Feb 10, 2016

Are there Free (Open) Textbooks Available? YES!

In the recent article "Students, librarians urge professors to use open-source textbooks", the U. S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) found that the "cost of textbooks has gone up 73 percent in the last decade".  According to PIRG, textbook costs have hit community college students the hardest--50% have had to use their financial aid to pay for textbooks. 

Open Educational Resources by opensource.com (CC BY-SA)
So what can be done when textbook and credit hour costs are sky-rocketing? Over 100 colleges and universities have banded together and formed the Open Textbook Network, to provide free peer-reviewed textbooks that can be "used, adapted, and distributed" to faculty and students. 

But what textbooks are available? The Open Textbook Network library contains textbooks in the following categories: Accounting & Finance, Business & Marketing, Computer Science, Economics, Foreign Languages, Humanities, Law, Mathematics & Statistics, Natural and Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. 

What if you didn't find a textbook that met your needs? Washington State Community Colleges have created Open Washington, which provides links to popular open textbook providers, such as OpenStax College, Boundless and WikiBooks. 

   By Becky Roehrs

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