available. They help faculty consider copyright law and its impact on teaching and curriculum.

Content discovery and acquisition

The University Libraries help instructors find customized course content, and materials already purchased through the Libraries. The Libraries have thousands of full-text databases, journals, and e-books to use in the course environment.

The University Libraries also investigate strategic purchases for new materials for direct course support.