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Journal sm62704's Journal: College Textbook Affordability Act 11

I ran across an item in the local paper today that I think will interest young slashdotters who haven't yet finished with college. My US Senator, Dick Durbin, has authored the "College Textbook Affordability Act".

The paper says major provisions of the act were "included in the higher education reauthorization signed into law on Aug. 14."

The textbook provision doesn't take effect until July 1, 2010, creating a waiting period he said textbook publishers pushed hard to get. But he urged students, faculty and administrators to work now to minimize costs of needed books.

The law will require publishers to provide in writing to professors the price of books, and also information on other formats in which the material may be available. Publishers also will be required to offer for sale some products that are now bundled -- such as a book, workbook and computer disk -- separately.

"Imagine," Durbin said, "these are professors picking books that they don't have to pay for.
They're picking them for someone else to pay for, and I hope that they'll start putting themselves in the shoes of the students when they start thinking about that cost."

UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen said "I've heard from students who ... have to avoid the courses that they need for their major because they can't afford the books that semester." Ashley Rook, 22, a Chicago native and political science graduate student who is president of the Student Government Association at UIS said "I've heard from students who avoid buying the books altogether because they simply can't afford them, so they try to get by in class" through borrowing and other means.

"It really diminishes the quality of their education," she said.

Chris Barron, spokesman for Dr. Steve Sauerberg of Willowbrook, Durbin's GOP opponent in the Nov. 4 election, belittled Durbin's press event.

"If this is what Senator Durbin, the second-ranking member of the United States Senate, is bragging about -- about getting legislation passed that will improve the situation (concerning) college textbooks in 2010, it speaks volumes about what he's actually been able (to accomplish) during his quarter century in Washington," Barron said.

Durbin is one of the few politicians I actually vote for, as opposed to holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two "weevils". He voted against bankrupcy deform, for instance (as did my other Senator, Barack Obama).

Once when I was in school, I had one class where I had to buy a book my professor authored. Some people really have gall!

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College Textbook Affordability Act

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  • "I've heard from students who ... have to avoid the courses that they need for their major because they can't afford the books that semester." Ashley Rook, 22

    It's called a library, Ashley.

    • At my school the few textbooks that the library has tend to wander off quickly. I actually haven't even checked the public library. Either way, my classes either tend to use the book heavily or barely if at all.

      Several times I've purchased a book from our bookstore, kept the shrink wrap and labels in place, and gone to a few class sessions in order to judge whether or not I'll actually need the book.

      A few times I've had classes where we never cracked the books in class and were not assigned homework out of

      • by Gogo0 ( 877020 )
        I did the same thing when i was in school to determine if i needed a textbook or not.

        Next semester, i hung out by the campus bookstore and sold my used textbooks for more than the bookstore would buy them back to new students who didnt feel like paying $150/book. everyone wins (except me, the rube that bought them at full price)

        people will find a way to get what they need. i agree that textbook prices are outrageous, but do we really need the government sticking its nose in it? how long until office s
        • by sm62704 ( 957197 )

          Yes, but the price isn't being regulated. All the bill says is that book publishers have to tell the professors what the books cost. It's a damned shame that it's even needed; the publishers should have been doing it voluntarily all along.

  • mcgrew, I came across your journal at some point and thought I'd add you as a friend as I enjoy your entries. Keep them up, as you certainly lead an interesting life.

    Concerning textbooks, I recently graduated from college. As far as I'm concerned, it's a legalized racket. Universities get kickbacks from publishing houses for routinely forcing the curriculum to use the latest edition--which typically consists of a few paragraphs moved around in chapters and reordered numbering with problems. And like you

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