College libraries spending more, says study

Many colleges are spending more on textbooks, both in print and digital

It's not just students who are paying more for their textbooks. According to a new study published by the National Center for Education Statistics, academic libraries are spending more on course materials and books than they were before the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, reports Inside Higher Ed.

The report surveyed 3,700 libraries in academic institutions across the U.S., accounting for almost 85 percent of all libraries in higher education. The results indicate that colleges spent $6.83 billion last year, compared to $5.75 billion in 2004. The increase is largely due to increases in the cost of academic journals.

However, the most notable change in college library's spending relates to e-books and digital course materials. In 2004, academic libraries had around 32 million e-textbooks in their collections, compared to more than 158 million last year. College library spending on electronic materials also increased significantly, rising from $65 million in 2004 to $152 million in 2010.

If you're thinking of attending college, you might want to add a tablet computer to your 'what to bring to college' checklist. For many students, accessing digital textbooks through tablet computers is becoming a more popular choice than using print materials. Before making any solid college decisions, you should evaluate how much the course materials for your major will cost, and see if using e-books would be more affordable for you.

Original Post Date: December 14th, 2011

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