Students at the University of Worcester (UK) have launched an #ebooksos petition calling for the fair pricing of ebooks. The students ask that people support their efforts to ‘ensure all students have access to the essential digital resources required for their studies and success‘, before stating,
We are particularly concerned about those from disadvantaged or less privileged backgrounds, who may be unable to afford the cost of purchasing books required for their courses, resulting in inequality in education.
Some examples of the “astronomical” costs their library has been expected to pay for ebooks, in comparison to the hardcopy equivalents, are included to illustrate the problem. For example,
The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures” has been accessed by 147 students and it has cost £9,406.53, while an individual could purchase the Kindle version for £32.80. Further examples are highlighted in an infographic designed by the students.
The students hope to present the petition to the Member of Parliament for Worcester, Robin Walker, who is also the Chair of the Education Select Committee. #ebooksos has previously approached the Education Select Committee several times to ask for their intervention and we hope this student initiative will prompt them to review our request.
Anyone who wants to add their name to the petition can do so via the following link https://www.change.org/p/ebook-sos-improving-access-to-digital-resources-for-students .