Library officials double number of courses included in Top Textbooks program

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Libraries and Academic Innovation Dean Geneva Henry said the Top Textbooks program has saved students about $295,000 since it started in 2017.

More students are able to borrow course textbooks this semester through GW Libraries after officials expanded the Top Textbooks program’s offerings.

The number of courses included in the program, which allows students to borrow course materials from the library for up to three hours at a time, more than doubled – from 32 to 65 courses – at the beginning of the semester. Dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation Geneva Henry said the expansion will help alleviate the financial burden on students who are enrolled in classes that require them to buy or rent expensive textbooks.

“We assess the effectiveness of the program continually and determine our ability to add courses based on student feedback, usage and funding,” she said in an email. “Our end goal, however, is to bring down the costs of course materials through the use of open educational resources, including openly licensed textbooks.”

Henry added that the program has saved students almost $300,000 since it began in 2017. She said the latest additions to the program were made possible by a gift from the Luther Rice Society Giving Circle, and officials determined which courses to add based on student enrollment.

“This gift allowed us to offer courses with high enrollment, but a slightly lower textbook price,” she said. “Decisions are based on the goal of saving the most students the most amount of money.”

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