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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Open Educational Resources and Affordable Textbook Alternatives

Using Library Resources

Adopting library resources (e.g., ebooks, journal articles, video) as course materials can help your students save money because they already pay to access these high-quality resources through their tuition and fees. Library resources are generally not the same thing as open educational resources, though, due to their often restrictive licensing, inaccessibility for anyone outside an institution’s current student population, and at times, impermanent nature.

If you decide to use library resources in your course, talk to a librarian first! They can help you troubleshoot licensing, print, and access issues before the term begins. They may also be able to acquire a license to content that students would otherwise have to purchase individually.

The chart below compares the features of library resources and open educational resources.

Feature Library Resources Open Educational Resources
No or low-cost to student YES YES
Openly licensed NO YES
Students retain access after leaving institution NO YES
Institution retains perpetual access SOMETIMES YES
Can share materials with instructors and/or students at other institutions NO YES
Can adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content NO YES

The short video below offers more information on using library resources as course materials.

"Using Library Resources" by Open Oregon Educational Resources is licensed under CC BY 4.0