Feature Story

WCSA Library of Textbooks

September 14, 2017 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan Student Government Launches Textbook Affordability Initiative

Ohio Wesleyan University students now have free access to more than 90 textbooks used in 100- and 200-level “general requirements” courses. 

The books have been made available this fall using a $13,000 grant from the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs. At the request of Senators Ryan Bishop ’17 and Nicholas Melvin ’19, OWU’s student government approved the funds to create the new “WCSA Library of Textbooks.” 

Funding was approved in the spring, and Bishop and Melvin have been working with professors, OWU Libraries staff, administrators, and the campus bookstore to identify which books to buy. 

Bishop said the books purchased excluded any supplementary materials and texts that require access codes as well as any inexpensive books that cost less than $20. The purchase list also excluded any books already on print reserve within the university’s libraries. 

Titles included in the new “WCSA Library of Textbooks” have been added to the print reserve holdings at Beeghly Library and the Hobson Science Library. The books may be checked out for four hours at a time (and renewed if no one is waiting), and their pages may be scanned for use at home. 

A list of books available through the new program is available online at http://library.owu.edu/reserves

“We hope that this program will be useful to all and help alleviate some the struggles of affording textbooks,” Bishop and Melvin said. “We’re not claiming this is the only way to go for more affordable textbooks, but it’s an avenue which we hope will help. Work will continue to explore options like open-access books and textbook exchange programs with appropriate campus departments and groups.” 

The two student senators, who began exploring affordability options in 2016, said they are grateful for the collaboration, especially the advice and assistance provided by Dwayne Todd, vice president for student engagement and success; Lynda Hall, associate dean of student academic success; and Deanne Peterson, director of libraries. 

For more information about WCSA’s work to support textbook affordability, students are invited to reach out at wcsaexec@owu.edu.