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OER Tools for Librarians: Open Textbooks

Find Open Textbooks (see also "printing options" on this page)

The BCcampus Open Textbook Project (Links to an external site.) has been a leader in supporting the production of open textbooks and other OER through financial support from the Canadian government and the Hewlett Foundation. It also provides a useful search tool (Links to an external site.) for hundreds of open textbooks and links to available ancillary resources, faculty reviews, and editable files.

LumenLearning has taken over the Boundless Catalog, since Boundless has ceased operations.  These textbooks are no longer being updated, but there may be useful content.  All content is licensed CC BY SA.

Cool4Ed Textbook Referatory of the California State University

eCampus Ontario Open Textbook Library

Flat World Knowledge LOW COST TEXTBOOKS Flat World offers over 100 titles in disciplines including social sciences, humanities, and math. Business books represent the largest share of the catalog. Almost all textbooks start at $29.95 for online access and $54.95 for a printed color textbook. Flat World titles include ancillaries such as test banks and PowerPoints. Flat World also offers faculty the option to customize the content of a textbook (adding, deleting, rearranging) to suit their needs. Flat World was an early part of the Open Education movement and one of the first publishers to offer free web access to its textbooks. However, it stopped offering its books for free as of January 1, 2013, partly due to concerns of long-term sustainability of the company.


Libre Texts provides access and collaboration opportunities.  Search by discipline and then by "Courseware" or "Bookshelves."  There are two classes of texts found in the Bookshelves: "Textbooks" and "Textmaps." Textbooks are the central spot for integrated content into the library and are identified by "Book:" in their titles. Textmaps are specialized remixes that are constructed to follow the organization of existing commercial textbooks. Textmaps facilitate adoption by faculty that are unable to switch from a commercial textbook to an OER alternative; these texts are identified by "Map:" in their titles. All content is compatible with BlackBoard, Canvas, and other LMS.  Using the LTI Common Cartridge system, it is possible to import a LibreText into a course as a set of links (follow the "import" link and scroll down). See box, below, for LibreText printing options.

NOBA "books" in Psychology: virtual content that can be used as-is or customized to fit your curriculum. Instructor manual, PowerPoint presentations, and test bank available for many modules. Low-cost print textbooks now available through a partnership with 

Open Course Library, a project of Washington Community and Technical Colleges, is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts. Some of the materials are paired with low cost textbooks ($30 or less)

OpenStax (Links to an external site.) is a nonprofit organization based out of Rice University that strives to increase student access to educational materials by producing openly licensed textbooks for college and Advanced Placement courses. Thanks in part to funding by the Gates and Hewlett foundations, OpenStax textbooks are among the most commonly used open textbooks across the country and often come with important free ancillary materials for instructors, such as PowerPoint slides and homework answers.

Open SUNY Textbooks (Links to an external site.) is a publishing initiative through the State University of New York libraries. The project was launched in 2012, and textbook creation is supported by small grants to faculty. The project aims to publish cost-effective, high-quality open resources that can be used by everyone.

Open Textbook Library is a referatory of open textbooks, many of which have been reviewed by faculty. Most textbooks on this website are licensed under under CC BY NC SA, allowing you to remix, edit, and building upon the original work for non-commercial purposes with attribution to the creator(s). Colleagues suggest a good way to start here is to browse by discipline. The library is a resource maintained by the Open Textbook Network.  In 2020, the CSCU Library Constorium will join this Network. Teresa Biegun (Macomb CC; classmate, Cert OER Libr): 

"[a] strength of the Library is it has some very specific criteria, published on the OTN web site (, for textbooks that are included in the referatory. These include:

  • openly licensed content
  • a complete textbook available in a portable file format
  • higher education use and/or higher education/scholarly society affiliation
  • textbooks are original works

Open Textbook Store finds and and recommends a shortlist of OER math textbooks.  View the "Catalog" to browse and access OER textbooks, sorted by math subject. Check the "Bookstores" link for current discount offers for these always low-priced printed texts. Download for free or pay <$25 for a printed copy. All textbooks on this site are licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Saylor Academy (Links to an external site.) is a nonprofit organization that assembles freely available courses using open content.  Some courses include OER textbooks.

Washington 45 are OER textbooks and other courseware that support 45 general education coures at public community, technical, four-year college or university in Washington State.  Follow the links to each OER resource from this Google sheet. I found this a useful tool for a librarian. Part of the Open Washington Open Educational Resources Network with referals out to many other open textbook resources.


Printing Options