Textbook Alternatives: Open Textbooks

No-cost and low-cost alternatives

With the continued increases in textbook prices faculty often look for less expensive alternatives to cover the same learning objectives. This guide provides information about options offered through open educational resources projects, as well as resources and services offered through the WMU Libraries.

The problem

  • College textbook prices have increased 812% since 1978. The Consumer Price Index has increased 250% during this time. (Perry, 2012)
  • The average student in the U.S. spends $1137 annually on textbooks. (College Board, 2013)


Perry, M. J. (2012, December 24.) The college textbook bubble and how the open educational resources movement is going up against the textbook cartel [blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/12/the-college-textbook-bubble-and-how-the-open-educational-resources-movement-is-going-up-against-the-textbook-cartel/


College Board. (2013). Quick guide: college costs. Retrieved from https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/college-costs/quick-guide-college-costs

Locating open access textbooks

Open textbook adoption

Off Campus Services Librarian

Michele Behr
2017 Waldo Library
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5353
Phone 269-387-5611
Fax: 269-387-5124

Liaison to Economics, Public Administration, Blindness and Low Vision, Interdisciplinary Health Studies