Social Work

Open Textbooks

  • Social Problems: Continuity and Change / 2016 / Open Textbook Library
  • Social Welfare / 2012 / ed. Laratta.   “Social Welfare” offers a wide-ranging selection of work from leading academics. Its interdisciplinary approach and comparative perspective promote examination of the most pressing social welfare issues of the day. The book aims to clarify some of the ambiguity around the term, discuss the pros and cons of privatization, present a range of social welfare paradoxes and innovations, and establish a clear set of economic frameworks with which to understand the conditions under which the change in social welfare can be obtained.
  • Instruction in Functional Assessment / 2014 / Desrochers & Fallon.   Instruction in Functional Assessment introduces learners to functional assessment (FA), which includes a variety of assessment approaches (indirect, observational, and experimental) for identifying the cause of an individual’s challenging behavior for the purpose of designing effective treatments. FA is mandated by federal law and is a recognized empirically based approach to treatment of individuals with challenging behaviors (e.g., disruptive, self-injurious, and aggressive behaviors). Instruction in FA is essential for students who will one day enter professions as educators, psychologists, social workers, counselors, or mental health professionals.

Open Textbook Collections


  • Ted Talks – Social work. A compilation of Ted Talks on a range of social work topics ranging from 5 to 25 minutes.
  • YouTube
    • Search YouTube by key terms and try filtering by channel or “Creative Commons” license (these videos are specifically labeled for reuse).
  • Videos through the CSUSM Library
    • Select “Books & More” tab and use these limits: Full Text Available Online and Audio Visual.
    • Library Media Reserves, including Video on Demand option (allows you to stream videos to CSUSM students). Keep in mind that you should leave at least 1 week of lead time for processing these requests.


Ebooks in the Library

The CSUSM University Library has an extensive collection of ebooks on a variety of topics. To find what’s available:
  • Go to the University Library homepage
  • Choose “Books and More”
  • Enter keywords and search
  • Use the limiters to narrow by “Full Text Online” to ensure all results can be accessed directly from your computer
  • Limit by “Books” to filter out journals and media

Journal Articles

Consider including journal articles as required or supplemental reading for your courses. Search through our social work databases for articles. Just be sure to direct students to the article by permalink (or static URL) rather than posting the PDF directly in your Cougar Course. This will ensure two things: 1) that we are complying with copyright and publisher restrictions, and 2) that our journal usage is counted (this allows us to justify maintaining our subscriptions).

This page provides examples illustrating how to find permalinks in the Library’s databases.

Please contact your librarian if you are still unsure of how to find the permalink.

Open Courseware

  • An Introduction to Social Work. Provided by OpenLearn, this open course begins by introducing key ideas, values, the social work process and the skills needed for social work practice.
  • Merlot – Social Work Resources. Merlot (Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is a compilation of freely available resources for use in higher education, hosted by the California State Universities.


Open Journals

  • Advances in Social Work addresses current issues, challenges, and responses facing social work practice and education.
  • Articles that advance the scientific analysis of human social behavior, particularly with regard to understanding and influencing important social problems.
  • An interdisciplinary peer-reviewed platform for research, multimedia and art “aimed at furthering the ideals of social justice, broadly defined.”
  • Critical Social Work is an international peer-reviewed journal hosted by the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor (Ontario). It aims to explore the current and future potentials for social justice which includes legal, moral and economic issues.



Select Ebooks from the CSUSM Library

Other CSUSM Library Resources

More information about finding and using library resources can be found on the Social Work Research Guide.



Have a good idea for a free resource? Tell us about it! Email your subject specialist.