UMass Amherst Libraries Statement on Textbooks | UMass Amherst Libraries

“As fall semester 2020 approaches, library, faculty, and staff are working to provide alternative access to print course reserves. To support instructors and students over the next several months, we are utilizing different approaches to how we acquire course textbooks to ensure that students have access to needed resources in alternative learning environments.  

The cost of textbooks and other course materials are a barrier for students at every university. To avoid fees, some students don’t purchase textbooks, instead, they use a copy on reserve. A significant portion of print books on reserve are required textbooks, which students are unable to use without coming into the library building. Complicating this work are textbook publishers, who often do not make electronic formats available to libraries for purchase as they have built their business models around selling e-textbooks directly to students.  …

Due to these constraints, we are working with faculty and instructors to explore and identify viable textbook alternatives, including: …

Adopting open educational resources (OER). OERs are freely available educational materials that are openly licensed to allow for re-use and modification by instructors. …”