News & Blog

Category: Textbook Affordability

AIM High

The Library Celebrates the 2024 AIM High Awardees 

Each year, UCF recognizes faculty across UCF who have made outstanding efforts to make their required course materials affordable. Provost Johnson presents the two AIM High Impact Awards, and the Knights’ Choice Award is presented by SGA. 

The 2024 AIM High Individual Award winner is Christian Beck, Associate Lecturer in the Department of English. Through collaborations with librarians and instructional designers, they created two open educational resources (OER). The first OER is Introduction to Medieval Literature for ENL 2012. The second OER is Introduction to World Literature for LIT 2110. Together, using these OERs instead of traditional textbooks have saved students approximately $90,000 since 2017. Our librarians Sarah Norris, Lily Dubach, and John Venecek supported Christian’s project, in collaboration with instructional designers Aimee deNoyelles and John Raible. 

As Christian Beck and other award winners shared insights during the panel at the AIM High event, he was asked what advice he would give to other professors looking to use more affordable course materials. Christian responded, “Talk to your librarians!” 

The 2024 AIM High Impact Group Award winner is the Biology Department. For their high enrollment BSC2010 and BSC2011 courses, they adopted the Biology 2e OER from OpenStax, making these gateway courses have zero textbook costs for students. Formerly, these courses assigned textbooks that were approximately $300. The group acknowledged instructional designer Jim Paradiso for his support through their project. 

The 2024 Knights Choice Award winner is Dr. Robert Borgon, Associate Professor in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. He has adopted library-sourced materials and First Day discount textbooks for his BCH 4024 and BSC 3403 courses. Luci Blanco, SGA Director of Academic Progress, represented students on the panel and shared, “It goes to show that students recognize the work that goes into this.” 

Contact Us 

For faculty interested in exploring affordable course materials, please reach out to our textbook affordability librarian, Lily Dubach, or your subject librarian to get started. You can also have us check if your textbook is available as a library eBook by using the eTextbook Check/Request Form

UCF Libraries table at the 2024 AIM High event.
Left: Learning Resources Librarian, Joe Bizon.
Right: Lily Dubach, Textbook Affordability Librarian.

Diamond's Hidden Gems

Diamond’s Hidden Gems – Textbook Affordability

Welcome to the second installment of Diamond’s Hidden Gems, a blog series in which I introduce you to the University of Central Florida’s library services that you may not have known about!

The cost of textbooks and course materials is a significant but often overlooked barrier to affording a degree. Being able to afford your textbook could be the difference between dropping a course and taking as many as possible. UCF’s Textbook Affordability Initiative is designed to minimize the cost of course materials for students while maintaining quality and respecting academic freedom.

There’s just one problem: few of us even know this program exists. Below, I give you everything you need to know to find out what free textbooks are available to you!

Continuing on our streak of making college materials cheaper and easier to access, the textbook affordability initiative helps students gain access to both hard-copy materials and eTextbooks. Using this program, you can often save yourself the effort of hunting down high-priced materials.

Simply fill out known information in the eTextbook portal or a one-page request, and you’ve increased your chances of gaining free and legal access to your course’s required material.

I had the opportunity to speak to Lily Dubach, UCF’s Textbook Affordability Librarian, and she shared with me a few pointers that make selecting classes to enroll in much easier. You can use this method to identify whether your course has a costly required material before you’ve even enrolled!

If you’d like to know how to do this, and check out my step-by-step guide that shows you exactly how to locate or request the materials you need!

Textbook Affordability

How Academic Librarians Are Working with Faculty to Source Affordable Textbooks for Students

Did you know that the library and instructional designers work with faculty to find free course materials? Choice invited the Textbook Affordability Librarian, Lily Dubach, and Sr. Instructional Designer, Dr. John Raible, to speak about a couple examples at UCF. They highlighted an open educational resource (OER) project and library-sourced eBooks, two options that faculty can choose instead of traditional textbooks. Both OER and library-sourced eBooks are free to students. Faculty interested in these options should contact their subject librarian or the Textbook Affordability Librarian to discuss possibilities.

The webinar was held on July 20, 2022. Watch it below or read the accompanying case study.

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