British Columbia To Offer Free Textbooks Online [Canada]

Staff Writer | SFU | October 25, 2012
[British Columbia] will soon be the first province to offer students free, online, open textbooks for the 40 most popular post-secondary courses, the provincial government announced this month. The announcement coincides with Open Access Week, Oct. 22-26. Open textbooks are typically published under an open license and can be read online or downloaded at no cost.

They are part of a growing worldwide movement supporting open education resources that takes advantage of the Internet to make information sharing easier and open licenses to extend the rights to use, reuse, revise and share material. The government plans to work with post-secondary institutions, faculty and textbook publishers to implement an open policy that could be in use as early as 2013-14.

Charles Eckman, SFU’s dean of library services, supports the concept:  “The potential for creating an environmentally and financially sustainable model for delivering course-related materials is innovative,” he says...