OER Services

OERs: Helping to bring down the cost of textbooks

In the spring of 2017, the Alfred University (AU) Libraries conducted surveys of students and faculty about textbooks

Below are some of the highlights from the surveys. You can view a complete summary of the results here.

Student Survey

  • 20% of students spend $0-$100 per semester on textbooks, 52% spend $101-$300, 20% spend $301-$500, 7% spend $501-$800.
  • Students reported that the high cost of textbooks has caused them to not purchase the text (47%), to charge texts to credit card even though they can’t afford them (25%), to forego essentials such as food or rent to pay for texts (23%), or to earn a poor grade because they could not afford the text (15%).
  • 53% of students say that the high cost of textbooks sometimes prevents them from doing readings or assignments, and 11% say that it frequently prevents them from doing readings or assignments.

Student Textbook Survey

Faculty Survey

  • 55% of faculty said that students occasionally tell them that they can’t afford the textbook for their class, and 20% of faculty said that students tell them this frequently.
  • 55% of faculty had not heard of OERs prior to taking the survey, 10% of faculty say that they have assigned open textbooks in the past, and 9% were unsure.
  • Faculty say that not knowing enough about OERs is the biggest barrier to using them, followed by a lack of OER resources in certain subject areas, concerns about quality, and not knowing where to find OER material.
  • 60% of faculty say that they might be interested in using currently available OERs, and 27% say that they are definitely interested.

Faculty Textbook Survey

Since conducting the survey, the AU Libraries have engaged in a variety of activities to make faculty more aware of the impact of the cost of textbooks on our students and to share information about opportunities to use OERs in place of traditional textbooks.

 Here are some of the steps we have taken:

Our goal is to continue raising awareness about the high cost of textbooks and the impact it has on students’ wallets and academic success. As always, we welcome your input and feedback.

Why you should know about interlibrary loan

Looking for a book or article that the library doesn’t have?  What if we told you that you could still borrow that book or article?  With interlibrary loan (ILL), you can do just that! The interlibrary loan system allows students the ability to expand their research past the limits of their local library. Over 10,000 libraries, across 56 countries are involved in ILL!

Here’s how it works:  A student is searching for a certain material, but the library doesn’t have it.  Through interlibrary loan the ILL manager reaches out to other libraries and requests to borrow the materials the student needs.  A requested library will then mail or scan that material to the library that needs it.  It’s that simple!

To start using ILL you will access https://alfred.illiad.oclc.org/illiad/YAH/logon.html on either the Herrick Library homepage

ill herrick2

 

or Scholes Library homepage.

ill scholes 2

You will use your Alfred University username and password to login. The first time you log in, you must complete the registration form. Please note that textbooks generally cannot be borrowed through the ILL.  The average time you can keep the material is around 3 weeks. However, you can renew the material through the ILLiad website. So next time you’re worried that the library doesn’t have what you’re looking for, just remember about the interlibrary loan system!

Patty Barber and Amanda Criss are our interlibrary loan staff at Scholes and Herrick Libraries. Amanda Criss, who manages ILL at Herrick Library had this to say, ” AU is a wonderful community! I enjoy working at the Herrick Library! My job is very rewarding because I get to help people. I strive toward providing the best service I can for our library patrons. If you have any other questions, please let me know.” Both Patty and Amanda would be happy to help any and all who have questions concerning ILL.

For any additional questions, please see the FAQ provided in the interlibrary loan link on both the Herrick and Scholes home pages or stop by either library and speak with Amanda Criss at Herrick or Patty Barber at Scholes.