May 26, 2022

Borrow Instead of Purchase: Two Universities and One College Pilot “Textbook Reserve” Programs

From Inside Higher Ed:

Robert Morris University, in Pennsylvania, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Patrick Henry College, in Virginia, have all started a textbook reserve — essentially a library from which students can borrow required texts. “This was the brainchild of an honors class,” said John Michalenko, vice president for student life at Robert Morris.


The $10,500 used to purchase 170 books for Robert Morris’ reserves was instead allocated from the university library’s operating budget and the university’s student emergency fund (which began in 2008 as a way of offsetting unforeseen expenses), along with some help “finding the best price” from Barnes & Noble, the university’s on-campus book vendor.

Amy Chang, the UT San Antonio library’s head of access services, said that for now, the university’s program is small in scope. “Our reserve volume is not high,” she said. “We are not buying all the textbooks. We are very selective.”

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Robert Morris University textbook program helps students cut costs (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

See Also: “Textbook Reserve Program” (via Robert Morris University Library)

See Also: “Textbooks on Reserve” (via U. of Texas at San Antonio)

See Also: “Textbook lending service: Providing a service students need when they need it” (via C&RL News)
by Amy Chang and Judy Garrison
October, 2011

See Also: Textbooks On Reserve Program at Miami University (via Disruptive Technology Library Jester)
From October 2007

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.