University of Iowa

Affordable Content Initiatives

As costs of attending college continue to rise, the University of Iowa is trying to find new ways to help alleviate the cost for course content. The Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology; University Libraries; and the Hawk Shop bookstore are working on affordable content initiatives as outlined below.

ICON Direct 

Being prepared with course materials positively contributes to a student's academic success.  As a founding member of the Unizin Consortium, the University of Iowa aims to provide students with more affordable access to course content. The partnerships between Unizin and major academic publishers allow ICON Direct participants to save on both eTexts and online learning platforms such as Pearson's MyLab or McGraw Hill's Connect. All enrolled students are given access to these digital materials for their classes through ICON.  For more information:

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Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. UI Libraries supports faculty in finding open resources for classes, customizing openly licensed material for classes, and creating their own open resources to use and share with others. To explore these free textbook alternatives, contact Scholarly Communications Librarian, Mahrya Burnett ( and check out the library’s OER website at

Textbook Affordability Pilot (TAP)

With money allocated from UISG and the Libraries, the TAP project has purchased and collected donations of textbooks for courses with the highest undergraduate enrollments, as well as the highest costs of resources. These books will be placed on course reserves, both in Main Library and the branch libraries. If you have a suggestion for a textbook to be purchased by TAP, contact Selection Committee Chair, Mahrya Burnett at

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Hawk Shop Bookstore Rentals

Save money by renting your books. The Hawk Shop carries over 1000 rentable titles.  We purchase from hundreds of vendors to get the most competitive prices.  At the end of the semester you just return your rented books to the Hawk Shop in the Iowa Memorial Union.  You can rent eligible books in the Hawk Shop at the Iowa Memorial Union or online: