This is the "Open Textbooks" page of the "Open Educational Resources" guide.
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Open Educational Resources  

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Open Textbooks Print Page

Open Textbook Initiatives

The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) joined the University of Minnesota's Open Textbook Network, a non-profit initiative to reduce students' financial burden for higher education, similar to OpenStax at the University of Texas.

  • Open textbooks address general education.
  • Their business model is institutional membership vs. retail purchase or rental.
  • Drawbacks include providing incentives for authors, availabilty of test banks, cost of production and dissemination.
  • Textbooks are not a "library thing," however, given our experience with digital licensing, librarians are under pressure from state legislators to pursue these initiatives for the benefit of students and parents.
  • VIVA librarians will promote faculty opportunities for selection and reviews ($200 each!) of OA textbooks in the Open Textbook Network.
  • Choice of textbook remains the perogative of academically qualified faculty in each disciplne. 

VIVA Open Initiatives

Northern Virginia Community Colllege - OER-based general education project


J. Adame. (2017, January 8). University of Arkansas faculty nudged to put texts on Web. Arkansas Online. Retrieved from:

G. . (2016, June 26). More Professors Know About Free Textbook Options, but Adoption Remains Low. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from: 

A. Carnns. (2016, September 23). A New cost at college: digital access codes. The New York Times. 

___________. (2016, July 12). As Free Textbooks Go Mainstream, Advocate Says Colleges Should Do More to Support Them. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from: 

Allen and Seaman, Babson Survey Research Group. (2016, July). Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2015-16.  Retrieved from:

Gose, B. (2017, April 9). Growing Pains Begin to Emerge in Open-Textbook Movement. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from:

Lynch, C. (2017, February). Updating the agenda for academic libraries and scholarly communications. College and Research Libraries, v. 78, no. 2, 126-130. DOI: 10.5860/crl.78.2.126. Retrieved from:

McKenzie, L. (2017, April 6). How a Browser Extension Could Shake Up Academic Publishing. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from:

Sweeney, Chris. (2016, September). The Demise of the Textbook Mafia. Boston Magazine. Retrieved from:

WSLS 10. (2016, August 22). Community College Offers No Textbook Classes. Retrieved from:

Zalaznick, M. (2016, November 18). OER revolution in higher ed: free and inexpensive OER expand access, reduce stress for college students. University Business. Retrieved from:


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