OER & Textbook Affordability


FSU Libraries has been working on a number of open educational resource (OER) initiatives to increase awareness for the textbook affordability movement and promote adoption. In a recent survey, 72% of FSU students (n = 350) reported having not purchased a required textbook due to high cost. Our findings underline the impact of the textbook affordability problem on FSU students and suggest that the vast majority of our students would support broader adoption of affordable online textbooks. Our team is looking forward to continuing to advocate for change in this space, providing both students and instructors with the information and resources they need to make a difference.

Alternative Textbook Grants

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FSU Libraries' Alternative Textbook Grants support FSU instructors in replacing commercial textbooks with open educational resources, open textbooks, or library-licensed eResources that are available to students at no cost. FSU Libraries offers ten grants of $1000 to instructors during the 2022-2023 academic year. In some years, additional funding may be available for those publishing new open textbooks. Studies show students have similar or increased success and engagement in courses with open materials. Openly licenses materials support academic freedom and learning outcomes, allowing instructors and students to contribute to knowledge exchange in new, meaningful ways.

Current Projects

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Our OER team works on wide-ranging projects to support textbook affordability. Some of our current initiatives are:

Open Textbook Network

Florida State University Libraries is joining the Open Textbook Network (OTN) to encourage broader adoption of free, openly licensed textbooks and course materials that are available at no cost to students. The OTN is an alliance of 600 institutions working together to promote access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks. 


FSU Libraries’ new eTextbook program identifies currently available eBook titles assigned as required course materials. Instructors and students are able to search by course code, instructor, or book title to see if required course materials are available online through the Libraries.

Open Textbook Publishing

Open textbooks are licensed by authors affiliated with FSU and published by Florida State Open Publishing to be freely used and adapted. Download, edit and distribute them at no cost. Many authors in this collection were also recipients of the Alternative Textbook Grant Program.

For Students

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Students play an increasingly important role in the open and affordable textbook movement on and off campus. You can find resources below for saving money on textbooks using our physical and electronic course reserves and library resources as well as tips on becoming an advocate for reducing the burden of high-cost textbooks at Florida State University.


We know—talking to your professors can be tough—but your instructors care about your education and your experience and value your feedback.

  • Mention the cost of the textbook on your end-of-the-semester course evaluation form.
  • Ask permission to use an older edition of the text if one is available.
  • Ask whether the required course materials is available through University Libraries on physical or electronic course reserve.
  • Discuss open educational resources, open textbooks, and affordable course materials with your professor.
  • Encourage your professor to apply for an Alternative Textbook Grant.
  • Offer open source textbooks or other reading materials as an alternative option that is significantly more.
  • affordable than traditional high-cost textbooks (like these high quality options from OpenStax).
  • Tell them about the FSU Libraries OER team—we would be happy to do all the talking for you.

Workshops & Training

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Our libraries provide ongoing workshops and training to support instructors interested in switching to an alternative, low-cost textbook.

OER Canvas Course for Instructors

Enroll in this course to learn more about Open Educational Resources. This course is organized into five areas, which represent different aspects of OER.

Recorded Workshops & Events

We have made many of our past OER workshops and events available to all. Browse our recorded workshops to see which sessions are relevant to you.


Created by the EME5250 group at FSU, this open guide provides an overview of OER and several resources about finding, adapting, and using open course materials.