Textbooks available for borrowing

Alyssa Coleman, News Editor

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Students who cannot afford the textbooks they need for the semester can check them out at the Owen Library through the Textbook Purchasing Program.

Owen Library Director Peter Egler said this is the second year the program is being offered, and that the number of professors submitting requests for their textbooks to be available increased since last year.

“Prior to the semester, during the summer, we send out several emails to professors asking them if they would like to have their books available at the library for students to check out,” he said.  

“There are just a few conditions to a textbook being available. The textbook has to cost over $50 and the textbook has to be a required textbook for the class.”

Egler said the idea for the program came from several librarians during one of their weekly meetings, where they discuss how the library could be helpful to students.

“We wanted to make college more affordable for students,” he said.  “There was already a certain program put in to place where teachers were putting their own personal copies of their textbooks on reserve for students. We just wanted to expand on that.”

Students can check out textbooks for a two hour period and are able to use that time to study or even scan textbook pages.

The textbook must also remain in the library when checked out by a student.

“Last year we had 45 textbooks available during the fall and spring semesters,” Egler said.  “This year we have 39, but we keep getting requests from students to have their class textbooks available and professors submitting requests for their books to be on reserve.”

In most cases there is only one copy of a textbook available, unless it is needed in multiple classes or that it becomes so popular with students checking it out, then more copies would be ordered.

“We encourage students and faculty to submit requests for textbooks to be available,” Egler said.  “We encourage students to ask their professors for their books to be put on reserve because in order for a book to be available, a professor must request it.”

Egler said the most popular books available are textbooks for biology, communications and chemistry.  Education textbooks are also among the most popular to be checked out.

“We are very happy with the results,” he said.  “The more students learn about it, the more they are using it.

“We plan to continue this program indefinitely. It helps students save some money.  It could take a while to get it off the ground, as with all new programs, but I am hopeful that we will receive more textbooks on reserve.”

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