With high costs and ever-changing accessibility, many students struggle to justify purchasing a required textbook. Enter the Textbook Affordability Project. According to Annelise Doll, a Scholarly Communications Librarian and the leader of the Textbook Affordability Project, the project goal is to “make materials more affordable and convenient for students.” In re
turn, students can save money on textbooks they don’t need to buy and get material to supplement their studies, such as borrowing a print copy when they forget their book at home.
Students looking to reserve textbooks can first check the library catalog to see if the books they are looking for are available. Otherwise, students can scan the QR codes found on posters around campus promoting the Textbook Affordability Project which links to a spreadsheet containing all available textbooks. Once verifying that a book or e-book is available, students can go to the library front desk and request it. If students have any questions about the process, they can direct them to the front desk, the Ask Us station, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for the rental process, students can opt for a short-term loan, which grants them access to resources for up to seven hours, or they can request a multi-day loan. Crucially, students can use their assigned course materials for free within their given durations as many times as they want over a semester. According to Doll, the resources are “not necessarily a replacement for students, but they definitely could be.”
Now in its second semester, The Textbook Affordability Project has been a total team effort with the Campus Store, the library, students, and faculty pitching in. Doll noted that it can be challenging to “get all the units to work together smoothly, but everyone cares a lot about this project which makes it easier in a lot of ways.” She emphasized that the “student community is helping massively, especially student research consultants as they are ‘sometimes a lot more in tune with the student body than we are.’” Overall, Doll highlighted that the team has a lot of ideas for future semesters and hopes that there will be an increase in student usage as the program continues to develop.