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Affordable Texbooks:

A Novel Idea
Spring 2019

Research Group: Eli Anderson, Parker Hall,


Christian McCoy, Brooke McCulley, Harper
Street
Table of Contents

Introduction.................................................................................................................................. 2

Personal Stories............................................................................................................................. 2

Professors’ Input........................................................................................................................... 4

Textbook Prices............................................................................................................................. 5

Strategies at Other Universities..................................................................................................... 12

Middleton’s E-Textbook Initiative................................................................................................. 13

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Introduction
Every new semester, college students face an overwhelming amount of costs in order
to fund their education. These costs include housing, tuition, and other miscellaneous items.
Though these are all unavoidable expenses, students will be able to plan for and anticipate
these costs and budget accordingly. However, textbooks present another issue. Required course
materials are an insidious cost that is ultimately up to professors. Students have no way of
knowing how expensive their books will be until the semester has already begun. Unlike tuition
and housing, students are unable to budget for these costs as efficiently due to the short amount
of time provided to them to acquire these materials. The goal of this research document is to
impress upon professors just how damaging this can be for students, and to lay out the myriad of
alternatives available at reduced or no cost.

In the research document below, the group provides personal stories from students
affected by textbook prices, followed by a table of textbook prices from the Fall of 2018 and the
Spring of 2019 school semesters. Following this table, is a response from the professors who
assigned these materials. The research will then examine what other institutions have done to
combat these high textbook prices. Finally, the group will lay out its plan for a more affordable,
student-friendly textbook purchasing option.

Goals
1. Spreading awareness to professors of Middleton’s E-Textbook resources.
2. Reaching out to multiple department heads to encourage department-wide switch to
Cengage.

Personal Stories
To better understand the effects of textbook prices, the research team attempted to
compile personal stories from LSU students who pay these costs. Though every student’s own
story is unique, it is clear that there is a consensus that the prices of required course readings
are almost always too high. The way students deal with these prices varies, so there was an
attempt to field responses from all of LSU’s most prominent senior colleges.

To best illustrate the information, the responses are organized from bad to worse. While
most, if not all, students are affected by these prices, some major fields feel the pain more than
others. The research team first spoke with students in the colleges of Humanities and Social
Sciences and the Manship School of Mass Communication. These students were usually the
least affected by textbook pricing. Next, students from the E.J. Ourso College of Business
described their methods of avoiding costs. Engineering and other STEM students will then lay
out some of the most egregious examples of high pricing, followed by freshman students, who
seem to withstand the worst of increasing prices.

Students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Manship School of
Mass Communication did not seem to have as many negative comments as students in other

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majors. Dominic Dewey, a political science and sociology student, explained that a majority
of the books he had to buy were more like novels than textbooks. This was especially true for
Political Science classes. Smaller books are typically priced in the $40-$50 range and are much
cheaper if used copies are rented. Psychology student Kathryn Engro explained that many peers
in her major depend almost entirely on Amazon to supply their textbooks, which she claims
many of her teachers recommend. Students in the Manship School similarly only spend around
$25-$50 per course on their required readings.

In the Business School, some students interviewed displayed some apathy when
discussing textbooks. A combination of high prices and lack of actual use appears to have made
some business students apprehensive about buying their courses’ required readings. Senior
finance major Hunter Dugas said that “textbooks are so expensive that I haven’t even bought
any since the first semester of freshman year.” This is an opinion shared by many students
of the college. High textbook prices would make any student hesitant to purchase them. This
hesitation often turns into a refusal to purchase at all, as test banks and other helpful materials
are constantly circulating in business student circles, making some textbooks obsolete.

Engineering and other STEM students appeared to be the most afflicted by high
prices. Unlike some of those in the business college, most engineering students must
purchase textbooks if they want to pass their classes. Senior mechanical engineering student
Robbie McElderry said his “Heat and Mass textbook ran me $375,” and that such a price was far
from uncommon. However, when asked about high book prices, Senior petroleum engineering
student Daniel Enicke reflected that, “Yeah, they’re pretty steep but not nearly as bad as those
bull-- freshman level classes.”

Having only completed one semester of college, most freshman students do not exhibit
the same level of apathy as the upperclassmen. Out of all the freshman students interviewed,
not one of them questioned the necessity of buying the textbooks assigned by their professors.
However, their enthusiasm for this aspect of the education process does appear to be dwindling.
Freshman biology major Catherine Street said, “textbooks cost a whole car note, and we end up
opening them one time out of the whole semester.”

The LSU bookstore, Barnes and Noble, does attempt to provide some remedy for high
prices. One helpful service that Barnes and Noble claims to offer is a price match option. The
bookstore claims that if you bring it evidence of one of its textbooks being sold at a lower price
from a third party vendor it will match this price. However, this benefit appears to be much less
flexible than advertised. Senior Kathryn Engro recounted a conversation she overheard at Barnes
and Noble between a student and a store clerk. She said the student was attempting to enact this
price match policy with what seemed to be an absurdly overpriced biology textbook. The Barnes
and Noble store clerk firmly informed the student that the store only honors this policy if the
alternate book price comes from Amazon, thus eliminating the many other online textbook
sellers.

The store also allows students to sell their books back to the store once the semester is
over, however, this is a common source of criticism for students, as well. Senior finance student
Erin Brennan said that there have been multiple occasions where she only received $40 for

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Accounting books that originally cost around $150. Similarly, senior Engineering student
Andrew Recatto claimed that he only got $30 back for a Fluids textbook that originally cost him
over $100. Barnes and Noble’s resell prices are usually not even close to half of what students
originally purchased their textbooks for, making many students question whether this resell is
fair.

Though each story is unique, there is a commonality among all of them. Most students
are tired of high textbook prices, and all would likely be more than happy to explore different
options.

Professors’ Input
In addition to getting input from students, the research team also spoke to professors
around LSU. The professors were all asked a few questions: Are they aware of the price of the
textbooks assigned for their course? Have they ever had students tell them that they could not
afford to buy the textbooks or materials? What would their response in this situation be? Is there
any alternative for students in this situation and has the department ever considered more cost-
effective options?

All the teachers who were asked these questions teach classes that require some of
the most expensive textbooks on the LSU campus. Most of the teachers the research group
contacted said they were unable to discuss textbook choices and prices because the books for
their classes are chosen for them by the department. It seems that often these pricier books are
not selected by professors, but by department heads or whoever oversees several sections of the
same course. However, this is not only true for courses with multiple sections. This is the case
for several courses with only one section.

All the professors contacted said they were aware of the cost of their assigned books.
They all also said they never had a student say he or she was unable to purchase the books due
to cost. Some of the professors have been teaching or overseeing the course for over a decade. In
fairness, some of these courses offer an online version of the text at much lower prices than the
print editions. An accounting professor said that she tries to be as flexible as possible and offers
a few weeks of grace to give students time to buy the book due, as she understands the potential
financial burden of the book and materials.

Many departments including the accounting and biology departments try to at least
make sure that students can get the most out of the books they spend so much money on. For
instance, the book for BIOL 1201 is the same book that used for BIOL 1202, and professors said
that if students buy it, the book can be a great resource when studying for exams such as the
MCAT or the GRE Biology.

When asked about the decision of books for courses, one department head said that the
faculty made the decision jointly. This department had said the faculty members were looking
for a text that outlined the important content they wanted to teach, was also clear and written
in a way that could be understood. However, the department head admitted, “If there was a text-

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book that could meet these criteria and was significantly less expensive, then we would use it.”

Textbook Prices
The costs for a student to purchase the books for one class during the Spring 2019 se-
mester are shown in the table below. The group was able to obtain the pricing of the books used
through the LSU Bookstore website: https://lsu.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/
BNCBHomePage?storeId=19057&catalogId=10001&langId=-1, while the enrollment was col-
lectible through the LSU general catalog: http://appl101.lsu.edu/booklet2.nsf/mainframeset.

Buy New; Rent New, Spring 2019


Department Class
Used Used Enrollment
2 Sections;
ACCT 2000 $208.65; N/A N/A
401 Total
4 Sections;
ACCT 2001 $258.65; N/A N/A
797 Total
$242.65; 2 Sections;
ACCT 2101 N/A
$190.65 419 Total
$332.60; $256.50; 1 Section; 437
ART 1001
$265.10 $237.50 Total
$189.95; $159.50; 1 Section; 113
ARTH 1441
$158.10 $149.60 Total
3 Sections;
ASTR 1101 $78.40; $58.80 $53.30; $32.95
506 Total
4 Sections;
BIOL 1001 $363.40; N/A N/A
607 Total
4 Sections;
BIOL 1002 $363.40; N/A N/A
733 Total
1 Section; 469
BIOL 1201 $421.50; N/A N/A
Total
16 Sections;
BIOL 1208 $59.35; N/A N/A
398 Total
$133.35; 4 Sections;
BLAW 3201 N/A
$100.00 619 Total
$340.95; $244.65; 5 Sections;
CHEM 1201
$265.70 $181.40 1,088 Total
14 Sections;
CMST 1061 $60.00; N/A N/A
468 Total
50 Sections;
CMST 2060 $76.00; N/A N/A
1,277 Total
$133.35; 5 Sections;
ECON 2000 N/A
$100.00 624 Total
$100.00; 10 Sections;
ECON 2010 N/A
$75.00 639 Total
$138.25;5 16 Sections;
ECON 2030 N/A
$103.70 631 Total
14 Sections;
CMST 1061 $60.00; N/A N/A
468 Total
50 Sections;
CMST 2060 $76.00; N/A N/A
1,277 Total
$133.35; 5 Sections;
ECON 2000 N/A
$100.00 624 Total
$100.00; 10 Sections;
ECON 2010 N/A
$75.00 639 Total
$138.25; 16 Sections;
ECON 2030 N/A
$103.70 631 Total
12 Sections;
ENGL 1001 $78.00; $58.50 N/A
239 Total
$141.20; 120 Sections;
ENGL 2000 $96.00; $59.30
$105.90 1,986 Total
$132.95; 3 Sections;
ENVS 1126 $90.40; $81.10
$99.70 789 Total
38 Sections;
EXST 2201 $85.35; N/A N/A
829 Total
3 Sections;
FIN 3716 $205.15; N/A N/A
837 Total
$160.00; 9 Sections;
FREN 1001 N/A
$120.00 185 Total
3 Sections;
GEOG 2050 $122.00; N/A N/A
645 Total
$189.25; $128.20; 3 Sections;
GEOG 2051
$141.95 $88.95 397 Total
3 Sections;
GEOL 1001 $100.00; N/A N/A
393 Total
3 Sections;
HIST 1001 $91.20; $68.40 $62.00; $42.85
494 Total
$128.00; 1 Section; 162
HIST 2055 $86.78; $55.75
$96.00 Total
$129.10; 3 Sections;
HIST 2057 $93.20; $64.10
$96.85 477 Total
$259.05; $187.25; 2 Sections;
ID 1051
$202.95 $140.10 508 Total
4 Sections;
ISDS 1100 $106.65; N/A N/A
796 Total
$307.70; 4 Sections;
ISDS 2000 N/A
$230.75 413 Total
$176.00; 3 Sections;
KIN 2500 N/A
$132.00 397 Total
1 Section; 382
KIN 2501 $154.95; N/A N/A
Total
16 Sections;
MATH 1021 $130.30; N/A N/A
708 Total
22 Sections;
MATH 1022 $132.25; N/A N/A
848 Total
1 Section; 481
MATH 1029 $364.05; N/A N/A
Total
3 Sections;
MGT 3200 $113.35; N/A N/A
910 Total
6 5 Sections;
MKT 3401 $80.00; $60.00 $54.40; $37.60
886 Total
16 Sections;
MATH 1021 $130.30; N/A N/A
708 Total
22 Sections;
MATH 1022 $132.25; N/A N/A
848 Total
1 Section; 481
MATH 1029 $364.05; N/A N/A
Total
3 Sections;
MGT 3200 $113.35; N/A N/A
910 Total
5 Sections;
MKT 3401 $80.00; $60.00 $54.40; $37.60
886 Total
$114.65; 1 Section; 17
MUS 1002 $77.95; $53.90
$86.00 Total
$394.00; 2 Sections;
PHYS 2001 N/A
$338.00 535 Total
4 Sections;
POLI 2051 $100.00; N/A N/A
623 Total
3 Sections;
PSYC 2000 $133.25; N/A N/A
813 Total
$154.65; $105.20; 9 Sections;
SOCL 2001
$116.00 $64.95 1,266 Total
14 Sections;
SPAN 1101 $200.00; N/A N/A
348 Total
Buy New; Rent New;
Used Used
$177.42, $121.10,
Avg. Price:
$136.25 $92.15

After compiling the results from the Spring 2019 semester, the group compared the
same 45 classes but during the Fall semester of 2018. The previous group stated that they chose
these classes in particular because most LSU students will enroll in them at some point in their
college career. The data from the previous semester was accessible from the group that created
the project last semester. The price difference between the two semesters is shocking.

Buy New; Rent New; Fall 2018


Department Class
Used Used Enrollment
$208.65; N/A 2 Sections;
ACCT 2000 N/A
462 Total
5 Sections;
ACCT 2001 $258.65; N/A N/A
462 Total
$208.00; 2 Sections;
ACCT 2101 N/A
$150.00 458 Total
$144.65; 1 Section; 863
ART 1001 $92.70; $44.44
$107.00 Total
$191.65; 2 Sections;
ARTH 1441 $90.10; $29.99
$143.75 436 Total
3 Sections;
ASTR 1101 $48.80; N/A N/A
423 Total
7 Sections;
BIOL 1001 $247.15; N/A N/A
1,393 Total
3 Sections;
BIOL 1002 $247.15; N/A N/A
478 Total
6 Sections;
BIOL 1201 $280.95;7N/A N/A
1,991Total
49 Sections;
3 Sections;
ASTR 1101 $48.80; N/A N/A
423 Total
7 Sections;
BIOL 1001 $247.15; N/A N/A
1,393 Total
3 Sections;
BIOL 1002 $247.15; N/A N/A
478 Total
6 Sections;
BIOL 1201 $280.95; N/A N/A
1,991Total
49 Sections;
BIOL 1208 $57.35; N/A N/A
1,290 Total
$133.35; 4 Sections;
BLAW 3201 N/A
$100.00 651 Total
$322.35; $195.65; 11 Sections;
CHEM 1201
$226.00 $74.99 2,148 Total
15 Sections;
CMST 1061 $60.00; $45.00 N/A
582 Total
51 Sections;
CMST 2060 $76.00; N/A N/A
1,250 Total
$177.00; $115.05; 8 Sections;
ECON 2000
$132.75 $107.95 1,142 Total
$100.00; 8 Sections;
ECON 2010 N/A
$75.00 583 Total
$138.25; 1 Section; 664
ECON 2030 N/A
$104.00 Total
122 Sections;
ENGL 1001 $97.35; $73.00 N/A
2,074 Total
$122.20; 51 Sections;
ENGL 2000 $79.45; $30.80
$91.65 867 Total
3 Sections;
ENVS 1126 $132.95; N/A $86.40; N/A
658 Total
1 Section; 820
EXST 2201 $85.35; N/A N/A
Total
3 Sections;
FIN 3716 $205.15; N/A N/A
776 Total
18 Sections;
FREN 1001 $132.80; N/A N/A
343 Total
3 Sections;
GEOG 2050 $120.00; N/A N/A
468 Total
$181.95; $118.25; 3 Sections;
GEOG 2051
$136.00 $46.99 443 Total
3 Sections;
GEOL 1001 $100.00; N/A N/A
583 Total
$121.35; 5 Sections;
HIST 1001 $21.30; $17.99
$68.40 503 Total
$130.95; 4 Sections;
HIST 2055 $57.15; $37.60
$98.20 515 Total
2 Sections;
HIST 2057 $59.95; $44.95 $38.95; $14.30
349 Total
$224.40; $145.85; 1 Section; 380
ID 1051
$168.00 $105.45 Total
4 Sections;
ISDS 1100 $106.65; N/A N/A
800 Total
4 Sections;
ISDS 2000 $106.65; N/A N/A
8 487 Total
$177.35; 1 Section; 317
HIST 2057 $59.95; $44.95 $38.95; $14.30
349 Total
$224.40; $145.85; 1 Section; 380
ID 1051
$168.00 $105.45 Total
4 Sections;
ISDS 1100 $106.65; N/A N/A
800 Total
4 Sections;
ISDS 2000 $106.65; N/A N/A
487 Total
$177.35; 1 Section; 317
KIN 2500 N/A
$133.00 Total
$133.35; 1 Section; 383
KIN 2501 N/A
$100.00 Total
45 Sections;
MATH 1021 $126.00; N/A N/A
2,150 Total
7 Sections;
MATH 1022 $126.00; N/A N/A
901 Total
2 Sections;
MATH 1029 $238.05; N/A N/A
567 Total
$310.80; $202.00; 6 Sections;
MGT 3200
$233.10 $31.50 1,118 Total
4 Sections;
MKT 3401 $80.00; $60.00 $60.00; $50.00
233 Total
$104.95; 1 Section; 350
MUS 1002 $68.20; $49.35
$78.70 Total
$224.00; 4 Sections;
PHYS 2001 N/A
$168.00 1,102 Total
$174.65; $113.50; 5 Sections; 511
POLI 2051
$131.00 $65.99 Total
3 Sections;
PSYC 2000 $133.25; N/A N/A
1,518 Total
$244.60; $159.00; 12 Sections;
SOCL 2001
$183.45 $46.80 1,489 Total
$200.00; 34 Sections;
SPAN 1101 N/A
$150.00 754 Total
Buy New; Rent New;
Used Used
$157.79; $102.72;
Avg. Price:
$120.04 $50.28

In just one semester the average price of purchasing a textbook, whether it be buying or
renting a new or used book, has gone up. Statistically, out of the four purchasing options
buying a new book is the most expensive option. Surprisingly the average price of buying a new
textbook for these 45 courses, has increased $19.63. Although the average price has gone up,
notall courses experienced an increase in their textbooks, some saw a decrease. Out of these 45
courses, 30 of them showed a price change for the cost of a new textbook. ISDS 2000 showed
the most prominent price change with an increase of $201.05. The chart on the next page visu-
alizes the price difference for each of these 30 classes.

The publishers are taking advantage of the students on this campus by raising their pric-
es at this rate, but they are not solely responsible. The faculty members who unknowingly as-
sign books that have monstrous costs are putting holes in the pockets of students who typically
have an unstable income. The best way to stop feeding money to the publisher is by commu-

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nicating with all faculty members to keep the students in mind when assigning books and use
alternatives such as the e-textbook services offered through the LSU library.

In the table below you can see the courses that showed the largest percentage increase
from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019 out of the classes chosen. This table lists the top five increases
between the same two semesters.

Department Class Percent Increase

ISDS 2000 189%

ART 1001 130%

HIST 2057 115%

PHYS 2001 76%

MATH 1029 53%

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Other Universities’ Strategies
Textbook pricing has been an issue in postsecondary education for years. CBS News
reported recently that textbook prices had increased four times the rate of inflation in the past
ten years. Textbooks can go upwards of $200, and if you need an access code, you’re looking at
another $100. Access Codes are a one-time fee for students to get access to online homework, as
professors are getting more reliant on outside sources for their grading purposes. This can
force students to buy books with access codes from the university bookstore or the publisher
themselves, which are known as the two most expensive options.

With most students taking between 12 and 15 hours, total textbook prices can soar
upwards of $1,000. Students are looking for other options, and professors are not always
understanding of their plight. However, if professors and departments could begin negotiating
prices and becoming more understanding, it could ease the burden on the students.

In some high schools, departments purchase a textbook that the teacher can use for years
until a new edition comes out. This relieves students from buying these books just for a one-year
usage. However, this system dissolves once a student goes to college. As if spending $15,000
a semester on college is expensive enough, students are responsible for their own books.
Professors should be able to negotiate prices on the books with the publisher to allow
students cheaper options. For example, a professor at UC Irvine was able to negotiate a 75% price
deduction with Cengage Learning. If departments regulated the textbooks for certain classes,
then they could bulk order books, which would reduce the price. If all professors of a particular
class agreed upon one textbook for the course, they could also do so.

In the fall of 2018, Cengage began offering a subscription service that provides unlimited
access to over 22,000 Cengage e-textbooks and online materials for $120 per semes-
ter and $180 per year. For those who prefer physical textbooks, they offer rentals for $7.99.
Students also have the option of saving six books in a digital locker up to one year after the
subscription ends. Cengage CEO Michael Hansen reported that over 500,000 students
purchased the subscription last semester. Cengage estimates students will save about
$60 million in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Textbook publishers could not go on without professors choosing their book, so why not
negotiate? Generally, professors aren’t receiving any royalties from textbooks. If the price is out-
rageously high, students will not want to purchase them and not learn. Professors want their stu-
dents to learn and thrive and since they have no bearing on the books, why wouldn’t they want to
negotiate? Professors could not want to interfere with the student’s finances by determining
what books the students are required to buy. It could potentially be time-consuming for the
professors to try to negotiate with sellers.

However, there is another force pressing on textbook prices: newer versions. Every four
or five years a new edition of a textbook comes out, and professors generally choose to upgrade
to this new version. But often, there is not much difference between old editions and new edi-
tions. For example, a U.S. history book for years 1776-1813 does not change the information, just

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how it is presented. It is hard for students to use old editions as the chapters can be off and the
review questions are not always the same. Professors could alleviate this issue by maintaining
an older version or allowing a conversion for students who cannot afford a new version. To
obtain more research, interviews will be conducted with professors to compare the difference of
information when buying a newer issued textbook versus an older version of the same textbook.

In theory, departments and professors could help students negotiate textbook prices to a
fraction of what they are now by offering other alternatives to the traditional textbook/access
code ‘bundle,’ which generally does not save any more money. Students would be more apt to
learn and read when they were not worried about how it was going to affect their budgets.

Middleton’s E-Textbook Solution


In the fall of 2014, the Middleton Library began an e-textbook initiative. This is an online
resource that allows students to download and print certain textbooks that the library has
purchased. The library only purchases e-books that have no restrictions on simultaneous
usage, access, or printing. Not all books meet this requirement, so there is a limit to what
textbooks the library can acquire. When professors choose a book to assign to students, they
can go to the library’s webpage, see if the book is offered for free through the library, and then
assign it to their class. Professors can also request that the library purchase a book if it meets
the usage requirements. The library page says there are over 250,000 books available, but they
are only listed on the student page if a professor has requested that the library assign it to his
or her class. Students can go to the e-textbook page and search by class, instructor, course title,
or book title.

There are a few problems with this system. Professors are not always proactive and
do not necessarily take advantage of this resource. Students also do not know about it. After
starting this research, the group decided to search for one of the group member’s courses, HIST
4053, in the E-Textbook database. One of the books she already purchased was available as a
free e-book through the library, but she was unaware. While browsing through the other books,
they found another book that she purchased last semester. This means that her professor put
in a request with the library to list the book on the student page, but failed to mention to the
class that it was available for free. They then spoke with David Dunaway, a librarian who works
on the e-textbook initiative, to ask him how this could happen. He told them that every year
professors assign over 4,000 textbooks. Dunaway tries to go through these books and list the
e-book versions for students, but the task is overwhelming. Professors need to be proactive in
requesting that their books be listed on the library’s page. The group needs to communicate this
to professors.

When they met with Dunaway, they were also introduced to Rebecca Kelley, who is
the Manship School’s library liaison. She worked with the group last semester. The group has
brainstormed ideas for getting the word out to students. In addition to a flyer, they would like
to post a banner on the MyLSU homepage so that all students will see it when they log in. They
discussed LOUIS, a library consortium that is dedicated to saving students money on course
materials.

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LOUIS is currently working on a few projects that could be helpful to our effort. Course
Transformation Grants are available to professors who replace their course materials with
no-cost materials. LOUIS also provides support for e-textbook programs at different
universities across the state by generating suggestions of what books to buy. Finally,
LOUIS is working on creating “Open Educational Resources,” or OERs, that are aligned with the
Louisiana Statewide Common Course Catalog. This spring, LOUIS is planning on launching new
OER that has been curated by educators in the state.

Dunaway estimates that since the start of the program in Fall 2014, the library has
potentially saved students about $5,034,940 in textbook costs. This is assuming that every
student used the available e-textbook rather than buying the textbook new.

The group from last semester mentioned in its evaluation memos that the library hadn’t
been promoting these services very well. This groups experience was different. Group members
got the feeling that these two librarians are very passionate about this issue, they just do not
know the best way to promote this service. The library has a representative who speaks to the
faculty every year about services that are available from the library. Part of the plan could be
helping that representative come up with a “pitch” for professors.

There are some problems that the group will have to work around. There is a limited
amount of books on the database because the library only uses books without usage restrictions.

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Professors will have to be motivated to use books that are within the library’s parameters. Right
now, the database is mostly upper-level books, and freshman gen-ed textbooks tend to be the
most expensive because traditional textbooks are typically not available in this format. The
more common freshman gen-ed textbooks, for example, biology, may not be available in this
format. Since the group cannot make a textbook like that available through the library, it will
have to try to convince professors to use a cheaper option, such as the Cengage membership
plan that the previous group wrote about, or an OER developed by LOUIS.

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