Access and affordability are growing concerns in higher education, and areas in which the Library is poised to contribute. We seek to provide all patrons with a welcoming, productive, and safe environment, and we are committed to increasing equitable access to our spaces, collections, and services.
The collections we provide directly affect affordability, and we can relieve students of having to purchase some of the content for their courses, textbooks which can cost upwards of several hundred dollars every semester. We’re working to develop Open Educational Resources (OER) — online textbooks, in effect, that are freely available to students. We’re also working to make research available to the largest possible audience through Open Access (OA) solutions, a mechanism by which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers.
We’re leading a national effort on accessibility to develop infrastructure for sharing learning materials made accessible for those with print disabilities. An increase in funds will allow us to invest in additional equipment and software to improve our assistive technologies and to help make our resources more accessible.
Physical accessibility is also important to our users. The renovation of Alderman, our main library, will increase accessibility in that building, and we are working to improve access in our other locations.
We offer a variety of resources in support of research and academic endeavors that are accessible regardless of the financial means and physical or cognitive ability of users, but there is still much more that can and should be done. Your contributions allow us to create new initiatives and strengthen existing programs to increase affordability and provide access for all.
Increasing Access and Affordability
- Develop infrastructure that supports the creation and sharing of OER and OA materials
- Develop a faculty consulting framework to increase ease of finding low- and no-cost course materials
- Support UVA faculty promoting and/or creating OER and OA content
- Reduce the cost of a UVA education by ensuring that OER are freely available for courses in a variety of disciplines
- Retrofit spaces so all materials are immediately accessible to all patrons in all Library spaces
- Invest in equipment and software to improve accessibility
To improve access and affordability at the Library, select the "Access & Affordability" designation from our secure online form.