Libraries as Publishers of Affordable E-Books

In 2015, Professor Diana Donahoe and librarians Jill Smith and Matt Zimmerman at the Georgetown University Law Center successfully published an affordable, interactive online textbook. They migrated the content of Legal Research & Writing (previously published at Aspen and BNA) into a new platform and upgraded the design, content, navigation and functionality. The new debuted in Fall 2015 under the auspices of the library, and students were charged only $35.00. (The book replaces three or four books in a typical LRW course–research, writing, grammar, and citation–which could cost a student over $200.00.)

The presentation will explain the development of the project, illustrate the affordability to the students and to the library, and demonstrate how the interactive, online book is used by professors to enhance teaching and learning in and out of the classroom.  Diana Donahoe will provide the professor and student point of view of the functionality, accessibility, and affordability.  Matt Zimmerman and Jill Smith will explain the technical and design aspects of the project. The whole group will discuss how they collaborated to bring this project to fruition in less than six months and explain their plans to expand the project to include other textbooks this summer and next year.

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Session Track

Course Management

Experience level


Session Time Slot(s)

06/17/2016 - 13:00-06/17/2016 - 14:00

Presenter Resources