Top Textbooks on Reserve: A Collaborative Effort to Help #textbookbroke Students

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Textbook affordability is a paramount concern for students today. In Fall 2014 the University of Maryland Libraries launched a textbook reserves program to help relieve the burden of high textbook costs on students enrolled in the university's largest courses. This program grew organically from an active campus dialogue on textbook affordability, and its development and marketing involved building partnerships with university offices, engaging with student organizations, and collaborating across three divisions of the Libraries. Although the program's initial performance was lackluster, workflow refinements and expanded promotion during the second year greatly improved usage, resulting in tenfold increase in circulation and subsequent expansion of the program from approximately 50 to 100 of the university's largest courses. This poster will present the collaborative development and promotion of the Top Textbooks on Reserve; assess the program using multiple performance metrics; and demonstrate that while an enrollment-based textbook reserves program is not a panacea for high textbook costs, it can be an effective means for academic libraries to help meet a significant student need.


Poster presented at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, June 24, 2017