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COVID-19 NEWS: 'Textbooks in Short Supply Amid COVID Quarantines'
Lindsay McKenzie writes the following for Inside Higher Ed:
[T]his semester, the imbalance between supply and demand is far worse than usual, said Lindsey Gumb, assistant professor and scholarly communications librarian at Roger Williams, a private liberal arts college in Rhode Island where students are back on campus this semester and participating in hybrid instruction.
As a safety precaution to slow the potential spread of COVID-19, librarians at Roger Williams are quarantining all returned print materials for 72 hours before making them available again. …
For students who cannot afford their own textbooks and rely on the library to complete homework assignments and pass their exams, this delay is creating an untenable situation.
‘We try our best to help students. We’ll look through the catalog and see if maybe another library has it,’ Gumb said. ‘But we can’t help them if the book is in quarantine, and we are highly discouraging students from sharing textbooks.’ …
The library at Roger Williams, like many academic libraries, does not have the budget to purchase digital or print textbooks for students individually. Copies of textbooks sold specifically for use in libraries are often prohibitively expensive, Gumb said. …
In the future, Gumb said she will be stepping up her advocacy efforts for OER, encouraging faculty members to develop their own course materials or adapt existing materials to their own needs.
For more information, read the article.
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