The Textbook Affordability Project

Purchasing textbooks can be a financial burden for students. In recognition of this challenge, the Van Pelt and Opie Library and Campus Store work together to identify course materials that are available in the Library’s collections. A list of every textbook request sent to the Campus Store for the Spring 2024 semester was reviewed and compared to existing library collections.

Where applicable, these “accidental textbooks” have been placed on Course Reserve and instructors have been notified of their availability. Course Reserve allows students to borrow materials for a limited time, ensuring everyone will have the opportunity to use a book for free when it’s assigned in a course. All materials currently placed on Course Reserve, including ebooks identified during the search, can be found in this special collection on the Library’s webpage. A spreadsheet that identifies which courses are using these Library materials can be searched here. 

If the Library doesn’t already own a print copy of a book, instructors are welcome to lend one to the Library. They may also search the Library’s catalog and submit a Course Reserve Request for any assigned texts they find. Student Research Consultants (SRCs) and Librarians are available to help anyone who’d like assistance with this task. Stop by the Ask Us! station on the 1st floor of the library or email for more information.

Please note: The Library is unable to purchase copies of every book assigned in Michigan Tech classes, but identifying “accidental textbooks” in the Library’s collections can help to make the Course Reserve system a valuable resource.

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