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Open and Affordable Textbook Initiative @ LMU

This guide is designed to help LMU faculty learn about, discover, adapt, and create open and/or free alternatives to traditional costly course materials.

Open & Affordable Options for Course Materials

The Problem with Textbooks:

  • Runaway textbook costs on college campuses have become a major impediment to student success
  • Textbook costs have outpaced inflation by 300% over the last 30 years
  • LMU students spend an average of over $938 per year on textbooks (1)
  • 65% of students have forgone purchasing or renting college textbooks because of cost, according to a 2021 PIRG survey of 4000 students nationwide (2)

The Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative (OATI) is designed to help LMU faculty identify and adopt high-quality, accessible, and low or no-cost course materials for our LMU students using OER and library resources.

This guide contains information about Open Educational Resources, LMU Library resources suitable for course adoption, and information to help with discovery, evaluation, and use of alternative course materials. It is intended as a starting point, and we encourage faculty interested in the initiative (or those already doing this work!) to get in touch with your
librarian liaison

Can I Do That? A Guide to Affordable Course Material Options

Not all online materials are free, and not all free materials are openly licensed. This table summarizes the most common options you'll encounter & what you and your students can do with them.


Table comparing different types of affordable course material

Accessible version here.

Licensing & Acknowledgements

Creative Commons Attribution License logoThis resource for the LMU Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative, created by Jamie Hazlitt and Nataly Blas, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This guide was developed in part by adapting portions of the following open resources: