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Research Guides

FAQ: Does the library have my textbook?

Short, simple how-to and demos of frequently asked questions about using the Libraries and information resources

Textbooks & Course Reserves

Does the library purchase course textbooks?

The libray purchases textbooks upon instructor request. If your instructor has not done so already, they may submit a Course Reserves request.

What are course reserves?

Course reserves are instruction materials (e.g. assigned textbooks, DVDs) made available through the library upon instructor request. Typically these materials have a shorter circulation period than other materials, so that multiple students may have access to them.

How can I check to see if the library has a copy of my textbook?

What if my textbook is not on reserve?

Can I get my textbook as an ebook?

It depends. Individual publishers establish allowances and restrictions. While there some exceptions, publishers typically do not allow e-textbooks to be purchased and circulated by libraries. Follow these steps to determine whether UW Libraries has your textbook as an ebook.

For how long may I check out a textbook?

In most cases, textbooks on reserve will circulate for 2 hours. Textbooks that are not on reserve have variable loan periods.

What about older editions of textbooks?

You may find previous editions in the library collection, but you should check with your instructor to determine whether it is an appropriate substitute.