Bender Library now offers all textbooks over $150 in course reserves

Bender Library now offers all textbooks over $150 in course reserves

Books on the course reserves desk at Bender Library. Photo illustration by CHLOE JOHNSON / THE EAGLE

As midterm exams close in, students looking for some studying help are in luck: a new policy at Bender Library this semester has added all textbooks costing over $150 to the course reserves lending desk.

The pre-existing policy stated that all books assigned for general education courses are put on reserve, where students may check out the books to complete homework or study for short periods of time. The new expanded policy will ensure that books for any AU course costing more than $150 are available to students, according to Course Reserves Coordinator Donna Femenella.

University Librarian Nancy Davenport first suggested the idea of having more expensive books on reserve in the spring of 2015, Femenella said. The library compiled a list of all the books used in the 2014-2015 academic year and their prices from the campus bookstore and used this information to track down the titles needed to set Davenport’s plan into action.

“Grad students are benefitting from this new program as well as students taking 300- or 400-level classes,” Femenella said.

The pre-existing policy mostly benefitted new undergraduate students, since they are primarily the ones taking general education classes, she added.

Most books from the course reserves can be loaned for two hours, and there are some that can be taken for a day, based on the recommendations of the professor that reserved the book, according to Femenella.

Students such as School of International Service freshman Crystal Moore feel grateful for the new program but believe that more should be done to make textbooks affordable.

“My Spanish textbook is very expensive when combined with the required access code, and even the campus store does not sell it,” Moore said. “But we need it because we need to do homework which is twenty percent of the grade … I am able to do my homework only because I study with a classmate who has the textbook.”

Moore added that her book is not in the library and said all professors should work with students and do whatever they can to reduce the financial strain expensive books put on students.

According to Executive Director of Communications for the Undergraduate Senate Bélen Bonilla, Student Government recently passed a bill advocating that all professors put their textbooks on reserve starting this spring.

Class of 2018 Senator Dante Bucci, Class of 2016 Senator Josh Zucker, Campus At-Large Senator Jack Stein and Class of 2016 Senator Louis Ryan sponsored the bill, which passed on Sept. 20.

“The bill is advocating that all professors place their books on reserve so that students do not have to suffer,” Bonilla said.

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