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Textbooks and alternatives

Textbook reserves

The purpose of the reserve collection is to allow controlled access to a limited number of items for the greatest number of students. The collection consists of materials that are essential to a course.  Many students depend on this service.  Borrowing textbooks for many is a question of affordability, for others it can be a convenience. 

Publishers often provide a free copies of a textbook to an instructor.  Those copies can be given to the library for inclusion in the reserve collection. Textbooks that are marked as "Instructor use"  "Pre-publication"  "Review Copy" etc.  cannot be added to the library collection. 

The library purchases textbooks on a limited and selective basis:.

  • for the reserve collection only
  • if requested by an instructor
  • based on available budget, demand, and ongoing educational value of the item

Reserve loans are usually short term, 2 hours or 24 hours to allow for maximum use.  In response to the current pandemic, all reserve loans were extended to 72 hours, with additional copies of high-demand items purchased to allow greater access by students. 

The online guide Library Services for Faculty provides instructions on how to have a book or other materials added to the reserve collection.