Class of 2018 selects Libraries' textbook fund among class gift options

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Class of 2018 selected the University Libraries’ Textbook and Educational Resources Fund as one of three options for their legacy through Penn State’s Class Gift Campaign. The endowed fund exists to provide required textbooks on reserve to help lower students’ cost of attendance. 

The Class Gift Committee held an event Oct. 18 at the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State’s University Park campus to announce the gift selections. In addition to the Libraries’ Textbook and Educational Resources Fund, graduating seniors selected a display of the Alma Mater in the HUB-Robeson Center and an endowment to support the Student Farm as class gift options.

The Textbook and Educational Resources Fund was created to help offset the rising cost of textbooks and educational materials, which has risen more than 100 percent in recent decades. The fund reduces the cost of a Penn State education by giving students access to required course materials by offering textbooks on reserve, linking e-reserves through Canvas, and providing access to model and structure kits. It also supports instructors’ adoption of high-quality, free or low-cost open textbooks in their courses. Through these options, students can borrow textbooks for short periods for their classes and avoid the expense of buying or renting them. 

At its current capacity, the Textbook and Educational Resources Fund provides approximately 10 percent of the total need for this service. By supporting the Fund, members of the Class of 2018 can increase the number of textbooks for students across all Penn State campuses.   

“Extending the opportunity for graduates to help reduce students’ overall cost of attendance is one aspect of a multi-faceted approach to supporting open and affordable course content throughout the curriculum,” said Joe Salem, Penn State University Libraries associate dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campuses. “Through the Textbook and Educational Resources Fund and the Open Educational Resources initiative, our hope is to provide textbooks and course materials to meet every student’s needs. The Class of 2018 can be proud that they are helping future students succeed.” 

The University Libraries’ Textbook Fund was created in 2015 in response to overwhelming student requests for textbooks on reserve, mostly for science, engineering and mathematics courses — among the most expensive textbooks for college students to purchase.

As a result of this high demand combined with an opportunity to assist even more Penn State students University-wide, the Libraries’ Development team designated the Textbook and Educational Resources Fund as the recipient of its annual Giving Tuesday campaign.

A permanent endowment, made possible by Giving Tuesday donations, was formally established in 2016. This fund aims to supplement the Libraries’ budget in this area, addressing a high-priority need for students at all campuses. 

Penn State Class Gifts and the University Libraries have seen a long and fruitful partnership over the years. Since 1935, the University Libraries has been the recipient of a class gift 18 times, for various endowments and funds used for the purchase of books and other library materials, to upgrade facilities, and to support technology efforts throughout the University Libraries. The last campaign, donated by the class of 1994, funded the extended hours reading room in West Pattee Library, a space now open 24 hours a day, Sundays through Thursdays, during fall and spring semesters.  

Individuals interested in supporting the Textbook and Educational Resources Fund may do so at any time online at giveto.psu.edu/textbookfund.

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Last Updated December 19, 2017