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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Gina Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)