Need help with textbooks? Check out the library

Image of student in stacks at Waldo Library
Posted by Sara Volmering on

Did you know that you can check out textbooks for over 100 courses from the University Libraries’ textbook program?

If you’re in need of an alternative to buying or renting books for your courses, you can check out the copies for two hours by presenting your Bronco Card at the Waldo Library Service Desk, or any other location as noted in Library Search. And, as long as no one else is waiting to use the text, you can renew it as many times as necessary.

Launched in 2013, the goal of this program is to provide free access to select textbooks and help reduce the financial burden facing WMU students. The program has been highly successful, quickly becoming a highly used library collection, with the libraries recording 21,083 total textbook checkouts from 2016 through 2019 – increasing by 24% in the last year alone.

Here’s how it works: Based on established criteria, librarians identify and purchase textbooks for the program in the fall and spring semesters. The selection criteria consider the course level, enrollment, cost, and the longevity of a textbook. Using the program criteria, librarians select textbooks that will have a positive impact on as many students as possible. One challenge associated with purchasing textbooks is the frequent content updates, which result in new editions being published from year to year.

“Not only does the WMU Libraries Textbook program ease some of the financial burdens for our students, but it also contributes to their academic success by providing access to much-needed course materials that a student may not have been able to afford,” said Julie Hayward, a user services manager in Waldo Library, who has coordinated the program since 2013.

Learn more about the program and see the full list of courses it covers by visiting