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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.

We've fetched some great resources for free software & textbooks!

Dangers of Pirated Software and Textbooks

UCF InfoSec, along with UCF Libraries and UCF IT, would like to remind students of the dangers of downloading pirated software, textbooks, or other materials.  Recently, a European research institute lost a week’s worth of COVID-19 research data after a university student inadvertently infected their systems with ransomware while trying to download pirated software. To learn more about the ransomware attack, please see the link below.

Pirated textbooks or software can be appealing to those looking to save money, but it’s important to remember that such resources could be laced with malware.  To help students find affordable alternatives to pirated textbooks and software, we asked UCF Libraries and UCF IT to share resources that are available to UCF students.

1. UCF Libraries resources

UCF Libraries, through their Textbook Affordability program, works with campus partners and faculty to minimize the cost of course materials for students.  Since 2016, UCF faculty have taught over 950 classes using open or library-sourced materials, in turn reaching over 65,000 students and potentially saving them just over $6,761,705.

The UCF Libraries website contains tips for students to save money on textbooks.  For more information, and to see if the library has your course text as a free electronic book, review the Students tab at:  guides.ucf.edu/textbook-affordability/students .

Please note that, due to licensing requirements, only current students, staff, and faculty can access the free electronic books and resources through the UCF Libraries. Do not share the downloaded files; instead, share links to the catalog or databases for individuals to access the materials directly.

Sharing resources licensed by UCF can put the university at risk. Distribution of licensed materials accessed with UCF credentials could provide grounds for a breach of contract claim against UCF, which creates a legal liability for our university and potential loss of access to those resources. Similarly, participation in this type of distribution may result in legal and/or disciplinary consequences to the individual sharing content in this way. For more information, please see UCF Policies 2-103 and 4-002:  policies.ucf.edu.

2. UCF IT Resources

UCF students have access to the Microsoft 365 suite of apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher, through their Knights email.  To learn how to access this free resource, please visit UCF IT Knowledge Base –Installing Office 365 on a Personal PC .

UCF Apps is a software streaming service like a virtual computer lab.  Students can access many software titles they need for their studies including ArcGIS, SPSS, LISREL, NVivo, SAS, and more!  UCF Apps is found here:  apps.ucf.edu/ucf-apps/

UCF Public Computing labs, found in various locations across campus, provide additional software resources like Adobe Creative Cloud for design work and a wide variety of other software titles.  Information about public computer lab locations and availability can be found here:  it.ucf.edu/techcommons/computer-labs/tech-commons-ii-lab/

Remember to only download software and digital textbooks from reputable sources.  Avoid pirated content to reduce the risk of malware infecting your system and make sure your devices are up to date.  Taking these steps to keep your system secure will help protect you, UCF, and your fellow Knights.

Learn more about the ransomware attack:  https://news.sophos.com/en-us/2021/05/06/mtr-in-real-time-pirates-pave-way-for-ryuk-ransomware/

UCF InfoSec wishes all students a safe, secure summer.  We are here to help with any information security concerns you may have.  Forward suspicious emails to the Security Incident Response Team at SIRT@ucf.edu and contact InfoSec at infosec@ucf.edu if you have any questions.

Celebrate UCF Libraries Textbook Affordability Librarian Lily Dubach

Welcome to the new Textbook Affordability Librarian

Lily Dubach started as a Student Assistant in the Acquisitions Department in 2014, then held part-time roles in other departments, including as Adjunct Librarian for the Office of Scholarly Communication before joining us full time as the Connect Librarian supporting the Valencia West Campus.  She has a Bachelor of Science from UCF and a Master of Science in Information from Florida State University.

Lily officially becomes the new Textbook Affordability Librarian on May 8, 2021. In this role, she collaborates with teaching faculty, librarians, instructional designers, and pertinent campus units to promote and transition traditional course content to affordable textbook alternatives. These textbook alternatives include open educational resources (OER) and library-sourced materials. To date, UCF faculty have taught over 950 classes using open or library-sourced materials, in turn reaching over 65,000 students and potentially saving them just over $6.7M as of Spring 2021.

For more information about how Lily can help you reduce textbook costs, visit our Textbook Affordability page.

Faculty Support: We Have You Covered Text on Image of Open Book with Pen

Faculty Support: Textbook Affordability

One way that faculty can help reduce the cost of a college education and positively impact student academic performance is to remove the barrier of high cost, commercially produced textbooks. There are several options for faculty to support textbook affordability efforts.

To date, UCF faculty have taught over 500 classes using open or library-sourced materials, in turn reaching almost 35,000 students and potentially saving them just over $3,200,000.* *Savings are calculated as cost of a new book by number of course enrollments as of Spring 2020.


For more information: library.ucf.edu/textbook-affordability

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