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Academic libraries typically don’t buy textbooks, but read on to see how the library can help you find yours.

US academic libraries don’t usually buy textbooks as these materials are highly specialized and go out of date very quickly. So, be careful, because if we do own a copy of your textbook it is likely to be an older edition than your professor wants. Also, even if we own your textbook, you will not be able to check out the book for the entire semester.  However, there are a number of ways you can search to see if you can access the textbook you need through the library.

Check Course Reserves to See if Your Professor Made a Copy of Your Textbook Available

Sometimes professors put a copy of the class textbook on reserve for you at the library’s circulation desk located on the first floor of the Library Addition, under the dome. There are two ways to check to see if your professor placed your textbook on reserve for your class.

  1. You can search Course Reserves for your professor’s name or the course you are taking.
  2. Or, access the Course Reserves page by looking for the link under the Find column on the left hand side of the library’s homepage. You can also check here to see if your course material is available or if someone else has it currently checked out.  Course materials can be checked out from the desk for a few hours or a few days depending on your professor’s instructions.

Search the Library’s Catalog for Your Textbook

You can search the library’s catalog by title or author name to search for your textbook.  Again, the library is not likely to have the most recent edition of your textbook.

Search Circuit For Your Textbook

If SDSU does not have the book   you need, remember you can check out books from other libraries in San Diego County using the Circuit sharing program.  You will need your Red ID and Library Pin to request a book from Circuit and it typically takes 1-3 days to get to SDSU.  Once your book is here, you can pick it up from the Circulation desk.  Don’t have a library pin or forgotten yours? You can get a pin or change yours here

Other Options for Getting Your Textbook

Remember, the SDSU bookstore sells textbooks and has options for renting copies of textbooks to students. You can also buy electronic copies of textbooks through the SDSU bookstore. Contact the bookstore for more information.

Written By: Brittany Cronin and Linda Salem, Questions?