Advocate for Electronic Access to Required Course Materials

Fall
2021
Resolution Number
16.01
 
Contact
Gregory Beyrer
Category
Library and Learning Resources

Whereas, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) has long expressed concerns that the cost of textbooks and other course materials represent a financial burden for California Community College students (“Textbook Issues: Economic Pressures and Academic Values.” 2005) and has more recently also supported efforts “to reduce the cost of course materials and supplies for students in course sections for which open educational resources may not be available (Fall 2017, Resolution 12.01), and

Whereas, librarians recognize the urgent need to develop new approaches to library acquisition of course textbooks to ensure that students have access, regardless of course modality, and are committed to make copies of required textbooks and course materials available to assist those students who are unable to purchase their own and that the vast majority of existing textbooks are simply unavailable to libraries in any format other than print,

Whereas, the critical work to ensure unfettered student access is hampered by multiple factors including:

  • copyright and fair use laws that prohibit the scanning or digitization of entire textbooks and
  • textbook publishers who do not provide electronic purchasing/licensing options for libraries and
  • textbook publishers will not allow libraries to purchase e-textbook versions that can be accessed through a library’s textbook reserves collection; and

Whereas, this is a national concern affecting all levels of postsecondary education and the 23 California State University Libraries have already put out a statement on textbooks in the library collection [1];

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with our faculty colleagues in the California State University and University of California, through the Intersegmental Council of Academic Senates (ICAS) and other practitioner groups, to develop a statewide response to publishers from the California public postsecondary systems; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with our faculty colleagues in the California State University and University of California, through the Intersegmental Council of Academic Senates (ICAS) and other practitioner groups, to explore options, including legislation, to support libraries in their ability to provide electronic access to required course materials that students need to succeed in their courses.

MSC


1. https://libraries.calstate.edu/textbooks/