As a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education pointed out: Increasingly, students simply refuse to buy textbooks even if professors require them, which is not surprising. Over the past four years, surveys have found that two-thirds to three-quarters of college students refused to buy textbooks because costs were too high and many instructors used only a few chapters. (Why You Ought to Think Twice Before Assigning a Pricey Textbook”)

Skyline College Library would like to encourage faculty to please consider using alternatives to costly print textbooks. There are more and more free online textbooks being offered through open educational resource initiatives, including the following sites:

The library also has ebooks available through our own subscription services. When faculty let librarians know titles under consideration as course texts, we may be able to add them to our library database system to provide free access to students.  Additionally, the library can provide direct links to any ebook or article currently in our databases so that faculty can use these resources as free texts or readings. If you have any questions about textbook alternatives, please contact Eric Brenner, Skyline College librarian, at or x4177.

For faculty who still use print textbooks, please request a library desk copy or “exam copy” from the publisher and provide it to the library so that students can have the option of accessing a reserve copy of the textbook in the library. Publishers are urged to provide copies of textbooks for library reserve free of charge per California AB2477, passed into law in 2004.The library has a form you can use to put materials on reserve. If you have any questions about placing materials on reserve or about requesting free books from publishers, please contact the library at x4311.

Article by Eric Brenner