Thursday, November 8 • 10:30am - 11:15am
The Library's Opportunity in Affordable Textbooks

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Textbook affordability has become a rallying cry for many in higher education. Parents and students, who are forced to pay for expensive texts, seek relief. Instructors worry that their students often work with textbook copies that are not up to date and even, in extreme situations, forego purchasing a text at all. The question that this panel explores is what role the library community can play in improving textbook affordability.

There have been a number of proposals to lower the cost of textbooks, but two in particular have emerged as strong candidates: open educational resources (OER) and inclusive access. OER bears a strong resemblance to the principles underlying the Open Access movement. Free to access by the user, OER also permits instructors to configure texts for their classrooms. Recently inclusive access has burst on the scene, with report of over 400 U.S. institutions having inclusive access programs in place. In inclusive access, an institution negotiates directly with publishers for deeply discounted digital editions. In some instances those negotiations are being handled by librarians.

This panel covers three areas of textbook affordability: the creation of OER material (Mark McBride), the evaluation of OER materials (Mark Cummings), and a library’s experience in implementing both an OER and inclusive access programs (Gwen Evans). The objective of the panel is to probe the question of textbook affordability and to develop plans for implementation.

avatar for Joseph Esposito

Joseph Esposito

Senior Partner, Clarke & Esposito
I am a management consultant working in the area of publishing, especially scholarly publishing, and digital media. I work with for-profit and not-for-profit companies. Most of my clients are CEOs or Boards of Directors, whom I advise on strategy. My aim is to help organizations make... Read More →

avatar for Mark Cummings

Mark Cummings

Editor and Publisher, Choice (ACRL)
Mark Cummings is editor and publisher at Choice, the publishing unit at the Association of College and Research Libraries. Mark has worked in publishing for over thirty years, beginning his career as a reference editor at Macmillan and serving in a variety of editorial and publishing... Read More →
avatar for Gwen Evans

Gwen Evans

Executive Director, OhioLINK
Executive Director of OhioLINK, a library consortium of 120 higher education libraries and the State Library of Ohio and a division of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Formerly Associate Professor and the Coordinator of Library Information and Emerging Technologies at Bowling... Read More →
avatar for Mark McBride

Mark McBride

Library Senior Strategist, SUNY

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