By Autumn Miller
The University of Kentucky is always looking for ways to ensure students have access to the best course material. With textbook prices on the rise, some students have decided to forgo buying textbooks. As an active contributor to student success, the UK Libraries started the Alternative Textbook Grant Program in 2016 to help faculty offer free or affordable course material. For the upcoming year, 10 grants are being awarded.
The Alternative Textbook Grant Program provides UK instructors with assistance in finding or creating educational material that best suits their pedagogical needs and effectively reduces their students’ financial burdens. In past years, the program has saved over 5,500 enrolled students around $790,935 or about $143 per student.
The 2019 round of the Alternative Textbook Grant Program offers two types of grants. The $1,500 category is for faculty who want to replace traditional commercial textbooks with open educational resources (OER), free online content and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resources for their courses. The other category, a $2,500 grant, enables instructors to create openly licensed educational material that can be reused by other instructors anywhere.
The recipients of this year’s 10 grants are:
- Whitney Blackburn-Lynch, Department of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering;
- Andrew Byrd and Brenna Byrd, Department of Linguistics and Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Arts and Sciences;
- Arthur Cammers, Susan Odom and Ashley Steelman, Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences;
- RayeCarol Cavender, Department of Retailing and Tourism Management in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment;
- Pam Henderson, Department of Communication, in the College of Communication and Information;
- Hyun Ju Jeong, Department of Integrated Strategic Communication in the College of Communication and Information;
- Kevin B. McGowan, Department of Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences;
- Sara Police, Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences in the College of Medicine;
- Erin Richard, Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Science; and
- Leslie K. Scott, in the College of Nursing.
UK Libraries maintains a guide that discusses the reasons for and benefits of using alternative textbooks. Faculty interested in adopting or creating alternative textbooks are welcome to contact their academic liaisons or Adrian Ho for consultation.
The major research library in the Commonwealth and a member of the Association of Research Libraries, UK Libraries comprises eight major facilities spanning campus: William T. Young Library, Agricultural Information Center, Hunter M. Adams College of Design Library, Education Library, Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center, Medical Center Library, Science and Engineering Library and the Special Collections Research Center. UK Libraries also manages the Lexmark Library.