Free-to-use course materials

Millions of resources are free for students and instructors to use in UA courses. If you'd like help finding free-to-use materials for your course, please contact Open Education Librarian Cheryl (Cuillier) Casey or Course Content Initiatives Manager Cheryl Schrader-Gerken

Open educational resources (OER)

These materials range from single lessons to full textbooks are free for anyone in the world to use, customize, share, and keep. 

Instructors also can create their own OER using the UA's Pressbooks platform. A growing number of UA faculty are using open pedagogy to involve students in the creation of OER. Humans R Social Media, by iSchool Associate Professor Diana Daly and her students, is a great example of this.

Learn more about OER

Library-licensed ebooks

To provide free student access, the library buys unlimited-user ebook licenses for required course textbooks whenever possible. In most cases, publishers won’t sell unlimited-user ebook licenses to academic libraries (they find it more profitable to sell or rent to individual students). Instructors can check for ebook availability from the library before adopting a particular textbook.

The University Handbook for Appointed Personnel requires instructors to provide specific information about required course materials to the UA BookStores in a timely fashion each term. Follow the UA BookStores’ textbook adoption process.

As longtime partners with the library, the BookStores share that textbook adoption information with us. We then:

  • See which ebooks are available with unlimited-user licenses
  • Load ebooks in D2L Library Tools (except for colleges that don't use it, such as Eller, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine)
  • Add the information to students' booklists on the BookStores' website
  • Notify instructors

If you know that a required textbook is available for free through the library, you should note that on the BookStores' textbook adoption form. If you have questions about the textbook adoption process, email or call 520-621-8868.

The library can only guarantee access to unlimited-user licensed ebooks for courses. Students still may be able to find ebooks with more restrictive licenses in library search. They’re welcome to use these, but should plan ahead to avoid access difficulties. Tips for using ebooks with limited licenses can be found on the ebook FAQ page under “How can students in courses work together to minimize ebook turnaways?”

Learn more about ebooks for course use.

Check for ebook availability

Articles & book chapters

We'll email you articles and book chapters free of charge. Instructors can then upload the PDFs to course sites.

Under fair use guidelines, we can generally provide one to two chapters of a book.

Request an article

Request a book chapter

Streaming video

The library provides dozens of film databases for course use. We also have DVDs for in-class viewings.

To use streaming video in a course, instructors need to fill out our request streaming video form each semester. Do this for each film you plan to use (if you're requesting multiple films for the same course, you can use the back button to avoid retyping course information). Please give us plenty of lead time to process streaming video requests.

Learn more about streaming video for course use.

Request streaming video