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, but this is a tricky question to answer because that doesn't mean that the chance of us having your book are absolutely dismal.
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.
Although the library doesn't make a point of purchasing textbooks there is still 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 delivered to the Roosevelt Library (campus of your choice) for you to pick up. For more information about searching for books, see this post.
I-Share deliveries usually take 3-5 business days but If we interlibrary loan a book for you from out of state those deliveries can take 7-10 business days.
It is important to know that the majority of libraries do not allow current year editions to circulate to students other than their own. So, even though that 2010, or 10th edition of your textbook is at another library, they have the right to deny your request. In turn, we do the same for Roosevelt students to ensure that the most current editions of all of our books are available just for you.
Remember RU Library books are loaned for a 4-week period and can be renewed twice for an additional 8 weeks. Typically this loan period will not take you through the entire semester. So, if you do not return the book on or before the designated due date, you will run into the problem of owing overdue fees. Each school in the I-Share consortium individually sets the amount of time a book can be borrowed and amounts of overdue fines will vary from school to school. Some schools charge a lot of money for overdue books. So, Watch your Due Dates!
Due dates are especially important for books we interlibrary loan from out of state. Due dates for these items are set by the lending library, not by Roosevelt and must be complied with. Failure to comply with specified due dates can result in the loss of the privilege that allows you to borrow from other libraries, as well as Roosevelt University Library losing interlibrary loan privileges from that library, which means that NO Roosevelt patron will be able to borrow materials. More information about our interlibrary loan policies can be found at http://faculty.roosevelt.edu/library/ILLpolicy.htm.
Absolutely, under no circumstances should books borrowed from or any other library be marked, underlined, or highlighted in any way. Remember, a textbook is typically the type of book you might want to highlight important passages or write notes in the margins based upon faculty lectures. When you borrow books you are responsible for the condition of the book and libraries have the right to charge you damaged or replacement fees.
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.
For suggested websites for inexpensive and used textbooks click here.