Electronic and Open Textbooks- NYS Higher Education Initiative
"The use of electronic textbooks is slowing piquing the interests of New York lawmakers. Increasingly this small group of lawmakers is interested in using the campus library as a provider of electronic textbooks for undergraduate students in the hope of reducing the costs of higher education for students. This sort of legislation has appeared before. Though well-intentioned the legislative proscriptions usually had a negative impact on the library (in the form of unfunded mandates) or academic freedom (by restricting permissible titles for course assignments). NYSHEI has consistently opposed and defeated these bills. Recently, NYSHEI brought together a volunteer team to begin thinking about electronic and open textbooks. It is our hope that through exploration and analysis we can devise policy solutions that will help reduce undergraduate costs while protecting and advancing the concerns of our libraries. This white paper is the opening step on this course. This paper is, and will remain, a work in progress. The goal is to develop a means to educate policy makers about the issues connected to open and electronic textbooks, and recommend beneficial legislative actions. Do not hesitate to offer your thoughts on the issue ..."