Open Textbooks are commonly developed in these three ways:
1. Individuals or groups of collaborating authors can write and publish textbooks under a Creative Commons license, essentially placing the book in the public domain. UML instructors are encouraged to adopt appropriate Creative Commons texts; sample lists are here.
UML instructors can also write their own text, as shown here.
When adopted, a pdf or web-based version of the textbook is usually available free to students.
2. A faculty member can select materials that fall under the Fair Use clause of the copyright law, and create a course packet. The packet would include articles in journals the library subscribes to, or single chapters of books the library owns. These packets are delivered free to students through a password-protected course reserve system. The packets may also include a selection of other web-based Open Educational Resources (OERs) published under the Creative Commons.
3. A faculty member can adopt an e-book that is already part of the library's collection, or that the library purchases specially, as the main or supplemental course text.