3 January 2023
Milner Library at Illinois State University

When Illinois State University conducted a Textbook Affordability survey in the spring of 2019, it was clear there was a problem—one felt by institutions across the United States. The survey found that 73% of students did not acquire a textbook due to cost, 89% delayed purchasing a textbook or other materials, 69% reported purchasing a required material that the professor didn’t use, and 32% reported taking on credit card debt to purchase classroom materials. In response to these obstacles, Illinois State University’s Milner Library developed a plan to address textbook affordability by purchasing electronic versions of textbooks that could be used across campus.

Ultimately, Milner purchased 57 titles and upgraded 8 more for 70 sections of 43 courses, for a total cost of $7858.31. This investment gave 2,029 students the opportunity to save a whopping $143,880.50. In addition to these monetary savings, students and faculty reported benefits from the program including reduced stress, increased accessibility of course materials, and increased ease of using materials.  

Today's guest blog post is from Michelle Neuffer, Director of Marketing & Communications, Milner Library, Illinois State University