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Open textbooks make college more affordable for Virginia Tech students

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University Libraries is doing its part to reduce stress and save money for college students by publishing open textbooks written by Virginia Tech faculty. Open textbooks are made freely available online under an open license. 

You can learn more about open textbooks here:
So tell me how you feel about textbook prices. I think I was expecting them to be expensive since I've heard about them previously, but I didn't know how much they'd like pile up so fast. I'm paying for college by myself. So it is definitely expensive. Yeah, it's just more stress. Obviously, scholarships get stretched far and thin, so student loans also get up there. There's more stress and I got to worry about school, which is more stress. Hi, my name is Anita Walz, and I'm the Assistant Director for Open Education here at the University Libraries. I work with faculty around the university to adopt, create, and adapt open educational resources, often open textbooks which are used by students here and students at many, many other universities. Everything that we do is freely available under an open license, which allows adaptation in different settings. So professors can customize a work to make it fit their learning needs for their course. It's all about reducing barriers to student learning. And the cost of textbooks is certainly becoming and has been a barrier for many students for a long time. So I completely empathize with the students. It's part of why I even developed this free textbook because I've been there, it was really, really difficult. There were some courses I just didn't buy a textbook for because I simply couldn't afford it. And I would rely on friends and classmates to share. So I completely understand the frustrations with textbook prices. Open textbooks are needed here at Virginia Tech because students consistently report that the cost of textbooks causes them to not purchase textbooks. So how can students learn if they are not able to access the materials they're expected to read? When I reveal on the first day of class, I have a big Powerpoint slide that says the textbook is free and it has a big image of my textbook. I usually see excitement, sighs of relief. Students certainly appreciate it. This is a great way to show students that you care, and it's a great way to show students that their well being is important to you and that you're thinking about them, and you're willing to make a change for them.