University Library News
Georgia State University

Course Materials for Students – Spring Semester

Since the spring semester will arrive before we know it, considering alternatives to common challenges can reduce frustration for both instructors and students.


Health and safety measures currently preclude our ability to offer print reserves. 

Small portions of a book may often be digitized and shared on e-reserves. However, we cannot digitize and share large amounts or an entire book via e-reserves if that book is still under copyright protection.


The library continues to expand access to an ever-growing number of individual e-books and e-book collections, which are discoverable through Gil-Find. While we strive to purchase multi-user e-book options for teaching and reserves, certain publisher restrictions may exist.

Keep in mind that textbooks are difficult for libraries to acquire in digital forms. Rental options may be the best option for some students to access textbooks.

Open Educational Resources

Consider access and affordability of course materials, including Open Educational Resources (OERs), as alternatives to traditional textbooks.  A good place to start is Faculty Select, which includes content from several large, curated Open Textbook collections, including the Open Textbook Library, a collection of 806 OERs curated by the Open Education Network, based at the University of Minnesota. If you have trouble finding OERs that will work for you, please contact a librarian.

Faculty Select also includes multi-user, DRM-free licensed e-book content you can use in your courses. For more information on our e-book collections and assistance in locating, accessing, and working with e-books for your class, please review our e-book guide. Contact a librarian to determine if we can acquire an acceptable e-book version of your required and supplementary texts, or if an existing book can meet class needs.

Free options such as Open Library may be useful, although these e-books are read-only and not downloadable.

Streaming Video

Leverage existing licensed video content through our video streaming options. Contact a librarian to request new content. If you have previously requested a film on Kanopy or Swank for your course and wish to use it again, please check the catalog to see if the film is still available or speak with a librarian for assistance. Remember that some distributors do not have institutional streaming access options and may only provide individual rental streaming options that require your students to acquire access directly.

Visit CETL’s site for a wide range of content on designing and developing an online course. The Resources for Teaching Online page has information about scheduling instruction, creating links to library resources, and more.