Let the Students Speak: Using a Student Survey to Promote Textbook Affordability

Document Type

Conference Material

Publication Date


Department 1



When making a case for textbook affordability, student voices can attract the campus spotlight and present a compelling argument in a way that librarians cannot do alone. From small-scale projects on a single campus to elaborate, multi-institutional studies, many academic libraries have amplified the words of students by conducting a textbook survey and sharing the results widely. In this roundtable session, we invite both librarians who have conducted a survey in the past and those still in early stages to join us and discuss ideas, logistics, struggles, and successes of surveys in their own local contexts.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify best practices and pitfalls that will help you to conduct an effective student textbook survey on your campus or in partnership with multiple institutions.
  • Discuss strategies in survey development and promotion that increase response rate from historically marginalized and underrepresented voices.
  • Consider potential partners who could help support your project through survey promotion, data collection, analysis, and results sharing in your local context.


This roundtable discussion handout was created for the 2023 ACRL conference session "Let the Students Speak: Using a Student Survey to Promote Textbook Affordability."

The roundtable discussion was inspired by the work of the Fall 2022 Student Textbook Survey conducted by eleven Oberlin Group institutions in association with the Open and Equitable Access to Scholarship Working Group.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.