Collaboration between departments reduces textbook costs for students

January 11, 2022 (Volume 45, Number 9)
Article by Anna Young

the sun sets on the Mary Idema Pew Library, the tree in the foreground is lit with white lights

A collaboration between University Libraries and an academic department reduced textbook costs for students. The Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale Campus is pictured.

Photo Credit: Amanda Pitts

Thanks to a collaboration between University Libraries and the Integrative, Religious and Intercultural Studies Department, students in the "Diversity in the United States" (INT 201) course will receive reduced textbook costs.

Instructors teaching INT 201 have access to a free digital course pack that will replace required textbooks, saving students money. 

The project was coordinated by Kim McKee, associate professor of integrative studies, and Amber Dierking, liaison librarian in liberal arts. It launched in the Fall 2021 semester. 

By providing free course materials to students, this project saved individual students who take the course upwards of $80. For the 14 sections running in Fall 2021, this contributed to an estimated savings of more than $10,000.

"I always value the opportunity to collaborate outside of my own department," Dierking said. "I have so much respect and appreciation for the expertise, care and labor that our INT 201 instructors put into this process." 

After several discussions with Dierking about fair use and copyright laws, faculty members were able to pull from University Libraries to create the digital course pack. 

There are several options available to allow students to cut costs on textbooks. Dierking encouraged any department or individual instructor interested in exploring their options to connect with their liaison librarian. 

 

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This article was last edited on January 11, 2022 at 9:14 a.m.

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