As commercial college textbook costs continue to rise, estimated as high as 812% or more than three times the rate of inflation since 1978 by Student PIRGs, many students are choosing to not purchase textbooks, jeopardizing their success in the classroom. A new initiative at UConn, spearheaded by students from UConnPIRG and the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), is underway to investigate ways to educate students and faculty on the value of Open Educational Resources (OER) such as open source textbooks.
Last fall, USG kick started the movement by voting unanimously to form a committee to explore the use of open source textbooks. The committee is being led by UConn’s Vice Provost for Libraries Martha Bedard and UConnPIRG Textbooks Coordinator Toyin Akinnusotu. To further strengthen their commitment, USG passed a resolution on March 11, urging faculty to submit their textbook requirements on time to the University, a requirement for all federally funded institutions. This was further supported by the University’s Provost’s Library Advisory Committee, formed to help direct the library on issues regarding scholarly information access and delivery.
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