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Textbooks are expensive for our students, and we want to help. This spring, we purchased select textbooks and put them on reserve in the Libraries for student use.

According to current studies, the average student at a private university spends more than $1,200 per year for textbooks. From what we’ve heard from students, Furman is in alignment with this figure. As a consequence we’ve seen increased requests to purchase textbooks for the Libraries’ collections. In the past, textbooks have not been part of our acquisition plan, but as textbook prices continue to skyrocket, we decided to adopt a more nuanced approach to textbook acquisition.

We already support many affordable learning options for our students. Interlibrary Loan, PASCAL Delivers, multi-user eBooks, and support for the adoption of open educational resources provide alternatives to the traditional textbook model. We are taking this a step further with our new textbook acquisition pilot program.

This spring we are collaborating with faculty and placing textbooks on reserve for multiple sections of more than half a dozen classes. At the end of the semester we will assess the success of the program. So far use has been strong in some classes and we hope to promote the program more in the fall of 2019.

For more information, stop by the Circulation Desk in the James B. Duke Library.

picture of blackboard with student opinions about textbook prices

Tell us what you think about textbook prices!

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