Free Textbooks Site Passes 500M Views

Delmar Larsen
Delmar Larsen

LibreTexts, a free textbook project launched by UC Davis chemistry professor Delmar Larsen, has now passed a half-billion page views since it was founded in 2008 as ChemWiki. The site’s online resources in chemistry, biology, mathematics and a range of other fields have seen especially rapid growth this year with a 30% to 40% surge in traffic this past spring, according to Larsen, who started the ChemWiki site.

LibreTexts is a national consortium that creates online resources to replace conventional textbooks and course materials. Students can access the materials for free, and instructors can assemble information tailored to the needs of their class. LibreTexts has saved students an estimated $31 million in textbook costs.

Libretexts’ chemistry section still attracts the most traffic, with more than 420 million page views as of Oct. 26. Biology, physics and mathematics follow with about 34 million, 12 million and 11 million pageviews, respectively. Users have racked up almost 4,000 years of study time on the site.

Earlier this year, LibreTexts received a $1 million grant from the state of California to develop personalized online learning materials. In addition to UC Davis, the LibreTexts consortium includes the University of Michigan, University of Kansas, DePauw University, University of Minnesota Rochester, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, Mendocino College, Monroe Community College and South Tahoe Community College.

— Andy Fell, UC Davis News and Media Relations, wrote this story for the UC Davis Egghead blog.