Open educational resources have the potential to reduce the cost of education and to increase access to quality information. The field has seen impressive growth over the past decade and faculty awareness of these resources continues to grow. At the same time, there is a need for complementary materials to fill out the affordable content landscape. Library licensed E-Books have a significant role to play in increasing student affordability. Research has shown that around 20 percent of a typical materials list can be filled by E-Books (Filion & Wallace, 2018). At our institution, a textbook equivalent course reserves team formed to explore the option of purchasing E-Books based on course material lists and placing access to these books directly in the learning management system. This initiative started to provide equivalent access to online students who cannot use physical course reserves. Student and faculty feedback was overwhelmingly positive, investment costs from the library were low, and potential student savings totaled in the $400,000 dollar per semester range. This has led to an operationalized process that occurs every semester. Outgrowths of this include placing E-Books into the learning management system for residential courses as well. This poster will review the process and team composition that has made the effort successful, how students access the E-Books, results of the survey data gathered around the E-Books, and how library licensed E-Books fit into the overall landscape of affordable course content. A special focus will be on how this effort can be replicated across institutions.
Victoria Raish– Online Learning Librarian, Penn State University