COLUMBUS, Ohio (Nov. 14, 2016) – To contribute to statewide efforts on college affordability, OhioLINK will be joining the University of Minnesota's Open Textbook Network (OTN), a consortium of colleges and universities working to advance open textbook initiatives.
OTN supports the Open Textbook Library, a program promoting "real, complete textbooks licensed so teachers and students can freely use, adapt and distribute the material. Open textbooks can be downloaded at no cost or printed inexpensively." Regional training workshops will soon follow.
Over the past year, the Open Textbook Network has grown from seven to more than 25 members. These members comprise 84 institutions nationwide.
Glenda Thornton, director of Cleveland State University's Michael Schwartz Library and a leader and member in OTN initiatives in the state of Ohio, said, "Cleveland State was one of the very early members of OTN and I currently serve on the advisory board. From the beginning, OTN has provided guidance and inspiration to those of us who are working locally and nationally to improve both textbook affordability and access to quality learning materials. The OTN community is both inspirational and practical. Together, the members are working to solve problems and share solutions. By bringing together such a creative group, I am convinced that this organization will help Ohio move the open textbook initiative forward much more efficiently than we could have done as individual institutions working alone."
Open textbooks directly contribute to students' academic success by ensuring that all students, no matter their means, have access to their course materials. The cost of textbooks has increased 73 percent since 2006, according to a 2016 report by the Student Public Interest Research Groups, and the College Board estimates the average student budget for books and supplies is more than $1,200 each year. Joining OTN results in savings that add up quickly: Nine early OTN members reported an estimated $1.5 million in textbook savings to date by adopting open textbooks.
Established in 1992, the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) is Ohio's statewide academic library consortium and serves more than 600,000 end users. A member of the Ohio Technology Consortium of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, OhioLINK provides a competitive advantage for Ohio's higher education community by cooperatively and cost-effectively acquiring, providing access to and preserving an expanding array of print and digital resources, and by centrally hosting digital content. Together, OhioLINK and its member libraries provide users access to nearly 50 million books and other library materials, more than 100 electronic research databases, more than 81,000 e-books, thousands of images and videos, and millions of electronic journal articles. www.ohiolink.edu.