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A student's guide for finding textbooks

In This Guide

Textbooks at the Library

Textbooks are selected by instructors as essential reading and are generally used regularly throughout a course. Not having access to required materials can have a devastating impact on your academic success.

Can the library help?

The Consortium Library does not generally purchase or provide textbooks. Doing so would far exceed the library's entire budget. However, faculty may assign some library materials as required or optional readings. They may also provide copies of required textbooks to Course Reserves. On rare occasions, an instructor may assign a book that is not a traditional textbook and that book might be owned by the library. You can search for the book or Ask Us for assistance.

What are 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 it's possible for them to put one of their personal copies on reserve for your class.

 What about interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary Loan does not fill requests for textbooks. They are very difficult to locate in other libraries, checkout periods rarely span a full semester, and the library is not able to fulfill the volume of requests that would come through if the library were to allow textbook requests.

What are my options?

Your best option is to either rent your textbooks or purchase them (new or used). In some cases, you may be able to trade them in after the course is over. Depending on the title, your best deal may be available through the official UAA online bookstore (for UAA classes), the official APU online bookstore (for APU classes), or from another seller of your choice.

Hints & Tips

Plan ahead

You might save money by ordering your course textbooks early, when they can be delivered to campus for pickup. This allows you to save on shipping costs. Even if shipping to your home, it's a good idea to order early enough to be sure you have it in hand when classes start.

Check bookstore notes and your syllabus

Sometimes faculty will add notes for an item in the bookstore system or within the course syllabus that may influence your purchasing decision (e.g., allowing an older edition to be used, providing a link to an openly licensed textbook online, etc.). When possible, look at these before you order.

Guide Owner

This guide is maintained by D'Arcy Hutchings.