Alt-Textbook Project

In the Fall 2014 term, the NCSU Libraries awarded a first round of grants to faculty to adopt, adapt, or create free or low-cost alternatives to expensive textbooks. The first round is in progress and is expected to save NC State students more than $200,000 in the first year. 

How to Apply

A call for proposals for 2015-16 will be announced in the summer. All current faculty members of NC State University teaching courses in Spring or Fall 2016 will be eligible to apply. To learn more contact Will Cross, Director of the NCSU Libraires Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center.

Information Sessions

Information sessions will be held in partnership with the Office of Faculty Development on Monday, October 5th from 10:15-11:30am and in the Libraries at the following times:

Thursday 9/17/15 - Hunt Library
Conference Room 5713

Wednesday 10/7/15 - DH Hill Library
Assembly Room

Open Textbooks and NCSU Libraries

The NCSU Libraries is committed to fostering change in the current textbook publishing environment. The Libraries’ Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center is available to partner with faculty members on licensing resources, using digital repositories, and creating and publishing their own open educational resources. The Alt-Textbook Project will empower faculty to innovate pedagogically, enhance access for NC State students to high-quality, tailored educational materials, and reduce the financial burden of expensive textbooks.

The Problem with Textbooks

  • Runaway textbook costs on college campuses have become a major impediment to student success.
  • Textbook costs have outpaced inflation by 300% over the last 30 years.
  • Students spend an average of $1,200 per year on textbooks.
  • 7 out of 10 students have forgone purchasing college textbooks because of cost, according to a recent PIRG survey on 13 college campuses.

Open Educational Resources: A Solution

Many alternatives to the current textbook publishing landscape have emerged in the last decade, allowing faculty to easily find and use current, high-quality free online Open Educational Resources for their courses. Projects such as Open Textbook Library and OpenStax College provide access to free, peer-reviewed textbooks covering a wide variety of subjects, while other initiatives such as OpenStax CNX and Merlot II provide repositories of peer-reviewed open educational materials that can be remixed and customized by faculty who wish to build their own textbook or course materials.


Will Cross, NCSU Libraries Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center