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Harold Washington College Library: Textbooks and Course Reserves

Accessing Textbooks

If you need to access your textbook but are unable to purchase it, here are some potential options:

1. Check out a reserve copy (if available): Search for your textbook in the library catalog. If we have more than one copy of a textbook you should be able to request the book for pickup from the library to check out for 7 days, with the option to renew if the book hasn't been requested. Please note that this service is only available for textbooks at Truman College. When books are returned, they will be subject to a 3-day quarantine period. If you're having trouble requesting a book, please contact the library

2. Ask your professor: If you need a section or chapter of your textbook as a stop-gap until you can get a copy for yourself, your course instructor may be able to work with the library to have a portion scanned for personal use.

3. Reach out the the publisher: Although most publishers have stopped providing emergency access as they did in the latter half of Spring 2020, there are some publishers who are accepting requests from individual students for help getting textbooks. Publisher information for textbooks can be found on the Barnes & Noble page for your book.

4. Check the Chicago Public Library: the Chicago Public Library (CPL) does not normally have textbooks, but some course materials are not traditional textbooks. You may find the book you need in the CPL catalog if it is fiction, popular non-fiction, a short story without commentary, or a scholarly monograph.

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