eTextbooks – they are lighter on both backpacks and the environment, cheaper than traditional print textbooks and much more convenient and efficient. With soaring sales of smartphones and tablets – it makes sense for students to shift to electronic texts. Encouraging mobile device use in classrooms may help students to become more tech savvy as well – some schools are even requiring students purchase an iPad for the upcoming fall semester (College Requiring Students to Go Digital)


At the CLA conference this year, Jennnifer Shrubsole from SIAST (Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology) presented a poster titled “Going Electronic with Textbooks: A Success Story” which explores e-textbook subscription platforms combined with virtual course packs  – as the main go-to resource for students instead of purchased textbooks (both print and electronic). This combination saved students a lot of money and gave them access to many more e-texts, indexed and searchable databases as well as virtual course packs that are more easily updated by instructors. Instructors were pleased that they could provide well-rounded readings from more than one source, as well as current readings for their students as opposed to being limited to a single text which often becomes outdated. A win-win situation for both students and instructors.

Poster Abstract: 

E-textbooks currently provoke much discussion and debate, but the traditional method for textbook selection and distribution is also flawed. At SIAST, one program no longer requires the purchase of a ‘textbook’, but uses SIAST Libraries’ e-book collections. Discover why electronic was best, and which factors led to success.

Further Reading