What percentage of the textbooks could the library purchase?
17%. This is based on a pilot project this quarter. See Results of Library Pilot Projects
Which books are more likely to be available as eBooks?
Of the 74 winter quarter textbooks we either had, or we purchased...
Of the 42 titles we purchased, were able to buy DRM-free versions for 11 of them, but there was no pattern to particular academic publishers or university presses.
EWU Libraries has conducted two pilot projects around textbook affordability. And Ielleen wrote a white paper about textbook affordability in winter 2022.
Ielleen Miller and Qing Stellwagen received an Eagle Grant to pilot purchasing textbooks. We were awarded $2800 and asked faculty to fill out a survey to identify possible textbooks to purchase, giving us 46 titles. Of the 46, we already had 8 as ebooks, and were able to purchase 4 additional titles with unlimited use. These 12 ebooks were used an average of 326 times. Only one of the twelve wasn't used (one we didn't purchase), while one was used 1577 times. Our cost per use for the 4 ebooks ranged from 25 cents to $2.90.
In contrast, only 3 of the 19 print books we ended up purchasing (based on cost to the student and the number of students enrolled) were checked out at all, and the most used book was checked out 9 times. The cost per use of these 3 titles ranged from $12.44 to $89.99. While one might suspect that the online classes would be the least likely to use the print book on reserve, the two used the most frequently were both for online classes. Thus faculty promoting that the textbook is on course reserves is likely the most important criteria.
Based on the prior results, prior to the beginning of winter quarter, we focused on whether we could be proactive and purchase ebooks. The bookstore graciously gave us a spreadsheet of the adopted textbooks. Checking all of them against what we already have, and what we could purchase for unlimited use for less than $400, we already had 34 titles, and the instructor wanted us to purchase 42 titles, or 15% of all of the Winter 2023 adopted titles.
Based on the first bookstore price, or a rough average of the used book cost, our 76 library ebooks can potentially save students $70,820.
If you have found we already have access to your assigned book, click on the link to view it, to determine how wide the access is.
We Don't Have the Title
Talk to your librarian. The librarians can search our ebook vendor to see what the options are.
You can search the Catalog by subject/keyword, and limit to eBooks, to see all the titles available. You'll want to exclude the government documents.
If you'd prefer to browse, or you'd like to do a detailed keyword search, go directly to: