Collections and Library Services

Using E-books


What is equity?

Equity is defined as "the quality of being fair or impartial" . When used in the context of education, equity implies that each person has not only access to the same resources as everyone else, but that extra measures are put into place in order to ensure access and opportunity, regardless of regardless of individual socioeconomic circumstances or disability, Equity is not just a nice thing to provide; it's the law. You may read more about the legal circumstances of educational access in the Accessibility and Legal Obligations section of this guide. 

When discussing e-books specifically, equity refers not only to accessibility for those with disabilities, but also to access in the sense of affordability. Many see e-books as a way to curb the high costs of physical textbooks, and this idea is part of a larger movement known as Open Educational Resources (OER).


E-books, Equity, and Libraries

Libraries have long been on the forefront of the battle to ensure equitable access to e-books. You may read the American Library Association's statement on e-books, which reads in part:

  • Access to and use of e-books must equitably balance the rights and privileges of readers, authors, and publishers.
  • Digital content must be accessible to all people, regardless of physical or reading disabilities.

Equitable Access at UVA

For all questions having to do with equity and access regarding educational materials for students with disabilities, please contact the Student Disability Access Center. SDAC provides a wealth of resources on a number of topics, including accommodations and services. Below is a statement form SDAC:

The University of Virginia values disability within the spectrum of human diversity and is committed to a living, learning, and work environment where individuals with disabilities can be their full selves and thrive. The University recognizes that ensuring equal access to educational, employment, and all other opportunities is a shared responsibility that demands our continuous identification and removal of physical, technological, and attitudinal barriers. This work is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as other applicable state and local laws and University policy.

If you have specific questions about a particular resource provided by the Health Sciences Library, please contact Abbey Heflin, Head of Collections Management.

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