Professional News

1 Week Remains to Apply for Alternative Textbook Grants From UK Libraries

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2021) — Only one week remains to apply for grants supporting adoption or adaptation of existing open textbooks and creation of new course content. University of Kentucky faculty who would like to replace a traditional textbook with alternative course content in the academic year 2021-22 are welcome to submit a proposal to UK Libraries’ Alternative Textbook Grant Program through March 31. 

UK Libraries has held five rounds of the Alternative Textbook Grant Program from 2016 to 2020. Thirty-three of the funded courses had been taught by August 2020 with a total enrollment exceeding 10,000 students and cumulative estimated savings over $1.27 million for the enrolled students. In other words, each student saved about $125 on average thanks to the use of alternative course content in place of traditional textbooks.

The Alternative Textbook Grant Program offers two tracks for applicants to consider. A successful proposal for adopting or adapting existing open textbooks, free online content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resources will be awarded a grant of $1,500. For the creation of new open course content (with at least 50% of the content being original and newly created), a $2,500 grant will be awarded to an accepted proposal.

Grant recipients have been appreciative of the program because it enables timely and equitable access to learning materials while reducing the costs of education. Watch a video to hear two grantees’ comments and recommendations for the program here:

Asked about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program, Mary Beth Thomson, senior associate dean of UK Libraries, said, “The program outcomes and grant recipients’ feedback are very encouraging. It is evident that alternative textbooks are beneficial to students academically and financially while instructors can better customize their course materials.” 

Proposals for the Alternative Textbook Grant Program must be submitted via this online form by March 31, 2021. All applicants will be notified of the results in early summer of 2021. After teaching the specified course with an alternative textbook, each grant recipient is required to submit a description of the outcomes and an evaluation of their experience with the program.   

More details about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program are available online. Interested faculty can also contact Adrian Ho, UK Libraries director of Digital Scholarship, and Mary Beth Thomson, UK Libraries senior associate dean, for more information. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.