On December 13th, the California Senate President pro Tempore Darell Steinberg proposed legislation that would help lower the burden of textbook costs for college students. According to the press release, the entire project will require a $25 million investment; however it could save students hundreds of millions of dollars annually if it is passed. The legislation is split among two bills: California Digital Open Source Library and Digital Open Source Textbooks.

California Digital Open Source Library

  • Proposes the creation of a repository of digital open source textbooks and materials for college students and faculty.
  • All materials provided within the library must bear a Creative Commons attribution license, allowing others to use, distribute, and customize the content freely.
  • Requires textbook publishers to provide colleges and universities with three free copies of each textbook adopted by faculty for the most popular lower division courses.
  • The free textbooks copies would be available to students through college and university campus library reserves.

Digital Open Source Textbooks

  • Calls for the establishment of a California Open Education Resources Council comprised of faculty leaders from the University of California, the California State University, and community colleges.
  • The council would have the responsibility of producing and reviewing affordable open source textbooks for the 50 highest enrolled lower division courses offered at California colleges.
  • The open source textbooks would be available under a Creative Commons license for free online, through the proposed California Digital Open Source Library, or about $20 per hardcopy.

You can read the full press release and several extra documents here:

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