Textbooks in the Library: Availability and Options
TEXTBOOKS IN THE LIBRARY
Q: Does the Library have textbooks?
A: Mostly no
Unfortunately, the Library does not typically buy current textbooks being used in classes. The Library’s mission is to support CSUF’s curriculum with supplemental resources beyond textbooks, not be a warehouse for textbooks. Even if the Library did stock current textbooks, it would only end up helping a few—who happen to check-out the books first—leaving thousands of others unserved.
A: But sometimes yes
There are sometimes cases when a textbook will be in the library. For example, if a copy of the textbook was donated to the library. Or if your professor put a copy in the library on “Reserve” (typically a 3-hour checkout). Or if your professor assigned a regular book to be a textbook (example: if you are taking a literature class and have to read Shakespeare’s Hamlet…yes, we have copies of that in the library!) So to check if the library has a textbook, search the library’s OneSearch search box.
- Search by Title or Author
- You can also search by the ISBN # too, but don’t rely on it only…textbooks can have varying ISBN #’s
- If you find your textbook, make sure it is the same edition! An older edition may not have the same content
BORROWING FROM OTHER LIBRARIES
Other libraries might have your textbook. When searching the library's OneSearch catalog, you can see if your textbook is available at another CSU campus library. If it is, you can borrow it directly from OneSearch, and it will be shipped here (for free) for you to pickup at the library's Circulation Desk. However, keep in mind it is not always likely your request will be successful. Other CSU libraries frequently put "local campus use only" restrictions on new textbooks. Similarly, in the WorldCat catalog, you might see your textbook available at a non-CSU library (UC campus, private university, etc.). You can try requesting it as an Interlibrary Loan request, but again, it is not always likely that it will be loaned...new textbooks often have "local campus use only" restrictions.
The CSUF Titan bookstore offers many textbooks as e-books. E-books are cheaper than printed textbooks. You can see if the bookstore sells your textbook as an e-book here: http://www.titanbookstore.com/SelectTermDept.aspx If they don’t have your book as an e-book, the vendors below sell e-book textbooks. Warning: check the terms of e-books carefully before purchasing; many cannot be returned/refunded.
CSUF TITANSHOP BOOKSTORE & LOCAL USED BOOKSTORES
ONLINE TEXTBOOK SITES
There are a growing number of online sites to buy textbooks. The following sites below are known to be legitimate search sites. When buying online, keep in mind the trade-offs: shipping and delays. If your book is $25 cheaper than a local bookstore, but your shipping cost is $19.99 and you have to wait 2 weeks, is the $5 difference really worth the delay and hassle? Also, check their return policy; will they pre-pay returns if they send you the wrong edition? If not, you’re stuck with paying.
All non-CSUF sites listed in this guide are for informational purpose only. CSUF & the Pollak Library do not endorse or affiliate with any of these sites.
© CSUF August 2017 Compiled by Librarians Rob Sage & John Hickok