Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, May 26, 2018

Course reserves may be expanded at Bender Library

Bender library considers adding more textbooks for upperclassmen to the course reserves

A head administrator at the Bender library wants to expand the course reserves for next Fall semester in an effort to lighten the financial burden of buying textbooks for upperclassmen.

Nancy Davenport, the University librarian, said the idea to expand the collection of textbooks available to students for free at the course reserves desk was influenced by student testimony at the budget town hall meeting earlier in the Spring semester.

“This conversation at the town hall dealing with the 2016-2017 budget led me to propose that I figure out some way of splitting some of that pot of money,” Davenport said.

The cheapest way for the library to expand its course reserves is for students who no longer need their textbooks to donate them, Davenport said. Student can bring textbooks they want to donate to the circulation desk on the first floor of the library.

The library will take three copies of each textbook, and students who donate will be entered into a raffle for Amazon gift cards.

Davenport has reached out to student advocates for advice on implementing an expansion of the course reserves. Rachel Ussery, a veteran organizer of student advocacy coalition Education Not Debt, said the student advocacy group plans on meeting soon with Davenport to discuss ways to promote the expansion of course reserves to the student body.

“I think as seniors are getting ready to graduate, probably thinking about the large amounts of student debt they have, for them to not have to pay so much money for books that they will likely not open again after using them for their classes would be probably be a huge

relief,” Ussery, a freshman in the School of International Service, said. “I know it would be for me.”

Currently, the library’s course reserves cover all General Education courses, Donna Femenella, the library’s Reserves Coordinator, said. There are about 2,000 text books in the course reserves, with approximately half for General Education classes and half for courses outside of the General Education curriculum.

She also said she hopes to collect donations at the end of this semester, so the expansion to the course reserves can be available to students in the Fall of 2015.

“We’d be able to build a collection that way, and then fill in the holes,” Davenport said.

Students can borrow books on reserve in the lower level of Bender Library at the Course Reserve desk for two-hour or one-day periods, depending on instructions from the professors assigning the texts.

“If we have taken care of those that you probably don’t need for the rest of your life and those that are the most expensive for a student to handle, I think thats the first set of sweet spots the library needs to address,” Davenport said.

sbermas-dawes@theeagleonline.com


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