Research Guide: Textbooks
CUNY Textbook Savings Fact Sheet - A resource page listing sources for textbook price comparison, rentals, trading and other sources.
PostingBlock - an online board for buying and selling used textbooks from CUNY students.
Digital Textbooks: Sources
- Community College Open Textbook Collaborative -
The Collaborative includes the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), Connexions, the Institute for Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), and other organizations.
- Connexions -
An open content alternative to the textbook model from Rice University; aims to provide a collaborative, easily modified collection of "...educational materials for everyone from children to college students to professionals organized in small modules that are easily connected into larger collections or courses. All content is free to use and reuse under the Creative Commons "attribution" license."
- CourseSmart -
An e-textbook platform providing online access to textbooks produced by major publishers at a reduced cost. Mobile apps are also provided for easy access to textbooks.
- Flat World Knowledge -
A provider of open access textbooks online, with content made available in a range of formats: free online to low-cost print or downloadable versions.
- Textbook Media -
A provider of online textbooks available via a range of formats/cost, free online with advertising or a low-cost ad-free version in print.
- Vitalsource -
An e-textbook platform providing content from major publishers. Some titles are available for sale at the chapter level.
- WikiBooks -
A Wikimedia community for the creation of freely available educational textbooks and resources.
- Request a book from another CUNY library. - Another CUNY library may have the book you need.
- What is the Reserve collection?
The Reserve collection includes books, articles, periodical issues, and sample exams which teaching faculty have requested to be kept for short-term use by their students. The Library also attempts to keep on Reserve as many course textbooks and required reading materials as possible, whether requested by teaching faculty or not. The collection is weeded every semester. These Reserve materials may be borrowed by LaGuardia students only, one book or two articles at a time, for a maximum of two hours, for use in the library only. Patrons from other CUNY schools may borrow Reserve materials only during intersession, at the discretion of Circulation staff. Check-out and return of materials is carried out through the catalog. Plus in the same fashion as other circulating materials. The system calculates overdue fines for Reserve materials at the CUNY-wide rate of $.10 per minute ($6.00 per hour), to a maximum of $100.00 per item. The Reserve collection also includes some current materials needed by faculty to support various LaGuardia activities (e.g., proceedings of the Curriculum Committee, documentation regarding Middle States accreditation, materials for the Task Force on Pluralism, etc.). These materials are not cataloged in the catalog and are generally for use in the library only. At the discretion of Circulation staff, they may be borrowed for short-term use outside the library.
- What is three-day reserve loan?
It is important that you bring the Reserve textbooks back on time so that other students can use them. In order to maximize the availability of textbooks for students, the Library has developed the following policies:
- Books will circulate for three days. Please take note that books may be due on weekend days. If not returned, fines will accrue.
- Books cannot be placed on hold.
- Books cannot be renewed.
- Books cannot be requested through other CUNY libraries.
- Books will be available on a first come, first served basis.
- Only students with a valid CUNY student ID will be able to check out textbooks.
Additionally, fines for reserve items are much steeper and accrue more quickly than normal fines. Any items not returned on time will accrue fines at the rate of $1.20/hr., up to $100.00 dollars. Books will be billed for replacement after 7 days overdue, resulting in a suspension of a student's Library record, and a registration block.
If you have any questions about this program, please contact the Library's Circulation desk, (718) 482-5426.
- "Alternatives Debated: The Future of Textbooks." Clarion. Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, Sept. 2009. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
- Opinions from faculty and staff on a proposed solution to unaffordable textbooks, a bill drafted by Senator Richard Durbin which would provide grants to faculty who publish open access textbooks. Opinions on the varying licensing arrangements that open access entails are expressed in this piece. Mirroring the larger debate outside of academia, both fear and excitement about the possibilities that this entails are expressed.
- Baker, Judy. "It Takes a Consortium to Support Open Textbooks." EDUCAUSE Review. 44.1 (2009): n. pag. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
- Discusses the efforts of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources and its Open Textbook Project in meeting the needs of community college students and faculty.
- Butler, Declan. "Technology: The Textbook of the Future." Nature. 458 (2009): 568-570. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
- A good overall discussion of the current state of the textbook market. The NWMSU study found that e-readers still face particular drawbacks: they are not designed for student use of textbooks, do not have color displays, devices are not multi-function.
- Catone, Josh. "Digital Textbooks: Three Reasons Students Aren't Ready." Mashable: The Social Media Guide. Mashable. 17 Aug. 2009. Web. 10 Nov. 2009. http://mashable.com/2009/08/17/digital-textbooks
- 3 major hurdles that need to be overcome before e-textbooks will be adopted by students: cost, standardized format, and ownership.
- Cisneros, Noe. "State Initiatives Regarding Electronic or Open Source Textbooks." Education Commission of the States. Sept. 2009. Web. 15 Jan. 2009. http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/81/98/8198.pdf
- Report includes relevant state legislation and a chart comparing benefits and features of e-textbooks and open textbooks.
- Clark, Kim. "4 Ways to Get College Textbooks Free". U.S. News & World Report. U.S.News & World Report LP, 02 Sept. 2009. Web. 12 Jan. 2010.
- Includes a detailed price comparison spreadsheet.
- EDUCAUSE. E-Textbooks - 15 Resources
- A great selection of articles, presentations and studies relating to textbook issues.
- Imler, Bonnie. "Troublesome Textbooks." American Libraries. American Library Association. Nov. 2009. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
- An opinion piece expressing a common sentiment about textbooks being inappropriate to library collections: "The Library is not the bookstore...". This stance needs to be kept in mind by those of us thinking about new ways of supporting research in academic libraries.
- Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME). "What are Open Textbooks?" Connexions. 26 Feb. 2009.
- Good overview of open textbook availability, usage and creation with links to additional resources.
- James, Andrea. "Prescription for consumers challenging academic textbook cartels. Boing Boing. 03 Jan. 2009. Web. 05 Jan. 2009 http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/03/prescription-for-con.html
- Excellent overview of the problems with the textbook industry; summarizes reports and provides good recommendations for the future.
- Kingsbury, Kathleen. "Coming This Fall: Free Textbooks." Time. Time, Inc. 16 Jul. 2008. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
- Introduces Flat World Knowledge as a potential new model for the textbook industry.
- Knutson, Ryan and Geoffrey A. Fowler. "
Book Smarts? E-Texts Receive Mixed Reviews From Students." Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal. 20 Jul. 2009. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
- Reports on students experiences with the Northwestern Missouri State University study and their latest decision to use netbooks over the Amazon Kindle DX and Sony Reader. Major publishers, Pearson and McGraw-Hill have provided content to both Amazon and CourseSmart.
- Lederman, Doug. "Textbook Bonanza." Inside Higher Ed. 11 Aug. 2009. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
- Reports on the integration of Barnes & Noble textbook and main stores and the $1.5 million grant that the Community College Collaborative for Open Educational Resources received for the development and promotion of freely available digital textbooks.
- Rickman, Jon T., Roger Von Holzen, Paul G. Klute, and Teri Tobin. "A Campus-Wide E-Textbook Initiative." EDUCAUSE Quarterly (EQ). 32.2 (2009). : n. pag. Web. 10 Nov. 2009.
- A detailed description of the multi-phase study conducted by Northwest Missouri State University in 2008-2009 considering the feasibility of transitioning from the rental of traditional textbooks to the rental of e-textbooks, along with the extensive integration of e-textbooks across the university's academic environment. Experiences of students, faculty and administrator with different hardware and software are also presented. At the conclusion of the study, students reported greatest satisfaction with using laptops and the Vitalsource platform.
- Young, Jeffrey R. "Rice U. Acquires Rights to Popular Textbook to Offer It Free Online." The Wired Campus. Chronicle of Higher Education. 12 Aug. 2008. Web. 10 Nov. 2009. http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Rice-U-Acquires-Rights-to/4164.
- Rice University purchased the rights to a needed textbook from its publisher in order to offer it free and publicly available to students online.
See this posting for a comparison of textbook rental vendors.
Compiled by Ann Matsuuchi, November 10, 2009