May 28, 2022

A Look at the UCLA Library’s Affordable Course Materials Initiative

From UCLA:

An initiative that started to take shape in 2011 when several UCLA undergrads asked campus librarians for help to reduce the cost of course readers has now evolved into a successful campuswide program that benefits not only students, but instructors, the UCLA Library and the general public.

Beyond saving students money, the Affordable Course Materials Initiative, which became official last fall after a pilot phase, has helped librarians achieve a closer alignment between what’s in their collections and what students and instructors are using in the classroom.


This initial project, which lowered the cost to students by as much as 60 percent per course reader, later developed into the initiative. In its pilot phase alone, the initiative saved 1,647 students more than $163,118. So far, 35 instructors, ranging from adjuncts and lecturers to Academic Senate faculty in 25 departments and schools, have participated in the program.

The initiative gained the endorsement early on of the UCLA Academic Senate and UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, who helped with its initial funding, along with the California Digital Library. The program continues to enjoy their support, said Associate University Librarian Sharon Farb, who came up with the idea for the initiative.

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Learn More: Visit the Affordable Course Materials Initiative Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.