The increasing cost of post-secondary education is a problem faced by students across our country. Although libraries do not have control over contributors such as rising tuition fees and student debt loads, they can provide some financial relief through their collections. Library collection policies have traditionally been designed to exclude textbooks as items that are purchased. However, in the age of digital, the reasoning behind many of these policies could be called to question. Is it time to begin looking at expanding the library’s role in supporting students with some required course materials? How can we design library collections to support the curricular needs of users, while also balancing shrinking budgets and ensuring the needs of our entire communities are met? Over two semesters, Okanagan College Library saved students more than $110,000 in textbook costs by purchasing electronic versions of required and recommended books through library suppliers and making them available through the Library. Learn about the project and the steps involved, what worked well, and what we would recommend others do differently.
Library Collections as Catalysts for More Affordable Education