Information for Fall 2021
As we approach the Fall 2021 semester, Library staff are working hard to ensure professors and students have access to the materials they need. The following information on availability of resources may be useful for course planning purposes.
- Some books are only available in print, not as ebooks.
- Ebooks can cost significantly more than print books, depending on the publisher and usage models offered.
- The library can only buy ebooks that are licensed to universities, and not all of them are. Some ebooks (example: Kindle books) are only available for individual purchase. This is a choice the publisher has made.
- Ebooks can have usage restrictions. The library purchases unlimited simultaneous users when available and offered at a reasonable price, otherwise books may be limited to 1-3 simultaneous users, which means students will not all be able to access the book at the same time.
- Textbook publishers do not always provide electronic purchasing options for libraries, and when they do, the usage models are often not adequate for libraries. Approximately 85% of existing English language course textbooks are simply unavailable to libraries in any format other than print. For French language textbooks, even fewer are available electronically. Textbook publishing models are built around selling e-textbooks directly to students.
- Related article: 'Price gouging from Covid': student ebooks costing up to 500% more than in print (The Guardian, January 2021)
- Some films are only available as DVDs, not as digital files or streaming.
- Due to copyright restrictions, you cannot show a DVD or streaming film in an online class. Only short excerpts that respect fair dealing would be permissible. If an online/streaming version of the film is in the library’s collection, students can independently watch the film.
- If your class is bimodal/hybrid, you cannot show a DVD or streaming film in class if that class is also being broadcast, filmed, or shared online.
- If your class is exclusively in-person, you may show a DVD or streaming film from the library’s collection to the class.
- Please consult with the Copyright Office for situation specific advice: ddac@uOttawa.ca
- The Library’s facilities are anticipated to be open in September as the University strives to for a 30-50% return to campus. This means that the ETAS service will be turned off. This will have an impact on the students and researchers who are not returning to campus. This service was offered as an emergency and temporary service for libraries closed due to the pandemic. There is no opportunity to maintain the service once the urgency of the pandemic begins to recede and the University and the Library begin a return to on campus activity.
University of Ottawa Library’s Statement on purchasing eTextbooks (Fall 2020)
As we approach the Fall 2020 semester, Library staff are working hard to provide alternatives to the print course reserves collection, which is currently unavailable due to health and safety considerations. Many of the books on reserve are print copies of required textbooks that are not available to students in the current online teaching environment, and cannot be fully digitized for copyright reasons. With print reserves not available, many requests have been made for electronic versions of textbooks.
The Library is working to ensure students and instructors have access to the materials they need in a primarily online environment, however, this is a challenge as textbook publishers often do not provide electronic purchasing options for libraries, and when they do, the usage models are often not adequate for libraries. Approximately 85% of existing English language course textbooks are simply unavailable to libraries in any format other than print. For French language textbooks, even fewer are available electronically. Textbook publishing models are built around selling e-textbooks directly to students. Providing limited-loan print reserve copies was an alternative for students, but this option is unavailable in an online environment.
We recognize the academic freedom of instructors to choose course materials, and we are committed to helping interested instructors locate open materials and create digital course packs from licensed library resources. For assistance, professors are invited to contact.
- or their Research Librarian
- or, for Open Education Resources, reloer@uOttawa.ca (please include an overview of the topics to be covered in the course and, if applicable, the title of the textbook usually assigned)
For additional information on other available services, such as scan-on-demand or e-course reserves, please refer to our Library Services Update page.
(Adapted from the University of Guelph Library’s statement on textbooks, with permission)