Introducing FSU Libraries eTextbooks Search

Lindsey Wharton, Michael Pritchard, Finley Talley

As we welcome the start of 2021 Summer C, FSU Libraries are proud to announce the launch of our eTextbooks in the Classroom portal!

FSU Libraries’ new eTextbook program identifies currently available eBook titles assigned as required course materials. Instructors and students are able to search by course code, instructor, or book title to see if required course materials are available online through the Libraries. Since its implementation, this project has identified 848 total titles in Spring 2021 and 343 titles in Summer 2021 available through the Libraries’ existing licenses. In these two semesters, the total potential student savings is $1,941,369. 

This initiative was inspired by ongoing student feedback about the high cost of course materials. The Libraries’ eTextbook program builds upon our current Course Reserves service and bolsters advocacy for the program as part of the broader Libraries’ Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative.

Here is a message of support from a student whose textbook was identified as currently licensed by the Libraries:

It’s well known that textbooks can be an onerous additional cost for those pursuing any degree, so it was a welcome and extremely helpful surprise when my professor announced that the library had added an electronic version of the course textbook. This happened two semesters in a row, and the savings across those semesters was close to $200 just for two classes. The ease of access is also a huge benefit that I was very grateful for.

FSU Libraries eResources expand the amount of materials available for higher-level coursework and complements other open educational resources. Furthermore, this program provides a crucial opportunity to support student success by ensuring equitable access to teaching and learning materials. Our eResources work to benefit our FSU community by…

Positively impacting student success & engaged learning

20 out of 28 instructors from studies between 2015 and 2018 reported that learning outcomes improved with open textbooks. FSU Alternative Textbook Grant recipient Vanessa Dennen, Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies, recently published results from her customized OER project in which students offered positive feedback because the OER were customized to meet their needs and received accurate, relevant, and focused learning materials. This OER and eTextbook integration in the classroom meets these same learning outcomes by providing students and instructors access to paid information that is covered by FSU Libraries.

Ensuring an affordable FSU education for all students regardless of socioeconomic status.

 A ground-breaking study from the University of Georgia found that drop, fail and withdrawal rates (DFW) decreased significantly for low income (Federal Pell Grant Recipients) and part-time students when Open Educational Resources (OER) were used in courses. There was a 53.12% increase in average course grade and a 29.54% decrease in DFW rates for students who were not enrolled full-time. The average final grades of self-identified non-white students in the study were higher with OER and their DFW rates were lower.

Allowing instructors to incorporate perspectives that prepare students to live and work in a diverse and global society.

Open Educational Resources support a diverse community of learners including those with accessibility needs and multicultural perspectives and active student participation with materials. Sixty-four percent of faculty members in studies between 2015 and 2018 reported that using OER facilitated meeting diverse learners’ needs and sixty-eight percent perceived greater student satisfaction with the learning experience when using OER.

We look forward to growing our eTextbook program as part of our larger affordability initiative to reduce barriers to information access and reduce the cost of higher education.

If you are interested in adopting a library-licensed or open eBook to replace your traditional textbook, please reach out to Lindsey Wharton or learn more at our eTextbook Information for Instructors.

Learning From History: Timelines of COVID and the 1918 Pandemic

Although the experiences of the past year has been new for most of the population, this is not the first time that America or the world has faced the trauma and terror of a quickly spreading virus. What can we learn from examining the progress of previous examples like the 1918 Pandemic commonly known as the “Spanish Flu”? Explore the timelines below to look at the side by side comparisons of major moments in events spread almost exactly a century apart.

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Summer Tutoring Opens Today

Join us this summer for help with numerous core chemistry, math, and physics classes.

Our free service does not require appointments! Simply drop in anytime you need assistance and our tutors will be happy to help. All tutoring during summer 2021 will happen online through Zoom, and you can find more information about the service via our Online Tutoring page.

Our summer hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8pm to 11pm.

For questions or to request additional information, please email lib-tutoring@fsu.edu.

Women’s History Month 2021 at FSU

As we celebrate Women’s History Month (WHM), let’s take a stroll down memory lane to reflect on Florida State University’s history—or should I say, the Florida State College for Women.

The Florida State College for Women is what we know as the predecessor institution of FSU today. Not only that, but FSCW was also one of the largest all-female centers of higher learning in the country. From the year of its establishment in 1905 to the year its name changed to FSU in 1947, thousands of young women attended and graduated from FSCW.

Although FSU is no longer an all-female university, there are still significant efforts made by many organizations on campus to place a main focus on celebrating women, especially during Women’s History Month. WHM is celebrated every March to commemorate and raise awareness of the significant contributions of women to our culture and society throughout history. To take part in this celebration, organizations including Women Wednesdays at FSU and the Women Student Union are either taking a closer look at this year’s WHM theme or holding relevant events throughout the month.

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Research Data Services: Vital data skills for future career and academic growth

By: Paxton Welton and Nick Ruhs

Introduction 

Welcome to our second post in the Get Data Lit! blog series. This post is inspired by the theme of Love Data Week (Feb. 8-12), “Data: Building a Better Future.” Here we will focus on the research data services provided by FSU Libraries and how utilizing these valuable services can have positive effects on your future research, learning, and career prospects.  While the focus of this post is primary undergraduate students, much of the information we provide below is useful for students at any stage of their academic careers.

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Data Literacy and COVID-19: The Importance of Understanding the Data

By: Paxton Welton and Nick Ruhs

Introduction

“Data is the sword of the 21st century. Those who wield it, the samurai.”-Jonathan Rosenberg 

Data is all around us and we often interact with it in ways we don’t even realize. From using an app to mobile order our coffee to reviewing a chart provided in an article, data surrounds us and has become so intertwined with our lives.  However, with the increasing amount of data available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to understand its meaning, accuracy, and relevance to our lives. This is the reason we decided to start this new blog series, Get Data Lit! We realize that data can be difficult to decipher and want to give you the tools to better navigate data you are faced with everyday. 

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7 LinkedIn Learning Skills to Master This Summer

Hi everyone, this is Courtney again, the STEM Libraries GA, along with Emily McClellan, the STEM Libraries Outreach Associate, to talk about ways we can continue our learning and professional development throughout what promises to be a unique semester. It’s often said that we should try to control how we react to the things we can’t control. While that’s a lot easier said than done, we wanted to share some opportunities that you may find helpful while continuing to learn and grow throughout the summer.  While the world is constantly shifting and changing around us, finding stability can be hard. If you’re looking for a professional goal you can achieve this summer, try a LinkedIn Learning training to keep you grounded and focused as we continue to work from home. 

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Preparing for Online Finals

We may not be on campus, but the library can still be one of your first stops as you prepare for finals. We’ve worked hard to get as many services as possible online, and we’re here to help in any way we can!

Library tutoring service are available through Zoom for all the usual subjects and hours. The library offers assistance in chemistry, math, physics, modern languages, and several other subjects. If we don’t cover the class you’re looking for, you can also reach out to ACE for additional help.

Especially since circumstances have closed campus libraries, we want to help you arrange the space you’re in. As finals approach, the space you’re going to use to work in is going to get more important. Check out this short article from Huffington Post for tips to set up your workspace.

Below are some more quick tips on preparing yourself for the upcoming online finals, but that’s not all. We’ve also compiled a list of learning resources with study tips, courses, and links to services available through campus programs and various partners.

But studying isn’t the only important element to preparing for finals. Giving your mind a chance to rest is also key. This is why our usual stress busters events are going online this semester, and they’ll be live on April 22!

The events team has created fun and relaxing virtual activities, all of them inspired by Keanu Reeves. You can find them on and after April 22 by visiting lib.fsu.edu/online-stress-busters.

A Visit to Panama

By Lindsey Wharton, Extended Campus & Distance Services Librarian, & Michael Pritchard, Distance Services Library Associate

In February 2020, members of the FSU Libraries were hosted by the Florida State University – Panama campus in an effort to strengthen our partnership with the Panama students, faculty and staff. Our visit provided us the opportunity to promote library resources and services as well as learn about the teaching and learning experiences, both academic and culturally, of our students, staff, and faculty abroad. While Lindsey Wharton, the Extended Campus & Distance Services Librarian, had visited the Panama campus previously in 2014 and 2016, this was the first visit for both Michael Pritchard, Distance Library Services Specialist, and Dr. Gale Etschmaier, Dean of University Libraries. This campus visit marked an important occurrence for University Libraries and FSU Panama, as all were excited to reconnect with colleagues, work with the students, and introduce Dr. Etschmaier to the campus. 

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