Prof. Diane Austin teaches Web Design for Libraries, Information Architecture and WWW Design and Management. Because technology changes constantly, it is difficult to find one textbook that adequately covers all the necessary information for the courses. Prof. Austin finds that online resources such as web sites, e-books and articles contain more current information and their content is free. However, when she finds a book she likes, she assigns it, often combining the text with online resources. She notes that online resources allow instructors to pick and choose the best content. This can be a time-consuming task, but the advantage for the student is optimal.
Finally, to make full use of the technology available at USF, Prof. Austin holds weekly classes on Elluminate. The School of Information has just launched an undergraduate program, and as Assistant Director, Prof. Austin is examining textbook alternatives such as e-textbooks, course packs and textbook rental programs, as undergraduates take more courses and buy more books than graduate students. Prof. Austin urges all students to take full advantage of every way possible to save money on textbooks. She particularly likes textbook buy-back programs because that money can be used to purchase textbooks for the following semester.