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Course Affordability and Course Materials at Union College

Library, Bookstore, and Open Resources

Course Affordability and the Library

Millions of resources are free for students and faculty to use in Union College courses. The Library is available to help you find physical and digital materials for your classes.

Why affordable courses?

Students report that they have not purchased required course materials in the past because the materials were too expensive. Easy access to high-quality information resources can be an issue of information privilege, and the library can help counter that. We want to make all course materials available for all. Course materials don’t need to be free – but they don’t have to be unnecessarily expensive, either.

For help in finding library materials for your course, please contact Kim Mitchell, Collection Development Librarian ( 

In this guide

Learn more about how to make your course materials more easily acquired while lowering costs through:

For more information about materials in the classroom, view our

Four ways to make courses more affordable

  1. Adoptions - plan ahead. Providing lists of needed course materials in advance opens up many more options and directly impacts course affordability. It gives the bookstore enough time to negotiate for better prices, and also helps student buy-back prices.
  2. Expanding options. Exploring editions and formats can allow for more choices in bookstore purchases.
  3. Reading lists. The library can purchase physical books, e-books, streaming media, and other resources that are required or supplementary course materials. (Electronic materials also help meet accessibility guidelines.)
  4. OERs (open educational resources). OERs provide one way to decrease the cost of courses without jeopardizing quality.
    » Learn more about how to find and use OERs in your classes.

Permissions and Reuse

Thanks to Adam Mazel for his work on the OER guide for Schaffer Library. Some of the sections of this guide draw heavily on this work.

Creative Commons License
This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License unless noted otherwise.