Photo by Dionne Smith

By: USM Library Staff

The University of Southern Maine Libraries have joined The Open Textbook Network (OTN), a national consortium of colleges and universities working together to promote and develop open educational resources (OER). The primary focus of these efforts is on faculty adoption of free, open textbooks. OTN saves students money and provide day-one access for every student.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, textbook prices have risen more than 1000% over the last 40 years. Students have responded by not buying the textbook, often leading to poor classroom results and retention issues.
David Nutty, Director of USM Libraries said, “We see this as an extension of our successful placement of most 100 and 200-level and some 300 and 400-level print textbooks on library reserves. By working with faculty and the student government we are increasing access and providing significant cost savings to USM students which we hope will translate to increased retention and student success.”

USM Libraries will be working with faculty through a series of workshops and one-on-one sessions to adopt and adapt an existing open textbook from the Open Textbook Library (an OTN collection) or create a new open textbook. Financial support will be provided by the Provost and USM Libraries. The OER Action Committee will direct these efforts through faculty and student representation.

A small display of select print editions of open textbooks has been placed in the Portland and Gorham Center for Collaboration & Development (CCD) offices for faculty to review. For more information contact David Nutty, [email protected] or visit


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