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VIVA Outreach Committee

The Outreach Committee promotes and publicizes VIVA and its resources and advocates VIVA's funding needs and the benefits that VIVA confers to appropriate agencies, organizations and legislative groups.



VIVA Open Textbook Network: Student Savings Exceed Expectations in Pilot Year!

The Virtual Library of Virginia
February 2, 2018

The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), in its first year as a member of the Open Textbook Network (OTN), has reduced textbook costs for students across the Commonwealth by almost one million dollars. Textbook costs can be a significant barrier to student success, shaping everything from what majors they chose to whether or not they complete their degrees. The high costs of textbooks, currently estimated to be around $1,300 per student per year, mean that students often do not purchase these course materials, and their academic performance suffers as a result. As a library consortium that aims to help all of Virginia’s college students succeed, VIVA has sought methods to relieve this financial pressure point.      

Over the past year, VIVA piloted a statewide membership in the OTN, a program devoted to the promotion of access, affordability, and student success through the adoption of open textbooks that do not cost students any money to use. The VIVA OTN program trains library leaders who hold workshops for faculty across the state, supporting efforts to make greater use of available, high quality open educational materials. Open textbooks directly contribute to students’ academic success by ensuring that all students, no matter their means, have access to their course materials.  And unlike a traditional textbook, open textbooks can be revised and remixed, allowing faculty to tailor content to their individual courses.

In its first year, the VIVA OTN program has already benefited students and faculty across Virginia. From VIVA’s initial investment of $24,000 in this program, the following was achieved:

VIVA Open Textbook Network Results 2018

In the upcoming year VIVA is working to build on the success of the OTN pilot by expanding the program to include more materials and reach more members, in order to benefit an even greater number of Virginia’s students.

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VIVA is the consortium of the libraries of 72 nonprofit higher education institutions in Virginia, including the 39 state-assisted colleges and universities, 32 private institutions, and the Library of Virginia. VIVA's provides equitable, cooperative, and cost-effective access to shared resources for libraries. VIVA is funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia through the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and by investments from participating institutions.

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For additional information contact:
Anne C. Osterman
VIVA Director
George Mason University
Fenwick Library
4400 University Drive, MSN 2FL
Fairfax, VA  22030
Tel: 703-993-4652





VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly and the VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).