Image: At George Washington University this fall, 269 students enrolled in a geography class were supposed to have free access to their course textbook, An Introduction to Human-Environment Geography: Local Dynamics and Global Processes, via a link on the course’s Blackboard site. But when many clicked on the link, the book was unavailable.
The book’s publisher, Wiley, had withdrawn the book, along with more than 1,300 other ebooks, from ProQuest Academic Complete, a large multidisciplinary ebook collection to which the university had a paid subscription. The change took effect on the last day of August, right before the start of fall classes. As a result, librarians and faculty members in the United States and beyond have scrambled to identify alternative textbook options for their students.
Librarians and professors said the decision would have a direct, negative impact on students’ ability to afford college and access learning materials.
“We condemn Wiley’s lack of consultation with