New Open Textbook

Portland State University (PSU) Library is pleased to announce the publication of our newest open textbook, Daily Departures: Speed Reading Passages for English Language Learners, by Regina Weaver.

Daily Departures: Speed Reading Passages for English Language Learners is a collection of twenty 200-225 word reading passages written primarily within the 1,000-word level of the New General Service List and designed to provide fluency support for English language learners at the Waystage level of the Common European Framework Reference.

This is the 21st open textbook published through the PDXOpen Publishing Initiative Grant Program.  The open textbooks have saved 2,890 PSU students over $272,000 and have been downloaded over 152,000 times in countries all over the world. 

Portland State University is a founding member of the Open Textbook Network Publishing Cooperative. This is the second Co-op publication to be released. The Co-op is a community of people working together to grow open textbook publishing expertise in higher education, and increase the availability of free, open textbooks for use by instructors and students across the world. For more information:

Safety and Security in the Library

The PSU Library invites you to share your thoughts about safety and security in the Library. We’ve placed posters on the wall between the coffee shop and the computer lab on the 1st floor to solicit feedback on this important topic.  The posters will be up for a week, so stop by and write down your thoughts on a post-it note. We are asking five questions: 
1. How do we as a community make public spaces safe for everyone?
2. Tell us how you feel about how safety and security issues are handled within the Library. What works and what needs improvement?
3. How do you use the library building?
4. How have safety or security concerns affected your use of the Library?
5. What are your top three safety or security concerns when you are in the Library? 
If you would rather answer the questions online, feel free to give us your thoughts here

Free Food and Free Knowledge

Join ASPSU for an interactive display about textbook costs and simple ways that you can help get Open Educational Resources on campus. Open Education Resources are free and reduced cost textbooks, which can help you financially. At the end of the tour of “The Museum of Irrelevant Textbooks” feel free to write a letter to our state representatives in support of HB2214, which sets aside funding for Oregon’s Open Education Resources Program.  You can also enjoy a slice of Hot Lips pizza or some Tito’s Tacos.

ML170 in the Library

Monday, May 20th

10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Listening Sessions: Security in the Library

Connect with the PSU Library community and share your thoughts about safety and security in the Library!
We want to hear what you think about safety and security in the Library. Join us for a listening session and help inform future library security policies. We’ll discuss your top security concerns and how they affect your use of the Library, what we can do to create to a safe community space, and more! You talk, we listen. Light refreshments will be provided. 
Monday, April 29th: 12 – 1pm (this is a drop in session – all others are for the full hour)
Tuesday, April 30th: 10:30 – 11:30am
Wednesday, May 1st: 4 – 5pm
Thursday, May 2nd: 10 – 11am and 7 – 8pm 
All sessions will be held in Room 170. 

Zotero and Mendeley Workshop

Manage your research and citations with free citation management software. Zotero and Mendeley both allow you to download citations and articles from various websites and databases, electronically store and organize the citations, annotate and highlight articles, and format the citations for your paper and bibliography. This workshop covers the advantages and disadvantages of Zotero and Mendeley, helping you decide which one is right for you. This workshop is led by librarian Michael Bowman on Tuesday, April 23rd from 4:00 – 5:30pm in room 160.  

PSU Library to review contract with Elsevier, scientific publishing giant

On February 28th, 2019, the University of California System announced that it had ended months of contract negotiations with Elsevier Publishing and has terminated all subscriptions.  According to a UC System press release, “Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals”.

Portland State University participates in a cooperative Elsevier contract with Oregon State University and the University of Oregon, which expires in December 2020. Leading up to that, PSU Library will work closely with PSU administration and the Faculty Senate Library Committee, looking at usage data, costs, and information about PSU faculty publishing in Elsevier journals. We are committed to engaging PSU faculty, researchers, and students about issues pertaining to our Elsevier contract, including the role of Open Access (OA) at PSU. We would also like to remind that PSU Faculty Senate has recently approved an Ad-Hoc Committee on Open Access for Faculty Publications, which will also address the broader issue of OA at PSU.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Tom Bielavitz, Interim Dean, Library

New Open Textbook

Portland State University Library is pleased to announce the publication of our newest open textbook, Inferring and Explaining, by Jeffery L. Johnson.

Inferring and Explaining is a book in practical epistemology. It examines the notion of evidence and assumes that good evidence is the essence of rational thinking. Evidence is the cornerstone of the natural, social, and behavioral sciences. But it is equally central to almost all academic pursuits and, perhaps most importantly, to the basic need to live an intelligent and reflective life.

This is the 20th open textbook published through the PDXOpen Publishing Initiative Grant Program. These twenty textbooks have been downloaded more than 121,000 times in countries all over the world. These open access, openly licensed, digital textbooks are free to students at Portland State and to people around the world.

Portland State University is a founding member of the Open Textbook Network Publishing Cooperative. This is the first Co-op publication to be released. The Co-op is a community of people working together to grow open textbook publishing expertise in higher education, and increase the availability of free, open textbooks for use by instructors and students across the world. For more information:

PDXScholar Year in Review: More than 1 Million Downloads in 2018

The annual report from PDXScholar shows the growing and continued impact of the work of Portland State University faculty, staff, and students. Portland State University Library released its annual report today, with several notable highlights, including a new benchmark: in 2018 alone, there were more than one million downloads of works from PDXScholar.  The year also saw a dramatic 35% increase in full text downloads, from 874,129 in 2017 to 1,182,021 downloads in 2018. PDXScholar items were downloaded by people in 228 countries and accessed by people at more than 32,570 institutions worldwide. As of January 8, 2019, there have been more than 3.7 million total downloads of items from PDXScholar.


Top three most downloaded collections:

This year, the Library also published four new open access textbooks and digitized 371 Portland State theses and dissertations


Throughout the year, we gather feedback from users. Here is some of what our users told us this year: 

“PDXScholar makes it so easy ‒ that’s why you have a good reputation among faculty.”‒ Bennett Gilbert, PSU University Studies
“Thank you for providing such articles. It will help me in providing background information to encourage the MENA region countries to mainstream the concept of valuing Ecosystem Services in the decision making process in light of climate change and accomplishing the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals].” ‒ HRH Princess Basma Ali (Jordan)
“Access to your peer reviewed research on lead contamination in urban gardens in Oakland helped me, as an advocate of healthy food systems, promote policy reforms to improve public health and access to healthy food.” – Anonymous
“I’m in high school and am writing a thesis for my senior year. It has been incredibly difficult finding resources for my topic, especially online. Getting access to this thesis online and for free is a wonderful benefit.” – Anonymous

PDXScholar, a service of Portland State University Library, provides access to a diverse collection of academic, scholarly, scientific and creative content produced by faculty, students and staff. PDXScholar increases the visibility of authors’ works, maximizes research impact, facilitates interdisciplinary research, and provides regional and global communities with immediate and permanent access.

See more information in the PDXScholar Annual Report for 2018.

Distribution map of PDXScholar downloads

This map shows the distribution of PDXScholar downloads, with heaviest concentrations in North America, western Europe, and India.

“Does the Library have my textbook?”

We have so many books at the Library! But do we have your textbook? The answer is: it depends. We know you want to save money on your books this term, so here are some ways to figure out if the Library has your book. 

PSU Library Course Reserves

Instructors sometimes place textbooks and other course readings on reserve in the Library. We have both paper reserves (physical textbooks, for example) and electronic reserves (online articles and ebooks). You can borrow print books at the Circulation Desk on the Library’s first floor.

Did your instructor place your textbook and course readings on reserve? Find out here: 

PSU Library Stacks & Summit Libraries

PSU Library may own a copy of a textbook but your instructor has not placed it on reserve. You may borrow this book from the Library.

If PSU Library doesn’t have the book, it may be available at a Summit library (Summit is a partnership of academic libraries in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho). You can request books from Summit (for free!) and, if available, they usually arrive at the PSU Library Circulation Desk within a few days. You may borrow Summit books for six weeks.

Is your book available to borrow from PSU Library or through Summit? Find out here: 

Not at the Library?

PSU Bookstore is your first stop for textbook purchases, of course.

Looking for something else at the Library? 

The Library catalog is your starting point to find books, ebooks, articles, journals, streaming videos and other media, and much more. Log in with your ODIN to see all the resources available to you.

Still have questions?

Please Ask a Librarian for help.

Note: we are unable to request textbooks through Interlibrary Loan.