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Open Educational Resources (OER) & Textbook Equity

Why does textbook equity matter?

UNI students know that textbooks are expensive. They are an inclusion concern and we need to level the playing field by ensuring equal access to course materials. One solution: Open Educational Resources (OER), which 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 allow for instructors and students alike to modify them to meet user needs, local preferences, and include more inclusive topics/images.

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.

Talk with the NISG Textbook Equity Student Rep. This new role will be filled soon for 2022-23.

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 or the Textbook Equity Librarian. They are very interested in advocating for open textbooks. In fact, it's part of their job!

Join the #FreeTheTextbook movement.

Spread the word on social media using #TextbookBroke #FreeTheTextbook #TextbookEquity

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

Ebooks are generally designed for reading on the screen. But you might prefer a print copy.

IF your textbook is an open textbook, then YES, you can print it. Openly-licensed textbooks have no printing restrictions. However, note that UNI IT does have print limit policies regardless of the licensing on the document (no more than 1 copy per document and no more than 40 pages).

IF it's an ebook from a library database, "inclusive access," or other paid service, then you MAY be able to print, but usually with page limits set by the publisher. This is in addition to the UNI IT print limits.

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

Do not attempt to print an entire ebook on a campus printer. UNI IT sets printing limits by page count (max 40 pages).

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 or the Textbook Equity 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).

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.