Faculty often request that the Library acquire electronic versions of the textbooks used in their courses. Unfortunately, that option is not available for many of the more prominent textbook publishers. Specifically, publishers such as Cengage, McGraw-Hill, Oxford University Press, and Pearson will not allow libraries to acquire e-book versions of their textbooks.
Unlike print books, e-books are invariably licensed rather than sold. That allows publishers to restrict
Many publishers have found that they can maximize revenue by marketing their products solely to individual users.
Students in courses that use these textbooks must purchase print copies, if they’re available, or acquire the e-books directly from the publishers or their agents. In some cases, the Library can acquire print copies for Course Reserve, but we cannot normally afford more than one copy of each text.
We encourage faculty to investigate alternatives such as
Open Educational Resources are especially attractive to many faculty, since they are freely available online without restrictions on access, use, downloading, or printing.
The Mason OER Metafinder of George Mason University can be used to identify OER textbooks and other instructional materials in a wide range of subject areas.
SUNY OER Services also provides a rapidly growing set of OER texts, videos, interactive exercises, problem sets, and assignments.