Ebooks vs opentextbooks

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Licensed Ebooks found in the library Catalogue and Open textbooks online - what's the difference?

From time to time, instructors may decide to assign a licensed ebook as a textbook. While this can save students textbook fees, it can also be problematic!

  • the library signs a license for the ebook so we then must adhere to the conditions of that license. If it only allows for one user at a time, the library cannot change that. If it does not allow for chapter by chapter download, then we must comply.
  • Open textbooks are completely 'open' - they do not typically restrict number of users, or chapter downloads.
  • Many library ebook acquisitions are completed by the library subscribing to a package of books. In those cases, the Library has very little control over what books are part of that package; at the same time, the vendor can remove a book without the library's permission so what you have access to can change!