One of the most common questions we get from students at the beginning of each semester is something along these lines. Students wonder if the library has a copy of their textbook. They call the library with bated breath in hopes that they might be the first one to find it and subsequently check it out, thus creatively avoiding those burdensome fees. Or they might wonder if we have copies of all the textbooks on reserve that they could at least look at and maybe photocopy parts of. So, does the library have textbooks?
Generally, no we don't carry textbooks (I'll explain why in a moment), but this is a tricky question to answer because that doesn't mean that the chance of us having your book are absolutely dismal. The library doesn't make a point of carrying textbooks, but there is a chance that we may have one or a few of the books you're reading for class in our collection, or that you can borrow them from another school. In order to find out, you'll need to go to the library's online catalog and do a search for your book by the title. This search will let you know if Roosevelt owns the book or not. If we own it look for the status to read 'available' which means you can come in and check it out. If we don't have the book you can choose to search for the book in I-Share, oftentimes by clicking on the link 'Repeat Search in the I-Share Catalog", and once you find it there you can click on the 'Request' button and the book will be mailed to the Roosevelt Library for you to pick up. For more information about searching for books, see this post.
Why doesn't the library carry books for my class?
There are a few reasons we don't do this. One reason is that it is the mission of the Library (and most other university libraries) to support and supplement the curriculum. This means that we make it a point to have books that will provide additional material for students and faculty on the subjects they are studying so that they can conduct the type of research that is expected in a college setting. Another reason we don't carry textbooks as a rule is that faculty are always teaching new classes and choosing new books each semester and it would be very difficult for the library to attempt to keep up with all these changes. Additionally, many of the books used for classes change frequently as new editions are published, which make the older editions obsolete very quickly.
I hope I've answered your questions, feel free to contact me via email or in the comments section to share what you think of this post or to ask further questions.
Do you have a question for Ms. Information? Ms. Information
welcomes your questions about research, libraries, and how to find all
kinds of information. Submit your question to mhaller [at] roosevelt
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