We hear your frustration regarding textbooks. We know the cost of textbooks is a concern among students, and the library has taken steps to address this issue.
First, we have begun searching for all required texts in both our EBSCO e-books database and in our book supplier database, to see if we either already have an e-book of the required text or if we can purchase one. If yes, we contact the faculty member to ask if they would like us to make the e-book available. If they are comfortable with students using the e-book, then we link to the e-book from our reserves database and encourage the faculty to notify their students about the book’s availability. Please note that this can only have limited impact, however, because most books used as required texts for courses are not available for campus-wide e-book access.
A longer-term solution is to have faculty explore open access textbooks, when they are available (there are a growing number across a wide range of subject areas) and appropriate for courses. University Librarian Luke Vilelle coordinated a faculty professional development group in the spring of 2016 that explored ways in which faculty could lower textbook costs for their courses. As a result of this initiative, a few faculty are offering courses that have zero materials costs in 2016-17. We will be analyzing the effectiveness of these courses, and we hope to expand this initiative in the coming years.