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A student's guide for finding textbooks

UAA Campus Bookstore


Use the UAA Bookstore's online textbook ordering website to see what is required for UAA courses. This website has many resources to assist students and faculty.

  1. Select View and Order Books
  2. Login to your account (UA username and password)
  3. Once logged in the site can find your courses, select the tab labeled My Courses
  4. To Find textbooks for course you are not yet enrolled in:
    1. Check the term, the department, and enter the 5-digit course ID code
    2. Click the Add Course button, then Get Course Materials
  5. Print a listing of titles required for one or more courses
  6. Some professors have notes about the texts giving more information about availability and need for text

APU Campus Bookstore


Find the APU Campus Store on the first floor of the Atwood Center. 

Hints & Tips

1. Library books

Libraries usually do not purchase textbooks. It's best to rely on library materials for supplemental reading or more in-depth research.

2.  Plan ahead

Maybe a book isn't needed until halfway through the semester, and you can afford to wait a bit on buying that particular book.  Maybe the online service that has your book is down.  Maybe there is no on-line vendor with your book.

3.  Check your syllabus!

Sometimes you really don't need the whole book, may be just a chapter or a portion of the book.

4.  Search by ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is the code for that specific book you need. The ISBN commonly appears on the back of the title page.of a book. Newer/older editions usually have different content, and the specific book your class requires may have something you need particularly for that class.  Don't know the ISBN?  Contact your professor or a reference librarian!


One of the most basic needs for college or university study is textbooks. These books are prescribed by instructors as essential reading since they present the subject matter defined by the curriculum. It is anticipated they will be used constantly by students throughout a course. Textbooks can be difficult for students to obtain because of economic hardship, financial aid limitations, or because the books are simply not available. Not having access to required materials can be detrimental to both students and instructors.

Can the library help?

As a general policy, the Consortium Library does not provide textbooks, since multiple copies would be needed, along with extended loan periods, in order to provide adequate access. Also the textbooks required for a course can change frequently. Purchasing and maintaining a collection of items that go out of date in a few years would be a strain on the library budget. So, the bottom line is that the library is not a good source for textbooks. However...

Course Reserves
Sometimes instructors place course materials on reserve at the library Circulation Desk, for students to use for limited periods of time. Find out more about Course Reserves and search the listing of instructors and classes here. If the textbook you need is not there, ask your instructor if he/she would be willing to put a personal copy on reserve for your class.

 What about interlibrary loan?

For similar reasons Interlibrary Loan does not fill requests for textbooks. They are very difficult to locate in other libraries. On the rare occasions they are located, they are often non-circulating, on reserve or are subject to recall.  If the book in question is a required textbook for your course, it is simply not realistic to borrow a copy from the library or try to share with a fellow classmate.

What are my options?

Your best option is to either rent your textbooks, or buy new or used textbooks at a reasonable price, and be able to trade them in after the course is over. The UAA Campus Bookstore sells or rents new and used textbooks, and offers buy back each semester for editions still required. APU's Campus Store offers a small selection of new and used textbooks, and has a similar buy back scheme. there are also electronic textbooks, or E-Textbooks, and you can now rent them for your Kindle or get the App for other e-devices. You can also check out the newest hot idea for affordable texts - open textbooks. Explore all of these possibilities using the tabs above, and find the best prices.