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The Digital Library’s Best-Kept Secret

August 21, 2016

M.A.—$20,000 dollars of student debt, 14 months, one thesis, two internships, $1,500 dollars worth of textbooks, and countless sleepless nights later and I finally earned those two little letters following my name.

It wasn’t until three semesters into my degree, after spending $1,000 dollars merely renting my textbooks that I discovered my University’s ebook library. To be clear, I didn’t just stumble upon it either. After learning about open educational resources (OER) at the HEeD Think Tank last spring (now UPCEA’s eDesign Collaborative), I spent hours doing my own personal research on my university’s open access policy and scouring the library website. Eventually, I was able to find all but three of my 11 textbooks for my master’s degree in educational technology freely available on the library website, not to mention plenty of other materials (e.g., case studies and articles I had purchased over the years).

There is clearly a disconnect here. How come none of my professors told me about this heavenly resource? Why aren’t more of my classmates taking advantage of these resources? Why is this blessing of a resource center the university’s best-kept secret? The only plausible reason I could come up with is plain and simple: lack of awareness.

This is not just a call for open textbooks, but for awareness of all library resources, and reimagining the role that the library will play in the 21st century university.

The Double-Dipping Problem – Cont.


From → Textbook News

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