Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

Supporting Student Success: Libraries’ Ongoing Commitment to Affordable Course Materials

January 22nd, 2024

At Purdue, we strongly believe the pursuit of knowledge should be accessible to all students. One significant aspect of ensuring affordability is the availability of affordable course materials. Libraries, as bastions of learning, play a crucial role in this endeavor. Our commitment to supporting students’ academic journey is evident through various initiatives aimed at making course materials more affordable and accessible, which has resulted in substantial cost savings:  For example, based on the lowest purchase price of a print book or ebook from online retailer Amazon, we have saved undergraduate and graduate students combined an estimated amount of $848,031.73 in the fall 2023 semester, a continuously increasing amount compared to the fall 2022 semester with estimated savings of $621,429.78 for our Boilermakers.  Learn more about the resources we offer to the Purdue community: 

Licensing Essential E-books:
Libraries actively licenses e-books that are designated as required texts for courses. What sets us apart is our willingness to go beyond official course lists. Instructors can email to inquire about the possibility of licensing supplemental or additional reading materials for their courses. It’s important to note that while we strive to provide online access to as many titles as possible, not all publishers may participate in this initiative.

Creating Library Reading Lists:
All Purdue instructors have the option to create Library Reading Lists, a versatile tool integrated with Brightspace. This tool allows them to link multiple course resources seamlessly. They can also submit requests for course materials through this system, contributing to the overall effort to make resources more accessible for students.

Purdue’s online course reserves system enables instructors to curate structured and comprehensive reading lists, taking into account copyright considerations. This ensures that the creation of such lists adheres to legal standards, promoting fair use and ethical access to educational resources.

Course Reserves:
When course material is available for purchase in print or can be licensed electronically for campus use, we make it a priority to acquire it. Instructors are encouraged to contact Libraries in advance of each semester with their course reserve requests. 

Open Education Resources (OERs):
Since 2013, Purdue has been a proud member of the Open Education Network. OERs are freely accessible and openly licensed materials, including text, media, and digital assets. By actively participating in the OER community, Purdue contributes to the global effort to make high-quality educational resources freely available.

Our ongoing commitment to affordable course materials is a testament to our dedication to student success. By leveraging innovative tools, engaging with OERs, and actively supporting instructors, we play a vital role in creating a more accessible and equitable educational experience for all students at Purdue. 

“Empowering students with access to essential course materials is at the core of our mission. I was delighted to share the news with my ENGR 103 class that, thanks to Libraries’ commitment and an unlimited license, they didn’t need to purchase the textbook. This not only saved them $2,368 collectively but also reflects the transformative impact Purdue Libraries can have on student affordability and success,” said Michael Witt, Associate Professor of Library Science. 

For further inquiries on ensuring affordable course materials, interested parties can reach out to Emily Little at or