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!

If you are considering using a library ebook as a course textbook to provide shared access for your students, please consider the following:

  • The library signs licenses for publisher driven ebooks - many of which are found in the catalogue. Different publisher and aggregator platforms have different restrictions about the number of simultaneous users, the amount of printing and downloading allowed, etc.
  • If the ebook is part of an aggregated package, it can be removed by the publisher at any time without notice. This does not happen often, but it has happened in the past. It's a good idea to have a backup plan in place such as putting a print copy on reserve.
  • Open textbooks are completely 'open' - they do not typically restrict number of users, or chapter downloads.
  • If you are unsure whether the ebook you want to use in your course is open or from a publisher's licensed package, contact the library - we can help!