E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship


Date of this Version

Summer 2006

Document Type



Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship (Summer 2006) 7(2). Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v07n02/pollitz_j01.htm.


Copyright 2006, the authors. Used by permission.


[First two paragraphs]

While the attention of Oregon State University librarians, like many others around the world, has been directed to the rising costs of journals and their impact on our resources, another form of inflation has been occurring which has a much more dramatic effect on the lives of our students. This is the spiraling inflation in the cost of textbooks. In this status report we discuss issues concerned with textbook costs on campus and the possible roles of the library.

The cost of textbooks is not a new concern for our students; it has been an ongoing issue for cost conscious students. As students watch their loans increase in an era of diminished financial aid opportunities and the cost of higher education skyrocket, they are investigating every aspect of the cost of a university education. The publication of Ripoff 101: How the Current Practices of the Textbook Industry Drive up the Cost of College Textbooks in January, 2004 gave greater voice to the concerns of college students across the nation. This publication was the work of the California Student Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) with research assistance by the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) and was updated in a second edition in February, 2005.