Making education more affordable and accessible for all
This post has been written by Perlego’s in-house librarian, Lucy Hoyle. In this post, Lucy shares Perlego’s mission, and how students and libraries can benefit.
Perlego’s mission is to make education more affordable and accessible for everyone. The online library subscription service offers unlimited, worldwide access to over 570,000 textbooks and academic texts, all for a simple monthly price.
Perlego is designed to make studying easier and less expensive. We work with publishers to combat piracy in the education market and offer students a fair price for their learning materials. This article will explain how the product is designed to enrich, rather than replace, the university library experience by providing an innovative tool for both students and librarians. As Perlego’s in-house librarian, I’ll also explore our curation process and the learning behaviours we hope to encourage.
How does Perlego help students?
The platform is designed to streamline learning: students can search for their set course texts and discover new resources; they can also favourite books, highlight text and take notes inside a book. Rather than having to wait for a title to become available, Perlego users can access the books they need at any time, as well as downloading them to read on the go.
Aside from the benefits of accessibility and flexibility, the wide variety of titles on offer adds an element of choice to studying. Users can search for a specific title, browse the topic and subtopic pages, or explore a selection of curated reading lists. Showcasing editor’s picks alongside recommendations from subject matter experts, these reading lists range from general areas of interest to niche fields of research. The curation process is constantly evolving and I welcome feedback and advice from librarians on how to tailor recommendations to various student needs.
How can Perlego support librarians?
Despite removing the necessity for many of the manual processes involved in library work, Perlego does not intend to make the traditional librarian role redundant. On the contrary, we want to support university librarians by reducing the pressures of stock issues, overdue books, waiting lists and – perhaps the most significant obstacle to accessible education – overpriced digital textbooks. By removing restrictions like single-user access and credit limits and expiry, Perlego overcomes the complexities of digital rights management – something that typically limits access to content.
The global pandemic has only accelerated the shift towards virtual learning and digital content, forcing librarians and libraries to adapt – often with reduced budgets and resources. At Perlego, we’re keen to collaborate with librarians in order to understand how we can help them provide a better service to their students. You can raise a support ticket with the Talis Services Team for help with activating Perlego in your reading lists.
Online learning in an ever-changing world
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has shaken things up in the education sector, but this is also a prime opportunity to explore more innovative approaches to teaching and learning. We have partnered with Talis to support online learning by providing a direct link from university reading lists to the books on Perlego, where available. The entire workflow – from the virtual learning environment, through Talis Aspire, to the content on Perlego – is streamlined, removing as many access barriers as possible in order to boost student engagement while studying from home.
We continually draw on user feedback to enhance both research and reading experiences – from searching for resources and making notes, to easily exporting references and citations. Perlego is also a portable library, so students can download their ebooks onto a smartphone or tablet and study from anywhere.
Inspiring students to read more
Aside from helping users to find relevant content, one of my responsibilities as Perlego’s in-house librarian is to boost engagement and foster interest among our subscribers. It’s ideal if a student can find the book they’re looking for within a few clicks – especially if they arrive via their LMS, VLE or university library interface. However, my ultimate goal is to encourage students to go beyond their assigned texts. Our vision for Perlego is more than a digital library; it’s an online learning platform designed to help readers discover new ideas, share knowledge, and develop a wide range of skills and interests.
I imagine that most librarians strive to encourage people to read more, and maybe even hope to inspire a passion for learning. With the combined power of experience and knowledge, shared through collaboration and enhanced by technology, we can support the students of today and prepare for the learners of the future.
Want to learn more about how you can enable the Perlego integration for your students? Raise a support ticket with the Talis Services Team for more information.