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Faculty/staff guide to Open Educational Resources (OER): Print on Demand

This guide is designed to help TCC faculty and staff find, create, evaluate, and incorporate open educational resources for instructional and training purposes.

On this Print on Demand page: learn what Print on Demand is; check if your OER course materials are eligible (or not) for Print on Demand; submit a Print on Demand option for your OER course materials through the Bookstore; and know who to contact for Print on Demand support.

How faculty can request Print on Demand

Handout for Print on Demand Steps

Step 1: Check if your OER course materials are eligible for Print on Demand:

Step 2: Fill out a submission form for Print on Demand:

Step 3: ISBN created for PoD course materials:

This step is after PoD options and materials are determined and finalized by the faculty member and the Bookstore. Please review the PoD Steps handout, linked above, for more info.

Note: After ISBNs are created will the PoD options be added to the Bookstore website and made visible to students.

Step 4: Students request and purchase PoD options via the Bookstore online:

Print on Demand FAQs for Faculty

What is Print on Demand (PoD)?

Print on Demand is a service via the TCC Bookstore to print in-house copies of openly licensed textbooks at a lower cost for students, when students request PoD copies via the Bookstore's online store, linked below.

It's important to note that TCC's PoD service does NOT operate like a Kinko's or FedEx, where you can bring in a file on a flash drive to the Bookstore and request an immediate copy. TCC's PoD service operates through the Bookstore's online store, like other textbook purchases.

Also check out the short video in the content box below about Print on Demand.

Are my OER course materials eligible for Print on Demand?

To doublecheck if your OER course materials are eligible or not for PoD, please review the "Faculty checklist for OER course materials & TCC Bookstore’s Print on Demand services" document, linked below. This document is also linked under "Step 1" in the "How faculty can request Print on Demand" content box on this page.

In general, any materials that are openly licensed with a Creative Commons ("CC") license or in the Public Domain are eligible for PoD. 

You can also email Jennifer Snoek-Brown, OER Faculty Librarian, directly at, for assistance determining whether or not your materials are eligible for PoD.

How do I turn in Print on Demand submissions?

The PoD request form is now available online, replacing the former Word form. This form is also linked on this Print on Demand page (under Step 2). You automatically receive a copy of your online request submission, and the Bookstore staff is notified of the PoD request. Sarah Lewandowski-Noble, the Bookstore Manager, will then follow up with you with a quote.

If I submitted Print on Demand last quarter, do I have to re-submit the form this quarter?

No! Use the Print on Demand if it is a NEW request, or if you are switching to a new edition or version of an OER textbook. If you previously submitted a textbook for Print on Demand in a past quarter, you should have received an ISBN from the Bookstore for that textbook. These ISBNs are available via the Prism textbook system, when you go through the regular, quarterly textbook submission process.

If you need access to the Prism textbook system, please contact the Bookstore at

Why do Print on Demand submissions need to be turned in BEFORE the next quarter?

The timeframe to submit PoD requests for the upcoming quarter is now more closely aligned with the processes to submit textbook adoptions. We ask that for faculty who have been assigned course sections and who are using PoD-eligible OER materials, to please turn in Print on Demand (PoD) submissions for OER textbooks and course materials by the end of the 6th week of the current quarter in order to be added to the Bookstore website and made available for students for the following quarter.

For students to be able to purchase Print on Demand copies of OER course materials with financial aid/grant funds -- which applies to a majority of our students -- all PoD-eligible OER course materials need to be front-loaded into the Bookstore's system and book list before the next quarter begins, like other textbooks. 

This also helps ensure the Bookstore will be able to provide students with their requested materials within 24-48 hours.

What is the Print on Demand process if I get a late course assignment?

This is a question frequently asked by part-time faculty who use OER course materials and who may receive class assignments only 1-2 weeks before the start of the next quarter. 

The PoD process is the same for faculty who receive late course assignments. Follow the steps and links detailed on this page in order to:

  • doublecheck that your OER course materials are eligible for PoD
  • if so, then complete the Bookstore's online PoD submission form
  • please leave a note on the PoD submission form to explain the late course assignment and need for expediency

Can I use the Print on Demand online submission form to request a desk copy?

If you are submitting your PoD form to provide low-cost print options for students and also want a desk copy for yourself, then yes! There is a question near the end of the PoD online submission form to ALSO request a personal desk copy of an OER text.

If all you need is a desk copy of an OER textbook, please reach out to your division admin directly.

Do I have to submit the PoD form if I use e-books?

It depends:

  • If you are using an e-book from the TCC Library's research databases -- such as e-books from the Ebook Central database -- then NO, you do not need to submit the PoD online submission form. The reason is because e-books and articles from the library databases retain traditional copyright and have specified usage limitations, and therefore do not qualify for PoD services.
  • If you are using an openly licensed e-book available on the open web as a main text -- such as e-books available through the Project Gutenberg site -- then YES, please submit the PoD online submission form. Any e-books that are openly licensed with a Creative Commons ("CC") license or in the Public Domain are eligible for PoD services.

This information is also detailed on the "Faculty checklist for OER course materials & TCC Bookstore's Print on Demand services" document, linked below.

If you have any questions about whether or not your e-books are eligible for PoD, you can also contact Jennifer Snoek-Brown, OER Librarian, at

I've submitted the form. What do I need to tell my students about Print on Demand options?

After you have submitted the Print on Demand form, it is best practice to communicate the PoD options for your students. To ensure your students are aware of PoD options for course texts, please consider including the following statement in your course syllabus, under a "Textbooks & Supplemental Materials" section, along with the title, cost, and ISBN of each item, as well as a link to the TCC Bookstore online store (linked below):

This course uses Open Educational Resources (OER). All OER course texts are freely available to you online and accessible from within Canvas. If you prefer printed materials, print copies of the course textbook are available on-demand, at a low cost, via the TCC Bookstore. Purchasing a print version of the course text is optional and not required for the successful completion of this course.

Including this information on an introductory page and/or as part of an early course announcement will also help your students understand their available options. For more information about syllabus requirements and recommended language, please refer to the TCC Syllabus Template, also linked below.

How do students request Print on Demand copies?

Students request and purchase a Print on Demand copy via the Bookstore online. This way, students can use their federal financial aid or grant funds to cover the cost of the textbook. If students print off their OER textbooks themselves, like via the Library of Info Commons printers, then the cost of that printing is out-of-pocket and cannot be covered by financial aid or grant funds.

Below is an example of what a Print on Demand option looks like on the current Bookstore Textbook online store:

  • When there is a Print on Demand option, the author is listed as "Print on Demand"
  • Print on Demand copies are listed as "Choice" (optional)

Print on Demand example on TCC Bookstore site, where "Print on Demand" is listed as author of the OER text

What happens if students want a Print on Demand copy but I didn't submit the PoD form before the quarter began?

This is becoming a more frequently asked question -- by both faculty AND students -- as awareness of Print on Demand increases.

This is why the Bookstore encourages faculty to submit PoD submissions before each quarter begins, as more and more students are requesting lower-cost options for OER texts, when available. Submitting PoD before the quarter begins helps ensure that students will be able to purchase PoD copies in a timely manner when the quarter begins.

There are a few options open for both faculty and students if your students want a PoD copy but you didn't submit the PoD form before the quarter began:

  • Contact the Bookstore and Bookstore Manager, Sarah Lewandowski-Noble, immediately at or, and submit the Print on Demand form, linked below, with a note about the  situation and the expediency of the request.
  • If you have included a link or digital copy of the OER text in your Canvas course, students can legally print off a copy of the entire text themselves, like via Kinko's or FedEx or via computer labs and printers available across the TCC campus. However, in this scenario, students will have to pay out-of-pocket for those copies, and any financial aid or grant funds they receive cannot be used to cover those out-of-pocket expenses.
  • If the student is registered with Access Services, then Access Services staff may be able to print off the OER text and/or submit a print request via the Bookstore. The student will need to directly contact Access Services to initiate this option.
  • Create a reminder to ensure that you submit PoD submissions before the next quarter!

Contacts for Print on Demand support

Contacts for Print on Demand support:

  • For help in determining if your OER course materials are eligible for Print on Demand:  Jennifer Snoek-Brown, OER Librarian,, or
  • To help prepare materials for Print on Demand: Email, or David Bishop, Director of Learning Innovation,
  • To inquire about Print on Demand options in the Bookstore: Sarah Lewandowski-Noble, Bookstore Director,, or

Print on Demand videos

Print on Demand Q&A

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

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