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Thursday, November 6 • 2:15pm - 3:00pm
Libraries Leading the Way on the ‘Textbook Problem’

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Escalating textbook costs and continually evolving technologies for delivering course content have combined to place the ‘textbook problem’ at a boiling point ripe for systemic change. The long-term evolution of systems for delivering course materials will be shaped by a complex mix of economic, political, pedagogical, and technological factors along with a diverse set of players including faculty, publishers, open educational resource providers, central information technology, and librarians. The immediate problem facing academic libraries of all types is what, if anything, they can or should do about textbooks. While academic libraries do not exert central authority or market power to drive solutions, they do have both physical centrality on campus and important visibility and goodwill in the academy. Further, there are strategies available for librarians to move the needle from problem to affordability, access, and piloting new spaces to incubate change. Attendees will learn that by employing a mix of collections-centric and scholarly communication focused strategies, academic libraries can save students and their families money in the short-term, while empowering faculty to make more pedagogically-rich materials and facilitating long-term, systemic change in the textbook marketplace.

The goals of this session are to:

1) Provide ideas for academic libraries to help with the textbook affordability problem.
2) Give examples of specific strategies and partnerships that libraries are employing to facilitate wider access to high quality textbooks while reducing costs.
3) Discuss the role of the library as a campus leader, educating faculty on new textbook models and investigating and providing incentives to incubate change.


Marilyn Billings

Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Libr, University of Massachusetts Amherst
avatar for William Cross

William Cross

Director, Copyright & Digital Scholarship, North Carolina State University
William M. Cross is the Director of the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center at North Carolina State University where he provides advice and instruction to campus stakeholders on copyright, licensing, and scholarly communication issues. As a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Will earned an M.A. in Technology & Communication, a J.D. in Law, and an M.S.L.S. in Library Science. Before joining the Copyright and Digital... Read More →
avatar for Brendan O'Connell

Brendan O'Connell

Instructional Technology Librarian, Smith College Libraries
I am Instructional Technology Librarian at Smith College Libraries, where I contribute to a variety of emerging projects. I am acutely interested in what academic libraries mean in the liberal arts context. | | Before this, I was a Library Fellow at North Carolina State University Libraries, where I contributed to launching the NCSU Libraries Alt-Textbook Project , designing the D.H. Hill Library Makerspace, and collaborating with faculty on... Read More →
avatar for Charlotte Roh

Charlotte Roh

Scholarly Communications Resident Librarian, UMass Amherst

Thursday November 6, 2014 2:15pm - 3:00pm
Carolina Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403