Coursepacks

Collections of readings by teachers for college/university courses / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coursepacks are printed collections of readings assembled by teachers to supplement college and university courses.

The practice of assembling coursepacks for students developed as a systematization of the practice of disseminating "handouts" for readings in class. This practice operated in parallel to the practice of libraries providing "reserves"—material pulled off shelves and "reserved" for use at the library, to ensure access for students in a class. Some teachers used coursepacks to supplement textbooks; others used them basically to create their own ad hoc textbooks.[citation needed]

Over time, teachers began assembling their handouts at the beginning of the course, or having school administrators assemble them and charge students enough fees to recoup costs. As copy shops such as Kinko's became a thriving business in the late 1970s and early 1980s, they developed a market for making these coursepacks, offering different sorts of bindings, and so forth. Once the market became commercialized, licensing entities such as CCC (the "Copyright Clearance Center") in the United States became involved, negotiating licensing and "clearance" fees for use of materials in coursepacks. Materials that could not be licensed could not be included in coursepacks. Primarily as a result of escalating license fees, coursepacks have become a significant expense for students, along with textbooks.[1]

Coursepacks themselves operated primarily as an efficient service for providing print copies of material. As information has become increasingly available electronically, academic libraries have begun a transition to electronic reserves, making materials they have already acquired available for students registered in particular classes. Publishers, once critics of coursepack providers, have been critical of ereserves, arguing that libraries' provision of ereserves will supplant the commercial coursepack services.[2]

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