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The HU Library, in partnership with faculty and administration, continues to work to reduce the student cost burden of textbooks.

The Library accomplishes this through the adoption of open educational resources (OERs) and library-licensed ebooks, which are unlimited-use ebooks available to all students.

“This has saved hundreds of students thousands of dollars over the last few years, as the average cost of a commercial textbook is $100,” reports David Runyon, University Librarian.

 In just the 2021-2022 academic year, courses using library-licensed materials have saved students an estimated $350,800. Almost all those savings are at the graduate level, but they impact an estimated 3,508 students in 18 courses. In the 21/22 academic year, courses using OER resources impacted 4,847 students across 13 classes, for an estimated total savings (over commercial textbooks) of $133,900.

This data is based on course enrollment, counting students once for each class they take, so the number of individuals is much smaller than the total.) In total, courses using OER or library-licensed materials saved students an estimated $484,700. HU distributes about $9,428,358 in non-loan financial aid to students each year.

“It’s a small slice, but this library work adds the equivalent of approximately 5% to our financial aid pool to our students, with no forms or criteria besides enroll at HU,” says Runyon.

Learn more about open educational resources at Harrisburg University online at   More information on the HU Library and its resources is found online at


Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private nonprofit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717-901-5146 or email, Follow on Twitter (@HarrisburgU) and Facebook (

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