Textbooks on Reserve
To better serve students, the University Library has partnered with the Illini Union Bookstore to provide copies of textbooks required for core undergraduate courses. A broad list of books is now available at the Media and Reserve Center in the Undergraduate Library, allowing students to share resources and reduce expenses. This pilot program is available on a trial basis during the fall semester.
“The costs of textbooks have risen 35% since 1998, and a typical student is likely to spend over $1,000 a year to buy required texts for courses,” says Karen Schmidt, associate university librarian for collections. “Our goal is to creatively address rising prices and relieve some of the cost burden experienced by students.”
The Library first explored online access through its electronic reserves service, but there currently are not enough textbooks available electronically to pursue this option. According to Schmidt, the Library is “keeping a close eye on this market” for the future.
The textbook reserve program offers a large subset of books from across the spectrum of required core courses. The Library and IUB first considered providing access to the total list, but at $80,000, the cost was prohibitive. They ultimately selected and shared the expense of a shorter list totaling $20,000, supported with matching funds from the Office of the Provost.
During the trial period, the Library and IUB will collect data on the effectiveness of the program to determine if it should be continued. For more information, call 3-2667 or visit www.library.uiuc.edu/ugl/mrc.