January 23, 2022

Learn About: The North Carolina State University Libraries “Alt Textbook” Project

Exciting project and one SUPERB logo!

From the NC State University:

2017-02-23_15-58-58Today’s college textbooks are more than 800 percent pricier than in 1978, sharply outpacing inflation and averaging nearly $5,000 for four years of study.

So what does a student with a limited budget do? In 2014, nearly 7 in 10 college students reported not purchasing a textbook because they could not afford it, and most of those students feared it would impact their performance in a course.

“This [project] is about creating free and better resources … that make sure students can afford to participate in higher education while also making instruction better and more powerful,” said Will Cross, Director of NCSU Libraries’ Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center that coordinates the project.That’s why NCSU Libraries created the Alt Textbook Project, which provides mini-grants and support for faculty to adopt, adapt or create free and open alternatives to textbooks.


In 2015, Alt Textbook helped nine NC State courses transition to open resources, generating $250,000 in avoided textbook costs.

“It’s making NC State the example by creating resources open to anyone who is trying to teach that material,” said Lillian Rigling, an NCSU Libraries Fellow coordinating the Alt Textbook project. “Not only can we make it better for our students but the field is improved as a whole.”

Savings and impact are also mounting among the second round of 11 participating courses.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article

Direct to Alt Textbook Project Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.