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Open Education: Resources For Students

A guide to open educational resources, open pedagogy, and the open ed movement at Gettysburg College

Textbook Tips

Buying Textbooks? Start Here! (interactive flowchart)

Top Savings Tips

  • Search by ISBN to be sure you get the exact edition your professor assigned
  • Shop around using online price comparison tools
  • Consider renting books if you won’t need them beyond a single course
  • Check the library to learn whether you can access your assigned readings there
  • Don't hesitate to ask your professor if you can use an older or cheaper edition of the textbook
  • If you need accessible reading materials as an accommodation for a disability, contact the Office of Academic Advising

Textbooks and course materials in the Library

Course Reserves

If your professor put readings on reserve, find hardcopy reserves at the Check Out Desk and electronic reserves in Moodle. To learn more, check out the textbook affordability page on the Library's website.

Books in MUSCAT Plus

Your assigned reading may be part of the library’s collection. Search MUSCAT Plus for your required readings. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have a question about a particular title.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Sometimes Interlibrary Loan can be used to help access your required course materials. Our Interlibrary loan services allows you to borrow materials from other libraries that aren’t available at our library. Note that loans are shorter than a whole semester.

Free stuff – Open Educational Resources (OER) and the public domain

If your professor assigned an open textbook or OER, you’re in luck! The cost of your digital book is $0. Do you prefer a print copy? Openly licensed books are legal to duplicate, so you can print what you need without fear of copyright violation. Some open textbooks have low-cost print versions available for purchase (for example, see OpenIntro and OpenStax titles). Another option is to submit a personal print job to the campus print shop (nominal fee – inquire about cost).

If your assigned book is in the public domain (meaning it is no longer protected by copyright), you may find a free, digital copy. For U.S. publications, works published 96 or more years ago are in the public domain. Start your search at DPLA Open Bookshelf and Books Should Be Free (LoyalBooks).

Activism and Advocacy

Learn more about OER and textbook affordability at Gettysburg College!
Learn more about OER and textbook affordability beyond Gettysburg College!