The U.S. Department of Education’s Senior Policy Advisor, Hal Plotkin, joined students and faculty at the University of Maryland College Park on August 31, 2011 at a press conference to help launch a campaign for affordable textbooks. The campaign, Textbook Rebellion, kicked off a six-week cross-country tour that includes tour stops scheduled at about 30 campuses around the U.S.
The event is sponsored by the Student PIRGs, a national coalition for affordable college textbooks. Joining the group is Flat World Knowledge, Inc., the largest publisher of free and open college textbooks for students worldwide.
Through an online petition drive, social media and campus events, the Textbook Rebellion aims to raise awareness of the textbook affordability crisis and a growing number of alternatives that relieve students of the perennial problem of spiraling textbook costs. Chief among the new options are open textbooks that are licensed to be free online and affordable in print and digital formats. Other choices range from the e-reader model, textbook rental and loan programs and websites for used books.