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Robust new portal for faculty to find open and affordable texts now open

February 7, 2019

The new VIVA Faculty Textbook Portal is an online catalog to help Virginia public university faculty find open and affordable textbooks for their courses. Use of free ebooks and other online materials will save VCU and other Virginia students hundreds of dollars in textbook purchases over their academic careers.

Faculty can select from more than 200,000 titles that include open access books and textbooks, ebooks from VIVA’s (The Virtual Library of Virginia) shared library collections, and ebooks that VIVA will purchase upon request on behalf of public colleges and universities throughout the state.  

VCU faculty can access the full textbook portal where, in addition to viewing all currently available titles, they can preview the full text of ebooks available for purchase and make purchase requests.  Non-faculty can browse available titles via the public portal view.

Ebooks in the textbook portal have unlimited user access, so all students in a course can simultaneously access the book, download the book to their devices, or print chapters from the book at any time. When VCU faculty want to adopt an ebook in the portal that VCU does not currently have access to, they can request a purchase of the book, and VCU Libraries will work with VIVA to provide access for the course. 

“It’s important for VCU Libraries and VIVA to measure the impact we’re having for faculty and students, so we encourage faculty to let us know when they’re adopting a book for a course,” says Hillary Miller, scholarly communications librarian. “The portal has a built-in ‘Adopt this book for your course’ link, but we encourage faculty to let us know about any other VCU Libraries resources that they use as course materials.”

The Virtual Library of Virginia is the consortium of nonprofit academic libraries within the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VIVA Faculty Textbook Portal is part of VIVA’s wide-scale Open and Affordable Initiatives to increase affordability in higher education, promote student success, and empower Virginia faculty to use and create high-quality educational materials that are free for students.

VCU Libraries is one of the partners in this project. The VIVA Faculty Textbook Portal is part of the VCU Libraries affordable course content efforts to increase student success and reduce students’ financial burdens.

Questions about the textbook portal, or about affordable and open educational materials in general, can be sent to Hillary Miller at hmiller5@vcu.edu.

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