How Digital Textbooks Enable Learning

In an increasingly online world, digital textbooks and digital library reserves can be the keys to enabling student success. Learn how with our in-depth guide!Online learning is becoming a pillar in higher education, and digital access to learning content is steadily increasing, whether students study remotely or on campus. 

According to a 2020 survey conducted by, 79% of students used laptops to access their courses, 15% utilized a desktop computer, and 5% utilized smartphones or tablets. 

However, digital access to content is not always a viable option for every learner. According to the same survey, 10% of students said that they needed to share their digital device with other users, and 3% said they used an institution-issued device.

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Affordability and Accessibility Are Key

Financial costs and accessibility remain challenging for students, even with the rise of digital content. In fact, online program graduates report that paying for college while minimizing student debt is a top concern.

The cost of content in addition to tuition impacts financially disadvantaged students the most — approximately 66% of students will skip buying course content and textbooks because they cannot afford the additional cost. The same study found that unaffordable course materials most heavily impact students who face food insecurity: 82% of students who reported missing a meal also said skipping buying their textbooks due to cost. 

Students who can’t afford to buy their textbooks rely on textbook reserves offered by the library to access the critical content they need to succeed in class.

By implementing a Learning Enablement solution, universities and colleges can create an arsenal of digital textbooks for students at library budget-friendly prices.

What Is Learning Enablement?

Learning Enablement focuses on equipping all faculty and students with consistent and systematic access to the right learning content at each stage of learning, with the overarching aim of optimizing student outcomes. Learning Enablement technology leverages digital content management, automation, and analytics to enable more efficient, effective, and equitable learning

Why Does Learning Enablement Matter?

Learning Enablement solutions include campus-wide solutions (like Universal Learning, which ensures all students have access to the content they need on the first day of class at an affordable price) and library solutions, described here.

Whether used campus-wide or by the library, Learning Enablement focuses on enabling more efficient, effective, and equitable student learning, creating better student experiences and improved learning outcomes.

Together, these innovations have the potential to help institutions move the needle on student success.

Did You Know?

Between 1977 and 2015, the average cost of college textbooks increased by over 1000%.

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What Does This Mean for You?

For University Libraries

Universal Learning offers libraries the potential for a new role as they coordinate course material requests across the institution. In this new model, libraries can serve as the department that delivers essential materials directly to students without charging for content.

For Faculty

Universal Learning provides access to a wide range of content — enabling academic freedom for faculty.

Rather than traditional digital solutions, which limit faculty to choosing content from one or a small selection of publishers, Universal Learning solutions offer a wide range of content from thousands of publishers, including Open Education Resources (OER), via a single platform.

For Universities and Colleges

The ease with which students can access materials makes the arrangement cost-effective and in line with university and college missions to maximize success for all students.  Done well, Learning Enablement platforms like BibliU, which enable Universal Learning, can streamline and automate the workflows associated with identifying, selecting, procuring, and distributing content — achieving significant cost avoidance savings for institutions, which can reach $500,000 per year.

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The Foundations of Learning Enablement


Learning Enablement applies automation to reduce the manual work traditionally associated with the curation, procurement, management, and distribution of content.

With Learning Enablement, students have access to the content they need to succeed on the first day of class.

Top-down photo of hands pointing at a laptop


Learning Enablement leverages analytics to give schools a deep understanding of how students study, how learning resources and course materials are being used, and which students need support.

With Learning Enablement, student learning is facilitated by technology designed for interactivity, collaboration, and accessibility.


Learning Enablement ensures that education is inclusive and equitable by providing equitable access to content for students from all backgrounds and removing the costs and constraints of printed materials.

With Learning Enablement, student access to learning is not limited by their financial means or learning disabilities.

What is a Learning Enablement Platform?

A Learning Enablement Platform leverages digital content management, automation, and analytics to enable more efficient, effective, and equitable learning, resulting in more engaged students and improved student outcomes.

Learning enablement platforms, like BibliU, can help you make digital resources available to all students at a fraction of the cost.

Guaranteeing First-Day Digital Content Access for All Students

BibliU is a Learning Enablement platform that leverages digital content management, automation, and analytics to enable more efficient and effective learning. We work with thousands of publishers to provide millions of digital resources to faculty and students.

BibliU can help mitigate the costs of resources for students and institutions alike, resulting in better student outcomes.

We provide a universal content experience with a deep LMS integration for a one-solution experience for OER, publishers, and print. BibliU works with over 2,000 publishers to offer millions of resources to faculty and students so that everyone has the flexibility and academic freedom they need.

BibliU provides affordable access to content on any device, meaning that students can access content wherever they are — online or offline.

Help make learning more equitable for students worldwide.

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