Monday, August 26, 2019

Library Open House, 2019!

Greetings new students! 
The Armacost Library will host an Open House on Friday, August 30, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Please drop by to enjoy light refreshments, enter to win some awesome Redlands swag, and learn about the Armacost Library, including your LibrarianThat's right, all students have their own Librarian depending on what their major is. For example, there is an Arts Librarian, a STEM Librarian, and so on, who can help you with your research. We look forward to introducing you to all the ways in which the Library supports student research!

Monday, August 19, 2019

What the Cengage/McGraw-Hill Merger Could Mean for You

Source: SPARC DOJ Filing Opposing the Merger

In May 2019, Cengage and McGraw-Hill announced a planned merger and is pending regulatory approval. In August, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, SPARC, submitted a filing to the Department of Justice on the grounds of antitrust laws. According to SPARC, Cengage currently holds 24% and McGraw-Hill holds 21% of the textbook market. Combined, they will comprise 45% of the market, rivaled only by Pearson with an estimated 40-41.5% share. Concerns include the following.

Reduced competition. It's what you'd expect when the number of competitors drops from three to two.

Coordinated pricing ease. The ability for companies to cooperatively raise prices and profits, rather than competitively drive down prices and profits, will be easier to do with this merger. Expected, combined revenues are $3,157,000,000; higher education is expected to generate $1,492,000,000. (Cengage & McGraw-Hill Merger Announcement, slide 11)

Obstruction of cost-saving strategies. The merger's emphasis on digital offerings undermine cost-saving strategies like library course reserves, the Book Lending Program, and used-textbook alternatives.

Mandatory fees. Cengage's pivot to "inclusive access" models (institutional subscriptions to a library of course material) shifts purchasing decisions away from students to their institutions. Institutions can then pass along costs via student fees. From Cengage's annual report: "The growth in our digital business gives us access to a greater number of students in any given classroom and generates new sources of revenue from our existing adoption customers. In contrast to print publications, our digital products cannot be resold or transferred. We therefore realize revenue from every end user."

Mandatory compliance. Pivots to courseware make it difficult, if not impossible, for students to opt out of any terms of service.

Surveillance. Shifts from textbooks to courseware enable surveillance of students and educators.

Take Action: Support Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital, educational resources (e.g., textbooks) that are free to use and licensed to enable sharing. OER enable students to have their materials on the first day of class, regardless of their ability to pay. OER enable educators to use a resource without fear that they're breaking any laws.

In 2019-2020, colleagues from the Hunsaker Teaching Center, Armacost Library, School of Business, the College's Psychology and Biology Departments will use an Innovation Grant, funded generously by the Provost's Office, to advance OER on campus.

Ben AronsonAnnie DowneyPaige Mann
Jim PickCatherine Salmon

Interested in OER? Let us know!

Written by Paige Mann, STEM Librarian | Scholarly Communications Librarian. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Summer Reads

August is here, and although a new semester is around the corner, there's still time to relax in the heat and sun of summer with a fantastic read. Here is a small selection of recently acquired books:

Chenoo: A Novel by Joseph Brucach
“Throughout Chenoo, Bruchac interweaves traditional stories, pop-culture references, Indian humor, and Indigenous activism into a narrative that educates as much as it entertains.”— Studies in American Indian Literature Journal

Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi
Zélie's magical powers awaken in a land where magic is being eradicated by the monarchy. A film adaptation of this book is currently in production!

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This urban fantasy takes place in Mexico City in 1988 and 2009. Meche learns to cast spells through music, and the story explores love and complicated relationships between family and friends.

Realistic Fiction
The Overstory by Richard Powers
This novel, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in fiction, explores nine Americans and their relationships with trees.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
"On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families." ~From the publisher

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace
"...a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration." ~From the publisher

Short Fiction
No More Bingo, Comadre!: Stories by Nasario García
“Suffused with Hispanic wisdom, tall tales, and slang, the stories enchanted us.”—New Mexico Magazine

Graphic Novels
Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
"When a birth defect wipes out the planet’s entire population of men, Woman World rises out of society’s ashes." ~From the publisher

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
"In two interwoven timelines, a ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together; and two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love, only to learn the pain of loss." ~From the publisher