Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The School of Education

Document Type



In three studies, issues of student textbook insecurity at institutions of higher education were examined from three critical perspectives: student, faculty, and library. A qualitative study of first-generation low-income students (FGLIS) presented a rich description of issues of student information-seeking behaviors and agency when coping with high textbook costs. The study identified student behaviors including: forgoing a textbook and only purchasing an access code for mandatory homework modules; jeopardizing grades by waiting for clear signals from faculty that books were required; utilizing resources with dubious copyright; replacing course texts with questionable online study aids created by novice third parties; or waiting to borrow or copy materials from peers. A narrative literature review of faculty perceptions of OER led to the development of an instrument to promote faculty OER self-efficacy. Through the evaluation of extant literature, three central faculty considerations related to ideological, material, and support barriers and motivators were identified. These should be included in the creation of faculty development programs to better support OER self-efficacy. Lastly a collective case study of traditional library textbook reserves services at six institutions presented a view of the conflict between personalized services and digital conveniences. In small institutions, textbook reserve programs provide a positive impact on the professional identity of librarians while also offering a significant opportunity for students to develop longer-term relationships with empathetic library staff.



Committee Chair

Varner, Kenneth



Available for download on Monday, June 22, 2026