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This Library initiative encourages instructors to use low-cost or free alternatives to expensive course materials, such as open-access scholarly resources, Library-licensed and owned resources in print or digital form, reformatted special collections items, and learning objects and texts that faculty create themselves. By more closely aligning Library collections, services, and expertise with instructional needs, it has helped lower the cost of course materials for thousands of UCLA students while achieving instructors’ educational objectives.
Awards pair instructors with a team of Library specialists who help them identify, access, adapt, and adopt alternative course materials. Award amounts are available of $1,000 each for instructors teaching courses with enrollments of fewer than two hundred students and of $2,500 each for instructors teaching courses with enrollments of more than two hundred students. Collection development awards may also be designated to build or enhance library collections in support of specific courses. The financial sums are meant to offer an incentive for the time it will take instructors to identify new resources, adjust syllabi, and modify assignments and can also be used to cover any actual expenses incurred by the instructor.
The initiative has been endorsed by the Office of the UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and the UCLA Academic Senate.
Each applicant must be the instructor of record. Courses can be at the undergraduate or graduate level but must be for enrolled students (i.e., not UCLA Extension courses).
Applicants are asked to complete a one-page application form and attend a one-hour workshop at which Library staff members introduce search strategies and possible sources for open-access or low-cost instructional resources, and applicants can share ideas with one another and brainstorm.
The one-page application form is available online or in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word formats. Online applications are automatically received upon submission; electronic applications in Word or PDF format can be saved and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be processed in the order they are received.
Electronic applications that are not submitted through the online webform should be emailed to email@example.com. Applicants will receive confirmation notices when their application forms are received.
Applications are reviewed by a small committee to assess alignment with the initiative's objectives and to determine if the course is best served through this or other Library services and initiatives. Each awardee will be assigned an individual librarian, who will work personally with him or her to assist with locating materials. At the conclusion of each awarded course, the instructor is asked to complete an assessment in order to determine the initiative’s pedagogical and financial impact.
- For Fall Quarter 2019 courses: Apply now: Applications are due by May 20.
- For Winter Quarter 2020: Apply now: Applications are due by October 21
- For Spring Quarter 2020: Apply now: Applications are due by January 20.
Funds are awarded throughout the academic year. Instructors teaching courses during later quarters are encouraged to apply by the earlier deadlines.
The high price of course materials including textbooks is a major concern to students and parents; a web page on UCLA’s undergraduate admissions site estimates it will total $1,449 per student for the current academic year. Legislative action to address these costs have been taken by the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature. The UCLA Store has taken steps to lower textbook prices, and the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) has created a textbook lending library, but the problem resists easy, unilateral solutions.
Several years ago, the UCLA Library launched a collaborative project with USAC and the UCLA Store that continues to lower the cost of printed course readers by leveraging Library-licensed/owned materials. Expanding upon this high-outcome/low-cost effort, the Library has identified a larger role it can play in lowering the cost of course materials, adapted from similar programs created by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Temple University.
In addition to better integrating UCLA Library collections and services into instruction, this initiative work with UCLA faculty and researchers to make their scholarly articles, books, and instructional resources more broadly accessible to students, colleagues, and members of the general public through open access options.
For Further Information
Explore the ACMI guide to learn more about open educational resources, maximizing fair use, and other ways to reduce the costs of educational materials for students.
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-206-3388.