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Finding textbooks in library collections


book stack. Picture created by Flickr user and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Aug. 19, 2014 – Each semester, the library receives a list from the bookstore of all textbooks and required readings for that term. We use this list to identify any copies of those books we have in our collection and place those books on textbook reserve. (We do not own every textbook, however.) Faculty may also place personal copies of textbooks on reserve (and students should encourage them to do so).

Items on reserve have a shorter checkout period than books in the regular collection, two days for most books.

Using the list of textbooks at the University Bookstore site, you can see if we have any of your needed textbooks.

After searching the bookstore list of textbooks, you will be given a list of titles, authors and ISBN (standard numbers) for each book. Copy the ISBN number and search this number on Summon's advance search screen. Be sure to select the ISBN/ISSN search type. If we own the textbook, this method should return a screen listing the location and availability of the item whether it's in print or an ebook. If you get no results, you can check to see if the library owns a different edition that may be helpful to you.

If you have the LibX browser extension installed, the ISBNs will be automatically linked to a catalog search, allowing you to skip several steps above. You can also highlight titles and authors, then right-click and choose to search these directly in Addison or Summon. No copying and pasting required.

To search for other editions, use the basic Summon search page. Enter the last name of the author of your textbook (or the first author listed if more than one) followed by the first few words of the title of your textbook in quotes. You may get more than one result, so note the publication years listed in your search results.

If your instructor has placed a personal copy on reserve, you can find these copies by searching the Reserves part of the catalog. You can either search your professor's name (last name is usually sufficient) or your class abbreviation and number or class name. Try both methods if one doesn't return a result. You can also ask your instructor if he or she has a copy of the textbook to place on reserve.


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