VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Open and Affordable Course Content

The Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative

VCU Libraries understands the importance of selecting the right course materials and the burden textbook costs place on students. Our Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative supports instructors as they work to transition their courses to zero textbook cost courses, using either library content or open educational resources;

Library Content

  • EBooks with: 
    • Unlimited simultaneous users 
    • Few or no restrictions on usage (e.g. printing, saving)
  • Other library resources, like databases and digital collections

For more information, visit the library resources as course content guide.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

  • teaching/learning materials that are free and have non-traditional copyright restrictions which allow for unrestricted use, retention, sharing, and editing.
  • May be available in print at cost of printing
  • Any type of teaching or learning material, from textbooks to syllabi to whole courses

For more information, visit the OER Guide

What does the initiative do?

We help faculty: 

  • Find and evaluate open, no-cost, or library-licensed materials like ebooks with unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Create and share original works, customized resources, or ancillaries like test banks.
  • Assess students’ perception of materials and the impact on their performance.

To help with the transition to zero textbook costs, we provide

  • Faculty consultations, presentations, and workshops
  • Project management and publishing support
  • Library collection support and purchasing, helping 
    • Identify ebooks to be used for courses, including in conjunction with bookstore adoption list
    • Evaluate faculty request for purchases
  • Financial support through
  • Student outreach, letting them know about the initiative and collecting anecdotes