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As a general rule, Albizu Library does not purchase textbooks when they are being used as a course text. Therefore, textbooks that are on reserve tend to be the property of a department or faculty member and are not part of the libraryís permanent collection.

There are a number of reasons for our not doing so:
  • Textbooks often include exercises, workbooks, quizzes, and lab manuals, which students need to complete coursework. Library books canít be written in or have pages removed, so textbooks often are not appropriate materials for long-term use in library collections.

  • Libraries generally only purchase one or a limited number of copies of works. A library would not be able to purchase enough copies for the work to be available to all students.

  • Textbooks are updated frequently, often annually or biannually. It would be a strain on library collection budgets to constantly purchase new textbooks for library collections. In addition, library staff would have to spend an inordinate amount of time on maintaining textbook collections.

  • Textbooks are designed to be used by students for courses of study. Students refer to them often and need them throughout a course. As students use textbooks throughout a course, they need them longer than the loan period for most library materials.

  • Purchasing textbooks places the library in direct competition with the online college bookstore, which libraries aim not to do.

Ultimately, it is the studentís responsibility to acquire the resources for his or her education. It is expected that students will purchase the required texts for their courses through the online bookstore or from other sources.

Academic programs or departments needing textbooks for review or for other uses by department staff should acquire the needed materials with departmental funds. Library collection development funds or faculty allocations should not be used to purchase textbooks for these needs.


Though we understand that textbook prices are especially high, the library is unable to borrow specific required course textbooks via ILL for the following reasons:

  • Purchasing textbooks is part of usual college expenses, along with paying tuition, dorm/rental expenses, and buying school supplies.

  • Few libraries purchase textbooks.

  • Even fewer libraries have the newest editions as soon as they are printed and required for use by professors for classes.

  • Of those few libraries that do purchase textbooks, the textbook collection is usually reserved for their campus-use and not loaned to other libraries.

  • Loaned books usually take one-two weeks to arrive, so you would already be far behind in your class work and reading by the time they arrive.

  • You would only get to keep a textbook borrowed through ILL for about three weeks.

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