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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Why do OERs matter?

UNI students know that textbooks are expensive. Open Educational Resources (OER) can address this concern because they are FREE, ONLINE (and usually printable), and licensed for REUSE. OER can be created in more culturally responsive and less biased ways than traditional textbooks. They usually allow for instructors and students alike to modify them to meet user needs.

Find Free, Open Textbooks

Looking for a free, online textbook? You've come to the right place! Use the Open Textbooks tab on the left for links to searchable collections of open textbooks. Or use the Resources by Discipline tab to see lists by subject.

You Can Advocate for Free Course Materials

Tell your story. Tell instructors how much textbooks cost and what challenges you face in affording them.

NISG could sign a statement in support of open textbooks and pass a resolution encouraging faculty to adopt open textbooks. Textbook Equity Librarian Anne Marie Gruber can assist (

Talk with your librarian. They are very interested in advocating for open textbooks.

Join the #FreeTheTextbook movement.

Spread the word on social media using #textbookbroke

My course textbook is an ebook. Can I get a print copy?

Short answer: It depends.

Long answer:

Some ebooks are designed for online use. But you might prefer a print copy.

Am I allowed to print?

IF your textbook is an open textbook, then YES.

IF it's an ebook from a library database, "inclusive access," or other paid service, then MAYBE, BUT USUALLY WITH PAGE LIMITS.

The fine print: licensing may differ among books & publishers. Check with your librarian or Ask Us if you aren't sure.


If it's allowed, how/where do I print or get a print copy?

Do not attempt to print an ebook on a campus printer. UNI IT sets printing limits by page count.

Find a low-cost copy (openly-licensed ebooks): Check on the ebook's website to see if print options are available. Example: OpenStax books are available for purchase in print.

Print a low-cost copy yourself: Use Copyworks, Staples, or other off-campus vendors that offer printing services. You will need to pay for the paper & printing but NOT for copyright permissions. Staff may ask about copyright and you can show them the Creative Commons (CC) license on the file, which will indicate permissions. You could also print on a home printer. All CC licenses allow printing.

If you need assistance, contact your librarian

You can also ask your professor if they are able to provide a print copy to Rod Library for course reserves (in-library use for up to 3 hours at a time; usually 1 copy for all students in the course).


How do I save paper & money when printing?

Print 2-sided. Minimize margins and remove blank pages. Adjust spacing to 1.5 or single-spacing. Use 10- or 11-point font if possible.