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Walker Library’s new textbook option popular...

Walker Library’s new textbook option popular with budget-minded MTSU students

Officials at MTSU’s James E. Walker Library say a new program that provides textbooks for the university’s most heavily populated courses is very popular.

“By and large, the students have been incredibly grateful,” said acquisitions librarian Suzanne Mangrum.

Wendy Jones, acquisitions assistant, left; Suzanne Mangrum, acquisitions librarian and interim chair of collection development and management; Dr. Jason Martin, interim dean, James E. Walker Library; Suzy Burkhardt, library assistant; and Anne Sayakhom, acquisitions assistant. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Staffers at MTSU’s James E. Walker Library show some of the textbooks included in a new program that gives students free access to books used in the busiest general education courses. From left are Wendy Jones, acquisitions assistant; Suzanne Mangrum, acquisitions librarian and interim chair of collection development and management; Dr. Jason Martin, interim library dean; Suzy Burkhardt, library assistant; and Anne Sayakhom, acquisitions assistant. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The 21 texts and other reading materials are intended for use in high-enrollment general education classes. The subjects include astronomy, biology, chemistry, communication studies, economics, English, geology, history, mathematics, psychology and theater.

Students can check out the textbooks for three hours at a time for use in the library only. If a textbook requires an authorization code, only a copy of the textbook will be made available.

Mangrum said the idea sprang from a university group dedicated to redesigning the general education curriculum. She added that more college libraries are taking this step, and they’re also receiving good feedback about it from students.

“The more we learn about textbooks, the more we know students can’t afford them,” Mangrum said. “It’s money they have to come up with after they’ve already paid so much. So many students do without … it’s just unsustainable.”

University libraries had long been reluctant to take a chance on purchasing textbooks, she continued, because it was cheaper for students to keep textbooks they’d checked out and pay the library fines for lost books than it was for the student to buy the books outright.

By purchasing textbooks for the most heavily populated courses and restricting access to library use only, Mangrum said Walker Library hopes it is providing a compromise that will be helpful to students.

“This collection will help students with the rising cost of textbooks, aid in retention and contribute to student success,” said interim library dean Jason Martin. “Folks from all over the library have contributed their time and effort to make this a terrific resource for students.”

To view a complete list of the textbooks available, visit the library catalog at https://library.mtsu.edu/home. For more information, contact Mangrum at 615-904-8517 or suzanne.mangrum@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)


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