RMU Library offers textbook alternative to buying, selling, renting madness


The holiday break may be over, but ‘tis the season for something else! That something else being textbooks. The Facebook pages for the various RMU graduating classes are flooding with the words “looking for” and “selling.” The bookstore is busier than ever, and the web is being surfed for the best deals.

Then after all the chaos has subsided and everyone locates his textbooks, most of those textbooks are only used a few times during the semester — sometimes not at all.

College is costly, and RMU is doing its best to not include textbooks in that figure.

Last semester, RMU purchased over 200 textbooks for 60 different general education courses and four business management courses with the help of the RMU Library, Center for Student Success, the Offices of Academic Affairs, Student Engagement and Student Life in an attempt to start the Textbook Reserve Program.

The university spent $16,250 on this program, but the results proved this endeavour to be a worthy investment. It all started with a group of students that conducted a survey regarding student support and assistance for classes. The results of this survey showed that students would appreciate having certain textbooks available in the library.

Over 850 students used and benefited from this new service last semester, and textbooks were checked out more than 1,800 times.

Nicole Hammond, tutorial coordinator at RMU, said, “I’m ecstatic about the success of the program. It’s wonderful to see students embracing resources made available to them on-campus. It has increased academic support and interest to get tutoring if it is needed as well.”

Since the program was so successful and is making such an impact, it is not only being continued for Spring 2013 and semesters to come, but the program was expanded as well.

Hammond also said of the future of the program, “I think it’s going to continue to grow because it has shown students how supportive RMU is of their academics and also how understanding the university is of the financial and economic challenges we all face at this time.”

All textbooks are kept in the RMU Library and are located in the Circulation Desk and Reserve Section. Any student wishing to borrow a book just has to select the book and present his Freedom Card, and that book is his for the next three hours. Of course, these books are no exception to the policies the library has for books that are lost or not returned.

The list is quite extensive when it comes to general education courses, so this program is an option to consider for students looking for an alternative to purchasing textbooks this semester.