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New workshops aim to help faculty identify alternatives to pricey texts

September 6, 2016

Faculty concerned about the high cost of textbooks are invited to explore alternatives at a VCU Libraries workshop. Seating is limited and attendees who also write a short review will receive a $200 stipend.

Sessions are set for:

  • Sept. 28, 3–4 p.m., James Branch Cabell Library, Room 205
  • Oct. 27, 2–3 p.m., Tompkins-McCaw Library, Lecture Room 2-010
  • Dec. 2, 2–3 p.m., James Branch Cabell Library, Room 205

The workshops are part of a new VCU Libraries effort to help faculty identify high quality open educational resources, many of which are free. Increased use of open resources will save students' money.  

  • The high cost of course materials can impede students' academic success.
  • The College Board estimates that the average undergraduate pays about $1,298 for textbooks and supplies in an academic year.
  • Textbooks costs are rising at a rate of four times inflation. 
  • Seven out of 10 students don't purchase a required textbook during their academic career because of cost.
  • 60 percent of students have delayed purchasing textbooks until they've received their financial aid.

Interested faculty and instructors must apply to attend one of the workshops. Preference will be based on availability of open textbooks for review and a desire for wide representation of courses (discipline and level). 

Questions? Contact Hillary Miller, VCU Libraries' scholarly communications outreach librarian at (804) 827-0462 or

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