Cleveland State University’s Affordable Initiatives

Cleveland State UniversityWith support from the Provost’s Office, partners in CSU's textbook affordability efforts include Colleges and Academic Departments, the Center for eLearning, the Center for Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the campus bookstore, the Division of Student Affairs, Student Government Association, the C-M Law Library, and the Michael Schwartz Library. Additionally, CSU’s Faculty Senate recently created a Textbook Adoption Policy Committee with partners from many of these units. For more information about our affordable learning initiatives, please visit:



Adoption Initiatives

  • In Spring 2016, the Michael Schwartz Library began offering Textbook Affordability Small Grants. By Spring 2019, 23 grants have been awarded with an estimated impact to 4,387 students. If the open textbooks replaced books that cost, on average, $100 each, then CSU students saved a cumulative total of $438,700 from just the first year implementations of these grants.
  • Building upon a Spring 2017 small grant, CSU’s First-Year Writing Program submitted a grant proposal to expand use of their initial open textbooks to all English 100, 101, and 102 classes starting Fall 2018. In collaboration with the Michael Schwartz Library, the Provost Office funded this proposal, which will impact approximately 3,200 students each year, saving them an estimated $180,000 in the first year alone.
  • In partnership with SGA, the Michael Schwartz Library offers a Textbook Hero Award to encourage and reward faculty for their work to reduce textbook costs for CSU students. The Spring 2019 winners were Melanie Gagich and Emilie Zickel, instructors responsible for the First Year Writing open textbook project described above.
  • Each spring during Open Education Week, CSU hosts an OpenCon Cleveland event, which draws in attendees from across Northeast Ohio to talk about issues relevant to open education. In Spring 2019 there were approximately 80 attendees.

Textbook Affordability Initiatives

  • The campus bookstore shares the course material adoption data it receives from faculty with the Library to identify library holdings assigned as course materials—especially e-books and digital content. Typically 30 or more ebooks are identified as identical to assigned textbooks each semester. Students access these library ebook holdings approximately 1,000 times each semester at no additional charge.
  • The Textbook Center in the Michael Schwartz Library was created in Spring 2017 to expand the Library’s traditional support of course materials by offering more textbooks for general education classes. From Spring 2017 to Spring 2019, the number of titles in the Textbook Center more than grew from 140 to 611 and resulted in 7578 student uses.
  • Student Government Association began a “Donate your Textbook to the Library” program at the end of Spring 2017 to help increase student access to required textbooks. Since then, over 50 books have been added to the Textbook Center.

Advocacy Initiatives

  • The Vice President for Student Affairs provides weekly communication to deans, chairs and department heads regarding what courses lack course material information after the adoption deadline passes each semester to remind faculty of their impact on students’ access to less costly course material with timely adoption.
  • The Center for Faculty Excellence sponsors faculty workshops on copyright, Creative Commons licenses, and open textbooks each semester. 
  • The Center for Faculty Excellence and Provost’s Office sponsor an annual Provost’s Teaching Summit where adopters of open textbooks can share their findings.
  • Cleveland State University was a founding member of Open Textbook Network in Spring 2014 and has been an active participate in the development of the program since then.
  • The library's Research Guide on Open Textbooks ( brings together valuable information for CSU faculty seeking more information regarding how to reduce the cost of learning materials. CSU librarians and instructional designers actively promote open resources to faculty colleagues and serve on teams to support small grant recipients.
Contact Information: Mandi Goodsett, Performing Arts and Humanities Librarian, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-2214,, 216-802-3362,