Artwork by : opensource.com
by Kendra Lake, Dean of Library Services & Academic Technology
This fall, we asked students, "How much was your most expensive textbook?" The answers ranged from "I don't know because I haven't bought them" to "$686" to "let's just say I ain't eatin' Panda Express anytime soon". While the last comment might seem silly, it demonstrates the reality that our students face. Some students do have to make a difficult decision between buying their textbooks and buying groceries.
SC4 Library has teamed up with many instructors and academic departments to find creative ways to help our students with this issue.
Last year, students checked out our textbook reserves 475 times - and we anticipate they'll get even more use this year! You can check to see if a textbook for your class is available on the library's website https://esearch.sc4.edu/textbooks. Some of the titles are only available for in-library use (so the most students are able to use them) so you may have to spend a little time hanging out in the library, but many are available to you as e-books, just for being an SC4 student! Don't see your class listed? Talk to your instructor and ask them if they have a copy they can lend the library.
On September 21st, 2018, SC4 hosted faculty, librarians, and staff from colleges across Michigan for the MCO OER Summit conference. The focus of this conference is to help support and encourage the creation, use, and advocacy of openly licensed educational works. What does this mean? More equitable access to educational resources, lower textbook costs, creative use of alternative materials, sharing of resources & expertise, and more flexibility for faculty and students!
An example: Our BIO 271 & 272 classes previously used a $312 book. For the past few years, they have been using OpenStax Anatomy & Physiology, a free, high-quality, open textbook in all sections. This book is free to download, and approximately $50 to purchase a paper copy. This is just one of many ways that faculty are addressing student textbook costs. Some faculty use library resources in place of expensive textbooks, and one history instructor, Ryan Johnson, has even written his own history textbook for HIS 101! The library links to these alternative textbooks currently in use by our faculty is on our Textbooks page, the same place we keep track of our textbooks on reserve.
We've been tracking savings like these for 2 years now, and SC4 faculty have saved 5500 students a potential of over $750,000 in textbook costs in just 2 years!
You can learn more about open educational resources on our website: https://esearch.sc4.edu/OER.
Congratulations and happy reading to the winners of "Banned" Books!
Thank you to students, staff, and faculty for participating in our annual Banned Books Week celebration!
Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association