Academic Technology in Higher Education

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A Call to Action: A Plan for eBooks at CUNY (Please Participate)

Join the CUNY eBooks conversation!

This is an open proposal to the CUNY community. Take action to drastically reduce the cost of textbooks and create a CUNY-wide eBook program. Together we can make a difference.

Please access and read the written version of my open proposal to the CUNY community (Version 4) : Click Here
(The written version is clearer than the podcast and provides more details.)

Your comments, suggestions, and questions are welcomed. Please comment in this forum. If you would like to endorse and support this plan… please do so in the comments field. If you are a member of the CUNY community, please state your role: (i.e. student, faculty, adjunct, administrator). If you are not a member of the CUNY community, please tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you….

Follow Professor Wandt on Twitter

 

Previous Versions Still Available:

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

 

36 Comments

  1. There is no question that eBooks at CUNY must move full steam ahead.

    Adam, you are thinking of students? How can CUNY leave more money in their pocket by offering the academic publishing industry a way to earn a profit while at the same time offering CUNY students more affordable access to textbooks.Bravo!

    Rather than viewing the publishing industry as the enemy, CUNY should reach out to the trade group representing the academic publishing industry to begin an interest-based collective bargaining process. This would enable both parties to conduct informal non binding discussions as a prelude to negotiating an agreement. CUNY should be an industry testbed for demonstrating viable academic textbook business model.

    Please let me know how I can help you advance this important project.

  2. Hi Adam, this is an interesting proposal, thanks for all of your work putting it together.

    The many issues with textbooks are thorny and pressing for all stakeholders (students, faculty, library faculty, and others). As an advocate for open access publishing, I was cheered to see the section on open access textbooks in the proposal, though I wonder what your thoughts are on expanding it even more? There’s an interesting pilot program going on at Temple University in which faculty were given stipends to create open access, freely-available textbooks and other curricular materials for their courses (https://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/temple-project-ditches-textbooks-for-homemade-digital-alternatives/35247). (We’re discussing this and similar initiatives over on the Open Access Publishing group here on the Commons, in case you’d like to join in.)

    What I think is great about the open access textbook alternatives is that they have the potential to create materials that can be freely used across the CUNY system and beyond, and that they leverage our own faculty expertise. Textbook publishing is a big business, with new (and often very similar) editions issued frequently and prices rising astronomically, as you know. While the relationship with textbook publishers that you outline would certainly lower costs for CUNY students, it gives me pause, given the history of rising textbook prices.

  3. I am delighted to announce I have just published version 4 of the CUNY eBooks proposal. The proposal is now co-sponcered by Bill Pangburn, Director of Instructional Technology Support Services at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I have also modified the proposal based on comments and feedback from the CUNY community.

  4. So, its a new semester here at John Jay (Spring 2012) and as usual I am taking just one course. This course which is a graduate course, the instructor announces 5 “required textbooks” [Although only 4 showed up as listed in he JJAY bookstore]. This scenario will give an example of sticker shock, but there are some cavaets to consider: The figures are based on new, not reused books. They are also based on college bookstore prices, not prices from discount sellers like amazon, barnes & noble, etc. This also assumes you go to the store and pick up the books. (John Jay Bookstore will ship the books, for a fee + shipping charges, so if you want to buy online and have then sent – the cost will increase even more)

    For the 5 books, one which is $90 for the single book, and the 5th book, which was not listed at the book store but is $56 at Amazon, comes to a book bill of of about $275, add in an extra $25 for NYS Sales Tax, and the bill is about $300 for ONE couse/One Semester.

    Another thing to note, the Tuition and Fees for taking a single Graduate Course in Spring 2012 is approx $1100, the book bill in terms of tuition is about 30%

    If I bought these as ebooks, pricing would be cheaper, that makes the tax cheaper, I can shop at home as there would be no shipping and handling fee, the overall cost i then cheaper.

  5. A very nice blog you now have here. I am keen your typing style and it’s very informative posts, I will get back here again!

  6. I really like this proposal and believe that students would take advantage of this program. I especially like the idea that I could purchase the book at a discount rate since I like to have a hard copy of my favorite textbooks for reference purposes. I am wondering if audible books would be available as a service too. Also, I hope that the eBooks would allow students to highlight and make comments in the notes as if the book was in front of them.

  7. As a graduate student and the president of the John Jay MPA Student Association, I support Mr. Wandt’s proposal. Ebooks have become increasing popular with the use mobile devices like ipad, kindles and iphone. I believe CUNY should use this technology to increase student productivity as well as efficiency. I use my iphone everyday as an e-reader and being able comment and highlight a borrowed digital copy has a greater advantage than print copy.

  8. Alyson, thank you for this article. This is exactly the reason why CUNY should be acting in group force. Despite a significant reduction in costs of production… students are not saving money. If the CUNY community steps in now, we can set the ground rules to make sure the savings are passed on.

    We must work together – now – to ensure that students have affordable access to required readings.

  9. New Feature: CUNY eBooks needs to be text searchable. Yes. I agree!

  10. New Feature: CUNY eBooks should be able to read the text for those with visual impairments. This was recommended by one of my grad students. I think this is a great idea!

  11. thanks Matt for putting this out front. A few of us were just discussing this issue today.

  12. Hi Adam — this is now the featured post on the Commons homepage. Hope that brings more attention to this project.

  13. Thank you for covering this in Footnotes. I hope to get more people to participate in the eBooks conversation.

  14. Whitney,

    I think the second version of the proposal answers some of your concerns. Let me go through them one by one.

    1. This is a challenge we will have to address. However, there is a lot to consider. According last year’s CUNY Student IT Survey, almost 80% of John Jay Students reported owning a smart phone. If I remember correctly, more than half of JJAY students already have access to a laptop or desktop off campus. This is how is was last year in 2010. How do you think it will be 5 years from now? How fast is technology moving forward? I think this would be a serious concern if the project was going live today. However, I am willing to bet that time will take care of this problem for us. (whatever time does not take care of… we will have to consider going forward. I agree that students need access. I am committed to making sure they have it one way or the other. This is an issue I would be happy to talk to you more about in person.

    2. I have no idea what the process of adding a new fee is. (I will find out). I know it involves both CUNY and the State. If this proposal gets supported… that is something we would have to figure out. Luckily we would have the support of CUNY legal.

    3. This is a good question. My first instinct is to tell them to go to duane reed or cvs and buy a pre-paid one. A $5 fee would solve this problem. I will look into alternatives as well.

    4. As publishers agree to the concepts outlined in the proposal.. their names will be published on the blog. I am already having conversations with several of them. If this goes forward… I would need to convince a meeting with about 5 or 6 of them at once to discuss moving forward. The feedback from publishers I have been getting so far is very good.

    5. The eBook program would be managed by CUNY central or a designee. Part of the fee collected will be dedicated to properly funding and running the system. I promise system integrity will be one of the highest priorities. The technology has to work for CUNY eBooks to be a success.

    I would be happy to meet with you and anyone else to discuss the proposal in greater detail.

  15. Joseph,

    I want you to have access to your eBooks forever! I am having trouble figuring out how to represent “forever” in a legal contract. There are lots of factors to consider…
    So for now… version 2 of the proposal states ” Students will retain access to their eBook for a minimum of 5 years or the lifespan of the CUNY eBooks program – whatever is longer.”

    I will work on this going forward…

  16. Anastasiya,

    I think the second version of the proposal addresses all of your concerns. Please take a look at it.

    Students will never have to re-buy an eBook they already paid for. In fact. I would like publishers to give students free upgrades in some circumstances!
    Also remember. This does not impose eBooks on anyone. Students are always free to “upgrade” to a traditional version – at 75% of list price. (The cost of many used textbooks). If they do that… they get access to BOTH!

  17. Anastasiya,

    I think the second version of the proposal addresses all of your concerns. Please take a look at it.

    Students will never have to re-buy an eBook they already paid for. In fact. I would like publishers to give students free upgrades in some circumstances!

    Also remember. This does not impose eBooks on anyone. Students are always free to “upgrade” to a traditional version – at 75% of list price. (The cost of many used textbooks). If they do that… they get access to BOTH!

  18. Wow… so many wonderful comments. I went over each and every comment and was able to address almost all of them in the second version of the proposal. Please take a look at the current version. The link is above – I updated the Blog.

  19. As a graduate student of CUNY, I agree that eooks would be a great alternative to traditional textbooks. Like myself, many students take multiple classes per semester, many of which require more than one textbook per class. Not only is carrying these books to and from class extremely heavy, they are also expensive. A lot of times, only selected chapters are assigned and utilized from these books and as students do not feel like we are getting our money’s worth. Some students elect not to bother purchasing textbooks because they cannot afford them.

    If this proposal is approved and implemented, the price of the same required textbook in the eBook version would be available at a discounted rate. Students would save on money and would not have to lug around heavy books daily beacuse eBooks would be accessed on vitually any electronic device with eReader capability.

    Also, using eBooks are good for the environment and “go green” efforts by significantly reducing the use of paper.

    Overall, I think eBooks are a great idea and I hope to see the CUNY Ebooks conversion come to life within the next 5 years.

  20. I watched and listened to the nearly 20 minute presentation on e-books for CUNY students, and I agree with Professor Wandt 100 percent. I found his argument to be practical and sound. It is my opinion that a majority of CUNY students would find the e-book fee, efficient and worth paying, given the alternatives (cost of printed textbooks). This idea is cost efficient, and cost beneficial, and it offers all the stakeholders, the biggest bang for the buck. The plan had practical and social implications. I was particularly pleased when professor mentioned the weight of the books, because they offered real life considerations. The availability of e-books, would gives students the ability to find discipline with regard to their reading habits. I recently completed the requirements for my masters degree, but i would have welcomed a program like the one being proposed, with open arms. I have learned during the course of my graduate studies, that there is a place for this type of innovation, and i sincerely believe that the concepts proposed by professor Wandt, and his associates, are on the mark.

  21. Anastasiya Fatiy

    December 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    The plan seems to be well thought-out and easy enough to implement, but I’d like to point out a few downsides or obstacles to be considered:

    -100% required participation means that students don’t have a choice in purchasing textbooks. If they already have a copy, they still have to buy one. Even though never having to pay more than $35 per textbook seems like a small enough amount of money to sacrifice, I’d like to point out that many classes require more than one book. In my experience as a JJ grad student, most classes require an average of three books. If you already have them (in the psych program you often have to have the dsm for the class. Would students be required to pay $35 for it every time a class required it?), it seems like a waste of money.

    -Many grad students are older and have trouble enough figuring out formatting in Word. I feel that imposing ebooks on them (not reading, but getting around the book efficiently, highlighting, bookmarks, etc.) would be frustrating for them, as they’d need to learn how to use ebooks while participating in an already demanding academic program.

    Outside of these concerns, I think that this idea is a good one and could really benefit students. In the end, we are already shelling out substantial amounts of money for a degree, adding some fees to a class won’t really change our perception of how much grad school costs.

  22. Definitely a big undertaking, but sounds right on point. As an undergrad and student government representative at CUNY, I have seen students’ struggles firsthand when it comes to buying textbooks (cost-wise). Compounded by the fact that it’s often hard to lug them around, the cost-benefit of buying textbooks can be an even harder pill to swallow. I would absolutely be behind this initiative for students. I especially like the hardcopy upgrade idea, say if a students decides to buy the full edition for reference or whatever.

    Unless I missed something, however, there may be a sticky issue that needs to be worked out. What does “ownership” of an eBook entail? Is it an unlimited period of time, six months, semester-long, etc?

  23. Professor, I love this idea both as an student and as a customer. Being to pay only 20% of whole price gives you tremendous advantage. Just two thing I need to be clear. What do you mean by 20% of the every 100 dollar ? So if a book cost for example 200 dollar than do I have to pay 40 bucks ? Secondly Does the student have the access to that particular website even he/she is no more student for CUNY. If ti’s I found this program should be implemented ASAP.

  24. I would like to thank you for developing this proposal to help improve CUNY over time. I am the President of Student Government at John Jay College and I have several questions regarding this proposal. The questions are as follows:

    1. How will students who do not have access to technology on a daily basis would be able to access the ebooks and do all of their work on time?
    2. What is the process to add a fee to a tuition bill?
    3. What will happen if a student does not have access to a credit card or debit card?
    4. I would like for you to be able to provide a list of publishers that will agree to the breakdown specifications supplied in the proposal.
    5. Will the ebook program administration by individual colleges or CUNY central?

    I believe that these are some key questions that will help this proposal move forward.

  25. I am a grad student that is graduating at the end of the semester and I really wish this had been implemented sooner! I agree with Sheyla that Ebooks are the present however, for textbooks it’s really not. I always look to buy Ebooks but the discount is so minimal and there are so many restrictions put on what I can and can’t do with the file that it’s not even worth it. I love the idea of being able to highlight and work with the text and have those changes communicated to my other devices via cloud computing. Unlimited printing is also a fantastic idea. I think both of those options are huge selling points.

    Textbooks are often far too heavy. I often choose not to bring books to class because they are so big and heavy that I don’t want to deal with carrying them and my notebooks and/or laptop all over Manhattan. As a result, I have not always been as prepared as I should’ve been. Having my textbooks available to me on my iPhone would be extremely beneficial.

    I sincerely hope that the Ebooks will be available at the proposed discounted rates. My first semester here, I spent over $500 on textbooks. If I sell any books back I get probably less than 10% back however, I rarely sell them back because they are great for referencing. Buying textbooks will not be nearly as painful, if at all, with these proposed discounted rates.

    I think this is great idea for all parties involved, but most importantly for students, and I sincerely hope this is approved and implemented.

  26. Electronic books are here today, but a plan of this magnitude is going to take a while. As a long time student, almost completing my 4th Master Degree, going through 3 different CUNY colleges (including John Jay) and one non-CUNY college, I have seen many different situations over a long time span (about 40 years).

    Students are in pain about paying increased tuition and increased fees, and this textbook fee is going to look like another fee. Even though it looks like in the long run they save money, many students are going to see the fee and they will complain.

    Just because the student buys the book – in any form – does not mean that they are going to read it. Obviously, if they don’t even have the book in the first place they can’t read it – but just because they made the purchase does not mean it will get read, but I will grant that there will be an increase in students being prepared.

    In my many classes over the years, what I have seen is an unprepared professor that doesn’t make book orders until the last moment, and don’t decide until the last moment what books the class will use. Since the proposal will be based on a fee, which may have to be paid several months in advance (depending on the registration periods), the exact books – and their cost – have to be known before the class is published in the schedule of classes. Why? A class might not use a textbook, may use more than one textbook, and may propose both required and optional textbook for the course. If the e-book will sell for 20% (max $35), then you need to know in advance what the fees are, publish those fees, and collect those fees.

    Another issue is that in the past, when I did need a textbook, I did not have to buy it at the college bookstore. I could go to Amazon, Barns & Noble, and other places, even the college bookstores of other universities and purchase the books. Suppose I want to go that route? Yet I am forced to pay the e-book fee, as a consumer I may lose the choice, especially if I am force to pay the fee up front – the university has already taken my money. I can see the competition that gets forced out crying foul, maybe even anti-trust.

    The publishers will make out like a bandit – that is why they like this, besides removal of some of the uncertainty. No publisher is going to produce a e-book under these circumstances UNLESS DRM (Digital Rights Management) is used. Otherwise student will be copying the books, uploading up to the Internet, sharing them, and making the e-book proposition bad for them. But when you apply DRM, you have a whole new story. The e-book is softcopy, if not in the beginning, it will eventually become a shrink wrapped book, just like shrink wrap software. You won’t have a “copyright” you will have a “license” AND technical controls (a.k.a DRM) to enforce that license.

    How does copyright work? When you buy a book, there are things you can do under US Copyright law called fair use. You can copy pages out of the book, as long as you keep the pages with the book and don’t separate them. If you just have the book (no copied pages) you can give the book away, you can lend the book to someone, and you can even sell the book, sell it to a friend, back to the bookstore, or even on eBay. You don’t own the work (the words in the book) but the book as an object can be “transferred”. If the e-book goes through the license route, typically the e-book would not be transferable; you can’t lend, sell, or give the book away. Your rights are different.

    Where do technical controls come in? With DRM, the publisher can control whether you can print pages out of the book, how many pages, and the frequency. Maybe a restriction of printing 10 pages per week, or no printing at all. If the publisher wanted, they could make the book expire, let’s say that you only get a 6 month license so that the book can only be used for the semester. (I am not saying that they would ever do that, the point is that with DRM they could.

    Kindle has DRM, there is a DRM version of EPUB, and Adobe has a DRM version of Acrobat. PDF is the most common distributed format for e-books, although EPUB which is more open source is showing up a lot. A challenge for a program like this is to pick a format, or if possible allow multiple formats, that are proven, easy to use, and will last. What do I mean by last? Well I still have 8 track tapes and no way to play them. Cassette tape is disappearing, CD and DVD have a limited future life, new technologies come out and obsolete the old ones. You don’t want to be stuck with Kindle and Amazon drops the format 10 years from now and you got books you can’t read. Maybe I should explain this: There are cases – in certain situations – where you may actually want to save the book beyond the end of the semester. These would be special books. Maybe this is an exception. I had a girlfriend who studied nursing, and save her nursing books. These books were saved for reference, as well as she would need them at a later time to prepare for her nursing exams. There are just some people who save the books for later reference. It might not be an English book, but more like the books specific to a major.

    There are other issues with reading the e-books. Seeing impaired persons might not be able to read the screen. But it works both ways, as when I use Acrobat to read a PDF, I can blow it up and make the print bigger – and that makes it easier to read. An advantage of e-books, if properly implemented, is having the computer read to you. i.e. the computer reads the words and pronounces them. Effectively turning the e-book into an audio book. Even an App on the Smart Phone working with the e-book reader, would make reading the book on the phone trivial because with this type of app, you don’t even need to see the screen. Annotations could possibly be made with voice memos. What I don’t think I want to see is a propriety e-book reader. The books from ANY publisher should be adaptable to the same reader or set of readers.

    A central distribution point would be needed, as in the podcast, like an iTunes for the books.

    Compensation to existing college bookstores sounds tricky. If the e-book is sold at 20% (Max $35) and the publisher gets 80% (that is 16% of the e-book price), 2% to the Admin and 2% to the bookstore, how will they tolerate it? For $100 book, that is $16 to publisher, $2 to CUNY Admin and $2 to the bookstore. But with a 30% markup (it is probably more), selling a $100 paper book would yield $30 for the bookstore. Of course the overhead is less, no shelf space, no extra help to stock shelves, but will the college bookstores actually be profitable? Or will this kill them in the end?

    And, do the publishers really understand the risk? Many years ago I was at a Microsoft conference, and it was a session on DRM – and one of the slides showed a old fashion computer display (the one with the CRT – long before flat screen LCDs) sitting with the glass of the Display – glass to glass – to the glass of a photo copy machine. The caption on the slide was: “DRM still can’t fight an analog attack”. Once these book get published in e-book form, and if someone cracks the DRM, these books will be over the place. I will admit that this is a risk today, as there are 100’s of sites that have pirated copies of all kinds of books in PDF and EPUB form, even stolen from electronic libraries or scanned using a scanner. There is also an open source tool that breaks the encryption on Kindle DRM. We may have e-books today, but it may take that 5 year project timeline for the publishers to get a stable DRM in place that provides minimal exposure to their intellectual property.

    YES – this is a VERY negative point of view. It is not meant to say that going e-books should be abandoned. I like e-books for many reasons. Having the book read as an audio book would be great, and we have the technology today. There are even special readers in a form of a pen that can be swiped over a line in a paper book and the words are read back. Another advantage of e-books is the search capability. Being able to search a book in many cases is better than using an index at the back of a book. Storage, much easier as you can put 1000’s of books on a USB drive. And for young children, those in the K-12 grade level, today a lot of them are becoming hunchbacked because they use backpacks and carry book that weigh almost as much as the child carrying the books. But the negativity is only to show there are kinks to work out if this is going to be successful.

  27. As a faculty member, I support this proposal. I have had a number of graduate students who did not purchase required textbooks because they were too expensive. Others did not check-out textbooks from the college library for the semester when they were provided the opportunity to do so. In my opinion, students are more likely to access textbooks online if they have the option to do so.

  28. As the Training Coordinator of Instructional Services and Media Distribution Department (a.k.a. ISMD) at LaGuardia Community College – CUNY I strongly agree and support this project. This works hand and hand also with the push the CUNY is making on Online & Hybrid courses. I am truly looking forward to see the further results of this project.

  29. How soon can we actually make this happen? My only disagreement as far as the language of this podcast is “e-Books are the future”. I strongly disagree. e-Books are the PRESENT! Anyone who rides the subway in the City of NY can attest to the fact that paper or hard cover books are pretty much gone. Most people who read, read off a kindle, a Nook, an iPad, or a smartphone.

    In order to move forward as an academic institution we shall adopt and endorse this proposal as soon as possible. Most of the benefits are clearly stated by professor Wandt in the podcast.

  30. The ebooks proposal is a great proposal and should be something that is considered. This proposal is a way to make sure that students are prepared for their classes.It is hard to have a discussion with students if they have not read the class materials. This could be for many reasons but to have a plan that will allow students to not give the excuse, I cannot afford books or I have not bought the book yet, is great. I hope to see more development on the proposal in the future.

  31. I think this is definitely something that should be explored. There are aspects of the plan that would work even without publisher participation, particularly with copyleft textbooks. But if publishers could be convinced to lower prices in exchange for required purchase, that seems like a good bargain for all involved. I’m a former Grad Center student and former Hunter adjunct, and currently staff at Center for Urban Research.

    As an instructor, I always tried to keep the total textbook cost under control. I often found that if I assigned one $100 textbook, students were more likely to suck it up and buy it than if I assigned two $50 textbooks, in which case they would tend to triage one of the books. Anything that made it more likely that they would buy all the required texts would be great.

    I think in terms of reducing cost, assigning and creating more copyleft material is key. If CUNY also works on a way to more easily get the copyleft textbooks to the students’ e-readers, that’s helpful to.

    Some effort probably needs to go into adapting larger (as in trim size, not page count) textbooks. These tend to be books with many images–pictures, graphs, tables, whatever, which are tougher to read on small devices. I read a lot of figure-and-table-heavy PDFs on a Kindle DX, and would definitely not want to try to read them on the smaller Kindle, or God forbid on a smartphone.

    Also, the benefit of not having to carry multiple textbooks should not be underestimated!

  32. Caroline McMahon

    December 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    What a great plan! As a JJ graduate, adjunct, and staff member, i agree that every point you made is correct! Having to worry about which book you will use depending on the cost is not fair to either the professor or the student! I get particularly frustrated when a new, more expensive edition comes out and the student can not afford to buy the new version and students holding the earlier edition can not sell the old text back! Is it any wonder students do not want to buy a textbook! I especially agree with the point of having the ebook with you at all times which would make it easier for our commuting students to squeeze in some studying times while waiting for a bus or train in between their job and school! This plan is a win-win situation for all involved!

  33. Sebastien Auguste

    December 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    As an undergraduate student, I completely agree with this plan. I myself in some situations cannot afford to buy all of the books needed for my classes and must find other ways to get the information for class. I sometimes try to sell the books that I have bought but get no real money back, so now I am in a worst position economically than where I started. This plan that Professor Wandt has come up with is very helpful to not just the students but also the teachers and the companies. Teachers could actually have everyone on track and not have to worry about students being behind because they don’t have the material. The thing that we must remember is that universities work hand in hand with it’s students, without one the other can’t grow. So as students pay money to come to these institutions, universities must also help students gain the education that they come to these schools for by looking at ways to help the students. This plan seems to do this job, that is why I endorse this plan.

  34. As a current Graduate Student at John Jay, I must say that after listening to Mr. Wandt’s proposal I can only imagine how much of a relief it would to never have to lug around multiple textbooks in my backpack when commuting to and from school. For me, a traditional textbook has always only been good for information pertaining to a specific class, for instance if I want to study Policy Analysis I have to get that book, Research Methods I get that book and so on. Aside from having to only pay a mere $35 or less for an eBook the ability to have access to all of my textbooks through my mobile smart phone for example, would increase my use of the book and allow me to retain a greater amount of information stemming from it. I feel the opinions I am expressing would be similar to any other CUNY student out there. The fact of the matter is most college students do not make much money. The reason many of us are in college in the first place is to increase our earning potential and the economic savings put forth in this proposal are very exciting to me. This truly is the future of the college textbook realm and if CUNY were to establish itself as the pioneers in the transformation from paper to electronic forms of textbooks the potential results that could come from it would carry on through future generations of students for a long time to come. One more thing that wasn’t in the video that should be brought to light is the immensely positive impact this would have on the environment. CUNY NEEDS to do this!

  35. As a CUNY graduate student I endorse this plan because this plan is a realistic and feasible way to alleviate the burden of expensive textbooks students are forced to face every semester. In addition, beyond the financial implications, this plan will alleviate the physical detriment of having to drag around 6 or 7-pound textbooks to work and on the subway on the days you have class. Further, the ability to have material downloaded on a mobile device means that work could be completed in places or at times previously unavailable such as on a subway or bus ride home.

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