expensive textbooks

making textbooks affordable for students

The library’s role in making textbooks affordable for students

Thursday, December 12, 2019 1:00 pm
Central Standard Time (Chicago, GMT-06:00)
Textbooks costs continue to increase for students. Join ACRL, Choice, and Springer Nature for a lively webinar to gain insights into the ways librarians are actively working with faculty and teaching staff to promote the selection of licensed textbooks and other eBook types when planning courses and choosing materials.

Springer Nature is a leading STM and HSS publisher. Learn how Springer Nature eTextbooks, reference works, brief, and other book types found in Springer Nature’s ebook subject collections make high-value teaching resources available to students and academics. Institutional access to textbooks can save students hundreds of dollars, and because they are DRM free, students don’t have to worry about restrictions on downloads, printing, or saving.

Speaker(s): Liz King

Liz King has recently joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Libraries as Associate Director, Library Information Services, where she oversees daily operations of the Technical Services Department. Liz is looking forward to working on ongoing and new initiatives at Rensselaer Libraries. Of particular interest is the continued development of an information literacy strategy for the Rensselaer Libraries using both existing and new resources and partnerships. Liz is also an Adjunct, Associate Professor for the Business, Government, and Technical Communications Department at a very large community college. Prior to joining Rensselaer Libraries, Liz was a Research, Instruction, and Outreach Librarian at an emerging research university in Texas. When she’s not doing library-related things, Liz enjoys hiking and camping in the nearby Adirondack Mountains.

Please read the Choice/ACRL Privacy Policy and Personal Data Notification.

Register : https://choicereviews.webex.com/mw3300/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=choicereviews&service=6&rnd=0.9421465906509021&main_url=https%3A%2F%2Fchoicereviews.webex.com%2Fec3300%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3Ddetail%26%26%26EMK%3D4832534b000000045cc57bde03196ee421982c4b8af77dbdec5720a6772335eecf88faa3d35a59cc%26siteurl%3Dchoicereviews%26confViewID%3D145295610776420127%26encryptTicket%3DSDJTSwAAAARf8u7p5Huon2DS4NsA0UGxXS7VNJnjIOvn4_UIXjiLxQ2%26

copy right and fair use

Tangible media that can be protected through a copyright include songs, movies, books and artwork. Since copyrighted works are protected, they often require special permission or licensing for use with groups, including classrooms.

Fair use permits the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Teaching is an activity that qualifies as fair use. When determining fair use, four factors should be considered,

  1. the purpose and character of the use;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion use in relation to the whole work; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market.

The right to show video in the classroom doesn’t rely on fair use. In fact, there is a separate part of copyright law that lets teachers show video in class. However, consider these four points. You can show video:

    1. During face-to-face teaching
    2. When viewed in a classroom or other place of instruction
    3. With a lawfully made copy
    4. As a regular part of instruction and directly related to content being taught

Copyright & Fair Use Resources

This is the U.S. Copyright Office website. You can learn just about anything you want to know about the copyright law and its history. Be sure to check out the Education section.

UMUC Library
The University of Maryland, University College Library discusses copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons on the Get Help section of their website.

Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers
This PDF resource was created by Hall Davidson. It is a great reference for teachers when it comes to fair use and the variety of mediums we use in the classroom. The downloads section of his website has a great selection of copyright resources.

Copyright and Intellectual Property
Kathy Schrock’s website is always a great resource for educators. She has a section all about copyright and intellectual property with resources for classroom use and educator learning.

Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media offers a free, K-12 digital citizenship curriculum. Creative Credit/Copyright is one of the eight topics the lessons focus on. These lessons are a great way to help students become positive, productive digital citizens.

Media Education Lab
This is a good resource for media literacy education. Teachers can find a variety of teacher resources focus on media literacy, including copyright, as well as professional development opportunities.

E-Books as Open Educational Resources

By Stefanie Panke for AACE Review, October 2nd 2019

The e-book Local Government in North Carolina is produced with PressBook, a WordPress based platform that allows us to publish e-books in multiple formats (epub, mobi, html, pdf) from one single source document. This allows for maximum accessibility so that people with different e-readers (Kindle, iPad, Nook, etc.) and platforms (phone, web) can use the resource with ease. It also allows for a variety of export options for other learning organizations to adapt the content.



Some economists say OpenStax and other OER producers helped to halt the decades-long rise of textbook prices, which, along with other supplies, now set the average undergraduate back between $1,200 and $1,440 each school year, according to the College Board.

Feeling squeezed, for-profit publishers are searching for new revenue by selling colleges digital homework systems that charge students up to $100 for a semester’s worth of access. Since professors typically require use of these tools to participate in class, students complain that they are essentially being charged to turn in their assignments.

First, OpenStax came for textbooks. Now, it’s coming for courseware.

And for some faculty, the biggest question is: What about the extras the publishers give us (like those homework systems that automatically grade work students turn in)?

“They’re not very inclined to take on a new textbook that will require them to change the way they’ve been teaching, significantly altering their syllabus with new tests and resources and ways of assessing students, changing their PowerPoint slides,” says Nathan Smith, philosophy instructor and OER coordinator at Houston Community College, which offers a few “Z-Degrees,” the catchy phrase used to describe entire programs that have zero textbook costs.

“But once faced with intense competition from Open Stax, et al., the ‘textbook cartel’ had to, for the first time, start offering low-cost options for students to maintain their market share, or suffer from a significant loss of market share,” Perry said in an email interview.

For example, this year, giants Cengage and McGraw-Hill announced plans to merge and offer a subscription-based service that combines their digital libraries. Many publishers are also pushing “inclusive access” programs, in which colleges buy access to digital textbooks from publishers in bulk and then charge students a fee to cover those costs.

Commercial texts and tools make it too easy for some faculty to outsource their teaching and course design, Smith says, although he’s empathetic to part-time instructors whose workloads outweigh their resources. Open materials return some power to professors.

“We’re letting publishers determine what gets taught in our institutions,” Smith says. “I think a part of reclaiming faculty integrity and academic freedom—and what we think is most important about our jobs—is to reclaim the control of your course materials.”

results have been mixed, but a meta-analysis published this year in the journal Educational Technology Research and Development found “students achieve the same or better learning outcomes when using OER while saving significant amounts of money.”