This Fall, the Cascade Campus library at Portland Community College is trying a trial program of having a copy of every required textbook (except workbooks and consumables) on reserve in the library. The library received a grant of $22,000 from the student government’s “Green Initiative Fund” that is aimed at making the college more sustainable. This was supplemented by another $5000 from the Dean of Instruction. The sustainability argument is that if a text is used three years, and there are four terms a year, and even one student per term decides to not purchase a book and use the library copy, then the reserve copy has reduced use by a factor of 12.
This also should help student success and retention, because many students have not yet received financial aid at the start of the term, and cannot afford textbooks. Without a library copy, they are often far behind before their loan or grant comes through.
The project will be evaluated at the end of the term and a presentation on the project will be given at next year’s OLA Annual Conference.