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Textbook Policy


EKU Libraries do not intentionally circulate textbooks adopted for use in classes currently taught at the university. However, a small collection of reserve textbooks ("Textbook Reserve") are maintained in order to provide limited, library-use-only access.


A "textbook" is defined as a book published for the academic market, often in multiple editions, and usually including pedagogical features such as exercises, learning objectives, and supplementary material.


It is the responsibility of students to acquire their own textbooks, but there are many circumstances in which students need to be able to reference these materials at the library:

  • at the beginning of the semester, there can be a lag time when the books are not yet available in the bookstore or the student's financial aid package has not yet been made available 
  • the books may be lost, stolen, or left at home
  • the books may be too heavy to easily transport

Having these books available at the Libraries on reserve status, available for limited in-library use, addresses these difficult circumstances while still ensuring that they are available to all students and not checked out by one student who uses it the whole semester. The intention of this collection is to support student success in the classroom.


(1) Textbook Reserve

The Collection Management Librarian in consultation with faculty and other library staff will consider purchasing and placing selected texts on Textbook Reserve.

Candidates for Textbook Reserve include:

  • any text that either an entire class or many in a class will need to use, including items listed on syllabi or on the EKU Bookstore textbook inventory
  • texts used in many courses or sections with different instructors
  • library-owned books that are determined to be at great risk for theft

Donations to the Textbook Reserve collection are welcome if they meet the criteria above. The collection will be reviewed on an annual basis. Those no longer meeting curricular needs will be deselected. Supplementary material such as workbooks will not be placed on reserve.

(2) Regular Reserve

Supplementary course-specific works on required reading lists (such as novels and other scholarly works that are not textbooks) will typically not be included in the Textbook Reserve collection. These titles do not go out of date as quickly as textbooks and will continue to support the curriculum and enhance the library collection for many years. They are also generally not "quick reference" type works that lend themselves to short reserve periods. These types of titles may be placed on regular reserve at the request of faculty.

More information about reserves can be found here.

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