GW Libraries starts free textbook-sharing program for high-enrollment courses

Updated: August 11, 2017 at 12:02 a.m.

GW Libraries will launch a new textbook-sharing program this fall aiming to address the rising cost of textbooks following a push from student leaders, according to a post on the libraries’ website.

The program, called “Top Textbooks,” will make one to two copies of required textbooks available to loan to students taking “high-enrollment courses” that traditionally require expensive textbooks. More than 30 courses will be covered in the program including many that are introductory-level like Principles of Economics I, Intro to Biology and Intro to American Politics and Government.

The initiative began as a proposal from Student Association President Peak Sen Chua and will continue as a partnership with the SA, according to the post.

Chua first proposed the idea in the spring to “lighten students’ financial burden with course materials,” according to a Wednesday SA statement.

“By helping to launch the Top Textbooks Program at GW Libraries program, the Student Association remains committed to improving academic accessibility and affordability for all students,” SA leaders wrote in the statement.

Books for courses included in the program can be checked-out in two-hour increments in the library. They can also be used in the library overnight if checked-out less than two hours before the check out desk closes for the night and returned before 9 a.m. the following day.

The books cannot be renewed but can be checked out twice in a row after a 15-minute waiting period. A late return will result in a $1.20 hour fine each hour with a maximum fine of $30, according to the website.

“The escalating price of textbooks is a significant concern for undergraduate students and many lower-income students struggle to afford the $1,200 average cost of textbooks and supplies each year,” according to the website.

The move follows the University’s announcement late last month that the bookstore would no longer sell textbooks in the store, but would switch to an online-only system.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that textbooks can be taken out of the library overnight under the new program. Books can be checked out overnight, but they must be used in the library. We regret this error.

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