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(Reuters)   Realizing that ebooks threaten to make their business model obsolete, textbook publishers look into putting all material online, stuffing it with bells and whistles, selling access codes timed to expire at end of semester   (reuters.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, users, Apollo Global Management, equity stake, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  
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1065 clicks; posted to Business » on 23 Jul 2013 at 7:32 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-23 06:56:38 AM  
I wouldn't mind if it is priced reasonably. Last semester I had two classes online that I was forced to pay $150 each for books that in reality, I never even opened other than to retrieve the online access code. And they were useless to sell back.
 
2013-07-23 07:27:21 AM  
Are there more onerous groups of thieves than textbook publishers?  I suppose.  But they're the ones our children meet first.
 
2013-07-23 07:36:44 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: Are there more onerous groups of thieves than textbook publishers?  I suppose.  But they're the ones our children meet first.


Class rings.
 
2013-07-23 07:39:19 AM  
That's really not at all what the article says. The publishers love ebooks, what they hate is the used sales and rental market. If they can kill that sell back and re-purchase market, they will.
 
2013-07-23 07:39:40 AM  
I'm so glad I didn't have to use textbooks in undergrad. Just went to the library early and ploughed through the reading list.

I don't think a single person at my university bought a single "recommended" or "mandatory" buy after their first year. Most stopped after the first few weeks when they realized it was a scam.
 
2013-07-23 07:41:10 AM  
School textbooks should be obsolete. Teachers/professors can use a syllabus noting which books & articles in the public domain online are to be read. Taxpayers and students could save some big bucks.
 
2013-07-23 07:48:15 AM  
I can see that content bringing a lot of joy when stripping out the drm and seeding.
 
2013-07-23 07:51:26 AM  

Dracolich: Marcus Aurelius: Are there more onerous groups of thieves than textbook publishers?  I suppose.  But they're the ones our children meet first.

Class rings.


Don't get me started - I never bought a class ring, because I actually worked for my money and I wasn't wasting it on a piece of jewelry with a pointless sentiment and a ridiculous markup.
 
2013-07-23 07:52:38 AM  

KrispyKritter: School textbooks should be obsolete. Teachers/professors can use a syllabus noting which books & articles in the public domain online are to be read. Taxpayers and students could save some big bucks.


This should be a mandatory core skill.  Want/need to learn something?  How to learn on your own 101.  Most people don't know how.  Knee jerk reaction by most is to go enroll in a course.
 
2013-07-23 07:58:40 AM  
Most of my instructors were pretty forthright during the first class when it came to buying the book or not.  They'd almost always tell you if it was needed or not.  If they didn't say anything you could sorta, kinda tell by looking at the syllabus.  If it said, "Week 2: Chapters 1-3, Week 3: Chapters 4-6 ..." then it was safe to say that you'd need the book.  If the syllabus only mentioned the topics then you probably weren't going to need the book.
 
2013-07-23 08:11:50 AM  

KrispyKritter: School textbooks should be obsolete. Teachers/professors can use a syllabus noting which books & articles in the public domain online are to be read. Taxpayers and students could save some big bucks.


you forget the income supplement some profs get by requiring books they wrote.
 
2013-07-23 08:13:15 AM  

KrispyKritter: School textbooks should be obsolete. Teachers/professors can use a syllabus noting which books & articles in the public domain online are to be read. Taxpayers and students could save some big bucks.


Yea, but you're missing the real reason it happens. Professors can publish a new version every year, and make it required reading for the classes they teach, gives them a nice little bonus every semester.

You want this to stop? Ban people from requiring you to read a book you authored.

/Am I the only one who kept their textbooks from college?
//Except my organic chem book
///Fark organic chem
 
2013-07-23 08:18:15 AM  

Klivian: /Am I the only one who kept their textbooks from college?


Nope - I still have all of my science textbooks. Plus I started Nursing this year, so there went another $550 on 8 books.

I can see why people like having the eBooks (convenience, price AND they don't each weigh more than a laptop), but I've always preferred having a physical book to read.
 
2013-07-23 08:22:23 AM  
A good teacher should be able to design the entire course around journal articles (outside of introductory level classes). Using a single text books is the sign of a lazy teacher and if you're paying $40k+ a year for tuition you should demand better.
 
2013-07-23 08:25:44 AM  

Shedim: Klivian: /Am I the only one who kept their textbooks from college?

Nope - I still have all of my science textbooks. Plus I started Nursing this year, so there went another $550 on 8 books.

I can see why people like having the eBooks (convenience, price AND they don't each weigh more than a laptop), but I've always preferred having a physical book to read.


That's a pretty good price for 8 books.  Sigh....
 
2013-07-23 08:30:54 AM  

SecretAgentWoman: I wouldn't mind if it is priced reasonably.


How about standardized, nationalized, and free?

But nooooooooooooooooooooooo.
We have to make success painfully expensive in this country.
No sense setting an example for other nations.

Have to make a profit even if it's squeezing pennies out of the poor.
 
2013-07-23 08:38:48 AM  

vudukungfu: SecretAgentWoman: I wouldn't mind if it is priced reasonably.

How about standardized, nationalized, and free?

But nooooooooooooooooooooooo.
We have to make success painfully expensive in this country.
No sense setting an example for other nations.

Have to make a profit even if it's squeezing pennies out of the poor.


Why do you hate academic freedom?
 
2013-07-23 08:40:13 AM  
Or you study a field where the people are smarter and share the books.
Digital copies just make it easier.
 
2013-07-23 08:51:50 AM  
Most of the profit in publishing comes from K-12 and that's really only if you can capture Texas and/or California. (You need to sell a different version to Texas since it's so fundie.) Good publishers can make a profit with their College divisions, but it's really hard to do. (College also publishes teaching aides for adult learners including ESL, foreign language textbooks, and training manuals for professionals.) Trade--fiction and general interest--almost never makes money. It's subsidized by the other two divisions: School and College. It's an incredibly difficult business model and I don't know of any independents still out there doing it successfully. Houghton Mifflin was the last of them AFAIK, and they were destroyed by that little Napoleon from Vivendi and then Bain Capital. The last round by Riverdeep was just the nail in the coffin. Now College is farming out a lot of the production work to India where they have NO idea how our market works and are laughably inept at turning out good product. (No fault of theirs, the American model is really complicated.) They don't even know how to clear licensing and legal matters around the use of copyrighted material. 

It's sad.
 
2013-07-23 08:52:06 AM  

Dracolich: Marcus Aurelius: Are there more onerous groups of thieves than textbook publishers?  I suppose.  But they're the ones our children meet first.

Class rings.


Yeah, but class rings aren't required to pass your classes.
 
2013-07-23 09:03:33 AM  

divx88: KrispyKritter: School textbooks should be obsolete. Teachers/professors can use a syllabus noting which books & articles in the public domain online are to be read. Taxpayers and students could save some big bucks.

This should be a mandatory core skill.  Want/need to learn something?  How to learn on your own 101.  Most people don't know how.  Knee jerk reaction by most is to go enroll in a course.


There are some things that it is more efficient to have taught to you (or, at least, to have a teacher guiding you) than to try and stumble blindly through it on one's own.

Quantum Mechanics, for instance. (Though Griffiths is helpful).
 
2013-07-23 09:10:57 AM  

ginandbacon: Most of the profit in publishing comes from K-12 and that's really only if you can capture Texas and/or California. (You need to sell a different version to Texas since it's so fundie.) Good publishers can make a profit with their College divisions, but it's really hard to do. (College also publishes teaching aides for adult learners including ESL, foreign language textbooks, and training manuals for professionals.) Trade--fiction and general interest--almost never makes money. It's subsidized by the other two divisions: School and College. It's an incredibly difficult business model and I don't know of any independents still out there doing it successfully. Houghton Mifflin was the last of them AFAIK, and they were destroyed by that little Napoleon from Vivendi and then Bain Capital. The last round by Riverdeep was just the nail in the coffin. Now College is farming out a lot of the production work to India where they have NO idea how our market works and are laughably inept at turning out good product. (No fault of theirs, the American model is really complicated.) They don't even know how to clear licensing and legal matters around the use of copyrighted material. 

It's sad.


So what you're saying is that they have to spend $$$ in Texas for what are essentially works of fiction.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-07-23 09:13:38 AM  
Textbooks are an incredible scam.  For a fraction of that amount it should be possible to make a set of open source free text books.
 
2013-07-23 09:15:39 AM  

vpb: Textbooks are an incredible scam.  For a fraction of that amount it should be possible to make a set of open source free text books.


http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/

We're getting there, it just takes time for professors to adapt.
 
2013-07-23 09:19:03 AM  
This isn't exactly new.  It used to be textbooks pretty commonly came with a CD of some shiatty computer program that they never updated to fix bugs.  They figured out if they put it online and the license was only good once, that even students who bought the used textbooks would have to pay for the software license.  They've been doing this at least five years, maybe longer.  I don't remember exactly when they started doing it.

/it's better than the software on disk, though.  That was always crap and frequently didn't even work.  You'd contact them to report bugs and they would be like 'We contracted with a company to provide that software, and the contract is over so there won't be any updates' even if the product was broken.  Basically, their attitude was 'Well, you bought the book, didn't you?'

/bastards
 
2013-07-23 09:19:11 AM  
The problem has been that over the past 25 years they've convinced educators that editions need to be constantly updated. So a calculus text book gets updated every 18 months with the latest computer jargon despite the fact that most of whats in there is 400 years old.

When I took linear algebra our textbook edition was 30 years old because so few people take that course. We weren't left hunting for the text, it was just kept in print. But the Calculus textbooks were supposed to last at least 3 semesters and the math department was about to revolt when the publisher did an edition change and stopped supplying the earlier edition.
 
2013-07-23 09:23:36 AM  
My MBA program took about 18 months. In the latter half (first half of 2012), I really started seeing a ton of shiatty gimmicks with our required texts. Online codes to access content, or submit homework/take quizzes, one prof had a "book" (read: bound photocopies of crap from various sources that was *only* available at the bookstore....) all kinds of wacky stuff.

I assume it was a response to students bombarding profs to use international versions, or prior versions. (We were enterprising business school students, after all.) I know I certainly used the cheaper versions every time I could.

TL; DR.... The textbook racket blows.
 
2013-07-23 09:33:59 AM  
Make a better quality book people will actually want to keep as a reference, charge a fair ammount, not an arm and a leg, and the re-selling will go down by allot.
The problem is that most textbooks are written by academics, for academics, and are of next to no use unless you are you guessed it an academic. They are used as textbooks because the proff is an academic and gets use out of the book. The average student gets next to no use out of a textbook, and most professors are not able to bridge the gap from their resaearch papers to an actual student.

For most subjects there is a huge selection of better books that could be chosen, but the proffs are taking the ones they like for themselves, and the ones the publishers are pimping out (possibly because someones is getting a kickback), not the ones that best convey the material to the students.
 
2013-07-23 09:34:38 AM  

Felgraf: divx88: KrispyKritter: School textbooks should be obsolete. Teachers/professors can use a syllabus noting which books & articles in the public domain online are to be read. Taxpayers and students could save some big bucks.

This should be a mandatory core skill.  Want/need to learn something?  How to learn on your own 101.  Most people don't know how.  Knee jerk reaction by most is to go enroll in a course.

There are some things that it is more efficient to have taught to you (or, at least, to have a teacher guiding you) than to try and stumble blindly through it on one's own.

Quantum Mechanics, for instance. (Though Griffiths is helpful).


Without a doubt, if you have someone knowledgeable and willing to spend time demonstrating, answering questions, correcting mistakes, etc, you will learn at an accelerated rate.  It's irrelevant though since an instructor/mentor is simply another learning tool; a powerful one.  I was stating that being able to self teach is an art most people don't know how to do.  They lack that learning tool.

Most  contracts that involve me going onsite and working with their IT teams are filled with people that have no clue how to dive in and teach themselves outside their comfort zone.  Which doesn't bother me since it usually puts me in the position of more responsibility, a longer contract with meatier billable hours. ;p
 
2013-07-23 09:34:47 AM  

wooden_badger: ginandbacon: Most of the profit in publishing comes from K-12 and that's really only if you can capture Texas and/or California. (You need to sell a different version to Texas since it's so fundie.) Good publishers can make a profit with their College divisions, but it's really hard to do. (College also publishes teaching aides for adult learners including ESL, foreign language textbooks, and training manuals for professionals.) Trade--fiction and general interest--almost never makes money. It's subsidized by the other two divisions: School and College. It's an incredibly difficult business model and I don't know of any independents still out there doing it successfully. Houghton Mifflin was the last of them AFAIK, and they were destroyed by that little Napoleon from Vivendi and then Bain Capital. The last round by Riverdeep was just the nail in the coffin. Now College is farming out a lot of the production work to India where they have NO idea how our market works and are laughably inept at turning out good product. (No fault of theirs, the American model is really complicated.) They don't even know how to clear licensing and legal matters around the use of copyrighted material. 

It's sad.

So what you're saying is that they have to spend $$$ in Texas for what are essentially works of fiction.


It's not really that simple. There are certain things you avoid: words like ethics because the school board equates that with moral relativism. And you don't use Jose and Ming as much in your examples of math problems. The illustrations won't have many black kids. It's the same material, just repackaged.

Both Texas and California buy textbooks for the whole state instead of letting each school district select their own, this makes each one an insanely huge market.

Basically, most textbooks that are purchased in the rest of the country have been produced with either Texas or California in mind. Most of the schools in Massachusetts are going to buy the California ones. Most of the schools in Alabama are going to buy the Texas ones. Houghton Mifflin was one of the few publishers that had figured out how to sell to both markets successfully. It drove their profits every cycle. (A cycle is about 2-4 years depending on how high the stakes are and how sensitive the subject.)

With the College texts, there's no big market you can corner. You do things like make the spine really attractive because professors lay all the samples on their shelf behind them and when they go to look at what they will pick, they are staring at a shelf full of 1-2 inches of edges.

It was a crazy business that has gotten even crazier.
 
2013-07-23 09:37:48 AM  
If you just buy ebooks and or licenses that expire at the end of the semester how are you supposed to reference your prior textbooks when you are taking your upper level classes?  This might work fine for humanities but I don't see how a STEM student couldn't have this backfire on them.
 
2013-07-23 09:38:16 AM  

vpb: Textbooks are an incredible scam.  For a fraction of that amount it should be possible to make a set of open source free text books.


Triply so in the K-12 world.  It's not just possible... it's  how things actually used to work.  I have a set of my state's math textbooks from the 1910s-20s.  They were written by professors at the state university.  Public domain. And printed at the state print house.  In the 21st century, we could provide PDF and EPUB versions for virtually nothing, and if a student wanted a paper version they'd get a cheaply-printed copy at a nominal cost.

Each state could individually pay dozens of full-time professors to revise the texts every year for much less than they're paying Houghton-Mifflin and Pearson.
 
2013-07-23 09:41:06 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: Are there more onerous groups of thieves than textbook publishers?


Yes. As a freshman I had to purchase a used copy of Archeology of the Americas for 80 bucks (which in 1986 was a metric ass-ton of money to me). The book was written by the same woman who taught the class, and she'd declared that purchasing it was mandatory. We never (not once, no exaggeration) opened the book or referenced it in class, and when I went back at the end of the semester to try to sell it back for the total rip-off 5 or 10 dollars the bookstore usually offered, I was told that it was on the "No Buyback" list because "they won't be using it next year."
 
2013-07-23 09:46:39 AM  

Thoguh: If you just buy ebooks and or licenses that expire at the end of the semester how are you supposed to reference your prior textbooks when you are taking your upper level classes?  This might work fine for humanities but I don't see how a STEM student couldn't have this backfire on them.


As a STEM student, I wholeheartedly agree with you. My Gen Chem 1 & 2 texts were completely online with access codes, the print copy was basically screen shots of the interactive stuff you had online. Not only was there no real text explaining things, but at the end of the semester. While the activities helped you pick up concepts that might be causing you a little trouble, I have nothing other than class notes to go back and reference in my higher level courses, and that sucks. There is a lot of information in the tables and graphs of  a good chemistry text, stuff that is really useful later on that nobody, not even chemistry professors, has committed to memory.

The other downside to the interactive stuff was that depending on the professor, that stuff can be part of your grade. Spending 2 hours answering questions and viewing demonstrations on a concept you have down cold just so the box can get marked off wastes valuable time that could have been spent studying a concept you may not have down quite as well.
 
2013-07-23 09:52:06 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: Are there more onerous groups of thieves than textbook publishers?  I suppose.  But they're the ones our children meet first.


Music publishers.
 
2013-07-23 10:00:55 AM  

ginandbacon: Most of the profit in publishing comes from K-12 and that's really only if you can capture Texas and/or California. (You need to sell a different version to Texas since it's so fundie.) Good publishers can make a profit with their College divisions, but it's really hard to do. (College also publishes teaching aides for adult learners including ESL, foreign language textbooks, and training manuals for professionals.) Trade--fiction and general interest--almost never makes money. It's subsidized by the other two divisions: School and College. It's an incredibly difficult business model and I don't know of any independents still out there doing it successfully. Houghton Mifflin was the last of them AFAIK, and they were destroyed by that little Napoleon from Vivendi and then Bain Capital. The last round by Riverdeep was just the nail in the coffin. Now College is farming out a lot of the production work to India where they have NO idea how our market works and are laughably inept at turning out good product. (No fault of theirs, the American model is really complicated.) They don't even know how to clear licensing and legal matters around the use of copyrighted material. 

It's sad.


California books have their own fundiness. Cali bans textbooks from showing people in "stereotypical jobs", such as Asians working in laundromats or fruit stands. It also bans any mention or pictures of ice cream.
 
2013-07-23 10:07:45 AM  
Muta
If it said, "Week 2: Chapters 1-3, Week 3: Chapters 4-6 ..." then it was safe to say that you'd need the book.

And probably equally safe to skip all the lectures and use the additional time for reading the book.
 
2013-07-23 10:11:04 AM  
Klivian:
/Am I the only one who kept their textbooks from college?
//Except my organic chem book
///Fark organic chem


Not just you. Any textbooks that I thought were good and for subjects I liked, I tended to keep. I have even picked up a few (free/very cheap) old additional textbooks.
(Some of them quite old, and picked up more as an "antique book" than as a textbook. "Bacteriology" textbooks from the 1940's can be interesting.)

/I tend to agree about Organic Chemistry though.
//Taught almost as badly as mathematics
 
2013-07-23 10:11:50 AM  
This will totally work as college students don't know how to break DRM
 
2013-07-23 10:13:11 AM  

ArkAngel: ginandbacon: Most of the profit in publishing comes from K-12 and that's really only if you can capture Texas and/or California. (You need to sell a different version to Texas since it's so fundie.) Good publishers can make a profit with their College divisions, but it's really hard to do. (College also publishes teaching aides for adult learners including ESL, foreign language textbooks, and training manuals for professionals.) Trade--fiction and general interest--almost never makes money. It's subsidized by the other two divisions: School and College. It's an incredibly difficult business model and I don't know of any independents still out there doing it successfully. Houghton Mifflin was the last of them AFAIK, and they were destroyed by that little Napoleon from Vivendi and then Bain Capital. The last round by Riverdeep was just the nail in the coffin. Now College is farming out a lot of the production work to India where they have NO idea how our market works and are laughably inept at turning out good product. (No fault of theirs, the American model is really complicated.) They don't even know how to clear licensing and legal matters around the use of copyrighted material. 

It's sad.

California books have their own fundiness. Cali bans textbooks from showing people in "stereotypical jobs", such as Asians working in laundromats or fruit stands. It also bans any mention or pictures of ice cream.


I'm not sure I would consider not promoting stereotypes or unhealthy snacks as fundie. YVMV though.
 
2013-07-23 10:18:46 AM  
After my first year in university I realized that the only time profs referenced the latest version of a text was for study questions. The library always had at least one copy of every text so I'd just photocopy those specific pages. Saved myself thousands of dollars.
 
2013-07-23 10:50:29 AM  

wildcardjack: The problem has been that over the past 25 years they've convinced educators that editions need to be constantly updated.


Define "educators".  Do you mean "professors" or "EdD administrator motherfarkers"?  Because the former pretty much universally scorn the idea of updating textbooks every year - if nothing else, having to go reread the same crap with 3 changes every year just to find the one place where you will have to tweak a lecture is borderline torture.  Plus, we prefer student's not be gouged, because (a) we do remember being in college ourselves and the importance of beer-money, and (b) getting a student to crack a book is hard enough as it is, so pissing them off about the price is counter-productive.  Now, if you are talking about the latter, those choad-garglers are ADHD-inflicted buzz-word junkies who masturbate to useless frippery and have the both the attention-span and intellectual heft of retarded goldfish.  They love new textbooks, because they can point to it as a metric of progress.  "We use the latest textbook! Yay us!" The actual professor points out that all that happened is that the publisher switched Chapters 12 and 13 around. The choad-monkey then hops around chanting "But, the shiny! The new, new, shiny!  All hail the new, new shiny!"  Wanna guess which sets the book policy for most universities?

I also want to know which institutions have the courses entirely populated by professors flogging their own books, cause I wanna go there.  My department gets 3 catalogs from the major publishers hurled at us disdainfully from upon high (read, from the ADHD crowd), are told to pick a book from one of them, and that will be what is bought by the bookstore - which is not even owned by the university, so it can - and will - decided to order some other textbook, and we have to just suck it up.
 
2013-07-23 10:52:07 AM  

SecretAgentWoman: I wouldn't mind if it is priced reasonably. Last semester I had two classes online that I was forced to pay $150 each for books that in reality, I never even opened other than to retrieve the online access code. And they were useless to sell back.


How is this unlike paper books?
 
2013-07-23 10:52:14 AM  

Russ1642: After my first year in university I realized that the only time profs referenced the latest version of a text was for study questions. The library always had at least one copy of every text so I'd just photocopy those specific pages. Saved myself thousands of dollars.


You do realize that the professors made sure those were ordered by the library for exactly that purpose, right?  Again, beer-money is an important part of surviving college
 
2013-07-23 11:04:18 AM  

natazha: SecretAgentWoman: I wouldn't mind if it is priced reasonably. Last semester I had two classes online that I was forced to pay $150 each for books that in reality, I never even opened other than to retrieve the online access code. And they were useless to sell back.

How is this unlike paper books?


Because the publishers are putting less and less in the actual book, and more and more online.  It is the publishing equivalent of Day 1 DLC.  Since the code is only good for 1 semester, you now have a doorstop as a textbook.  In the old paradigm you at least had a doorstop you could read if you were bored and maybe pick up a fact or two.

If the pricing were realistic, this might be okay.  For instance, one semester the publisher was selling the ebook of the textbook I used for $11; the paper one was going for ~$60.  I put both ISBNs in the syllabus, showed the class where to buy it, etc.   Sure, it was nonrefundable, but I guarantee a student wasn't going to get $50 back from selling the paper copy.  Halfway through the semester, a student complained about trying to buy the ebook (someone realized around midterms that it might actually be useful in the class).  Turns out the publisher hiked the ebook to $70!  I was unaware of a commodities run on 1s and 0s.  Bastards.
 
2013-07-23 11:44:11 AM  
I am so glad my grad school scholarship includes all books and reading materials. One of my professors has written 6 books, and all were assigned, among several others. He's brilliant, but the books cover much of the same ground; if you've read one, you've got the key concepts from the others.
 
2013-07-23 12:02:05 PM  
This way they can bend you over, ass rape you, take your wallet, and you don't even get to keep the textbook at the end of it all.
You own nothing tangible at the end of the transaction.
 
2013-07-23 12:09:25 PM  
Yep. Last quarter I took Econ and had to buy a text book by Greg Mankiw, the austerity deeper. I also had to spend $95 to access the Applia website so I could do homework. Fortunately, the used book I bought off Amazon was incomplete (some guy tried something shady and was actually missing 6 chapters from the text, which was three hole punched and not a softcover like the item description said) so I ended up not buying a hard copy at all because it was all on line.

This quarter I'm taking Statistics, and we had to buy the book for $70 and buy access to ConnectMath (which is a piece of shiat compared to Applia) for an additional $90. It's all a scam, and allows the teacher to not have to grade any homework or quizzes by hand.
 
2013-07-23 12:15:15 PM  
I only bought one book for my archives post-grad - one on basic archival theory. The rest I read online (though a cunning use of this thing called the INTERNET) or by going to the library. I guess they didn't consider that a Library Science student might use the LIBRARY. Gasp.
 
2013-07-23 12:30:48 PM  
Dear Everyone,

Education is a scam.  Your tuition, your professors, your advisers, your government, your frat, your honor society, your activities directory, your dorm RA, and your textbook publishers are all in on it.  Enjoy your crippling debt that will follow you through bankruptcy at rates astronomically higher than the market justifies.
 
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