Expensive Textbooks Lead to Inequality of Access

Skyline College Library would like to again encourage faculty to please consider using alternatives to costly print textbooks. An article just published February 25 in The Chronicle of Higher Education, emphasized that: “The real issue of textbook costs is one of inequality of access, especially for first-year, first-generation students. What’s at stake is student success — retention and how long students take to graduate… Textbook costs cause students to occasionally or frequently take fewer courses (35 percent of students), to drop or withdraw from courses (24 percent), and to earn either poor or failing grades (26 percent).

There are more and more free online textbooks being offered through open educational resource initiatives listed on our Library’s “Textbook Databases” menu and librarians may be able to add specific e-books 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 brenner@smccd.edu 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.

Great News!: The Library recently received $10,000 from Associated Students to buy a limited number of textbooks that will be part of a new ASSC Library Textbook Collection. We have and will be prioritizing funds based on (1) high cost textbooks, (2) high usage textbooks, and (3) high number of course sections.

The library has a form you can use to put materials on reserve. If you have any questions about placing materials on reserve, about requesting free books from publishers, or about the new ASSC Library Textbook Collection, please contact the library at x4311.

Article by Eric Brenner