32nd Annual Charleston Conference Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition
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Thursday, November 8 • 12:45pm - 2:00pm
ALL YOU CAN EAT: Rethinking Textbook Models on University Campuses

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The relationship between libraries and textbooks goes all the way back to the beginning of formal education when libraries were the only repository of texts available. And up through the 1970s, libraries and textbooks made a nice couple: libraries collected books (including textbooks) and so students could either buy or borrow all their course materials, pretty conveniently, right on campus. Libraries wanted to share information, and textbooks were easily consumable -- life was good, relatively. Then, in the 1980’s life for libraries and textbooks got hard -- as libraries’ budgets decreased and textbooks’ costs rose, students started to realize that libraries and textbooks were no longer in a happy relationship. For some time now, libraries have not collected textbooks and students have been otherwise unable to afford their required course materials. Meanwhile, the confluence of digital publishing technologies in particular and the Open Access ethos in general has brought libraries and textbooks much closer. With availability of online texts increasing, so are campus expectations: it is righteously assumed that all adopted course materials -- like tacos, pizza, coffee -- are available somewhere on campus, all the time -- at the bookstore, the library, the cafeteria, or just up in the cloud. Therefore, it makes sense for readers to pre-pay for all-you-can-eat course materials plans, not unlike on-campus meal plans. With such a consumer-subsidized course materials strategy in place, libraries can help solve the generations-old "textbooks are too expensive" problem. This session will describe efforts underway at Wake Forest University to feed more books to more people at more predictable price-points -- illustrating how libraries and textbooks, if not people, can finally get same-sex married in North Carolina.

avatar for William Kane

William Kane

Digital Publishing, Wake Forest University
William P. Kane is the Director of Digital Publishing at Wake Forest University.  They checked, and he is a librarian, with an MLS from the University of Pittsburgh -- from there something about his having been a janitor, then a millworker, and then a schoolteacher in Pennsylvania... Read More →

Thursday November 8, 2012 12:45pm - 2:00pm EST
Francis Marion Rutledge Room 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403