Textbook Tales

August 26, 2011

Welcome Back!

The big news in the library is not so new: Students need textbooks. Is your textbook on reserve?  If not, can you donate a copy to the reserve collection?

Are we imagining it or are more faculty choosing textbooks that cost less?  And is there a trend toward adopting open access textbooks and materials?  What are you doing to save your students’ cash?Open Access Textbooks

SCC Faculty: Save Your Students!

April 13, 2011

Students need these two types of library materials:

Reserve textbooks. Students borrow textbooks and course materials hundreds of times per day (8,323 times in March!)  You can help keep the reserve textbook collection up to date by donating your Summer and Fall 2011 textbooks now. Bring these textbooks to the library circulation desk on the second floor of the LRC.  Email Yolanda Escobar with your questions.

Books and DVDs that you would like the library to purchase for the general collection (not reserve textbooks). Students borrowed general library books 4,548 times and media 948 times in March!  You can help students find books and media on the topics you assign.  Email your department’s librarian now with your suggestions for curriculum-related books and media to add to the general collection.  You can donate these materials, too.

All of your book and media donations help stretch library funds.

(See the library catalog, LOIS, for books and media currently in the library collection.)Student doing homework

Welcome Back ~ to the LRC

January 24, 2011

You have enough to do right now, so we’ll list just a couple of brief reminders.

The SCC Library home page links to:

Library hours are a bit diminished, but we are here to help.  Call, email, text, or IM (during open hours).

Video on finding reserve books in LOIS

Video on finding reserve books in LOIS

Library Fix for Mid-Semester Research Blues

October 20, 2010

Are research headaches starting to clobber you and your students?   The library has many services to ease the pain.


Your students may not know what they can ask their librarians. We are here to help in any way we can.

For students:

Library help button
Chat, IM, text message, phone, email, or visit for Library help.

Are You Using E-Reserves?

October 14, 2010
E-Reserves are a means for instructors to give students access to electronic documents such as lecture notes, exams, assignments and articles or chapters.  Students search for E-Reserves the same way they search for print reserves in LOIS, the library catalog.  E-Reserves show a location of “SCC E-Reserves Online.”

Why do students love E-Reserves?

  • E-Reserves can be accessed anywhere through LOIS– at the library, at home, or on a phone!  (ID number and eservices password required.)
  • E-Reserves can be accessed again and again–never worry about losing the assignment sheet.
  • E-Reserves can be accessed when the library is closed–students often study late at night and on the weekend when the library is closed.

Why do instructors love E-Reserves?

  • E-Reserves save time–no need to print or photocopy many pages.
  • E-Reserves make students responsible–there’s no excuse for not having course documents.
  • E-Reserves help students succeed by making your course content more readily available.

Ready to use E-Reserves?

Information for faculty about using E-Reserves

Request to place material on E-Reserves

ereserves for Chemisty class

Is Your Textbook in the Library Top 40?

September 8, 2010

By week 3 of Fall semester it’s pretty clear which are the most in-demand titles in the reserve textbook collection.   Most are math textbooks, followed by English and ESL, business, Spanish, and a handful of other subject areas.  Here are the top 10:

Akst, Geoffrey. Fundamental mathematics through applications.
Martin-Gay, K. Elayn. Beginning algebra.
Martin-Gay, K. Elayn. Intermediate algebra.
Stone, Gerald W. CoreMicroeconomics.
Wright, D. Franklin. Intermediate algebra.
Stewart, James. Calculus : early transcendentals.
Hershberger, Robert. Plazas : a complete course.
Ferrell, O. C. Business.
Langan, John. English essentials : what every college student needs to know about grammar, punctuation, and usage.
Bruce, Thomas E. Thanatology : through the veil.

What’s the message here?  Your students are doing their homework and they take your textbook requirements seriously.  If you have a current textbook to spare, bring it to the library circ desk and we’ll take it from there.

Is your textbook on reserve?  Check LOIS, the library catalog.

Top 40 listed below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do you ever wonder where your students are?

February 5, 2010

Apparently a bunch of them are in the library.  Staff tallied 4,935 inquiries at the reference desk in the first 2 weeks of Spring semester.  Most students were looking for a copy of their textbook, which can involve a visit to the College Store web site as well as to e-services to find author, title, and course number.  Other students entered permission numbers, reset passwords, sought campus directions, and many had homework questions in hand.  At the circulation desk, students borrowed textbooks 7,046 times, the photocopiers broke down (and were fixed) oh, about 80 times, and 7 umbrellas appeared in lost and found.

Opening day frenzy has died down a bit, and library orientations have started.  Do you know about PILOT, the new online tutorial that helps students find and evaluate information sources?  Have you booked a time to bring your class to the library for a customized instruction session?  Or assigned students to take a Drop in Orientation on their own time?

Learning Resource CenterStudents studying in the library
Hours for Spring 2010:
Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Textbooks On Tap

October 2, 2009

Yes, we are a little obsessed with textbooks here in the library.  Maybe because students have checked them out 12,397 times since school started in August!

We love it when students find their textbooks in the library catalog – we have ‘em for nearly every class, as does the College Store.  But there are multiple sources for textbooks, and one of the following services may fit a student’s particular situation more exactly.  (Dutiful disclaimer: the following services may not save money and may require extra time.)

There are plenty of Internet bookstoresAmazon, Alibris, Textbooks.com, Half.com, and Borders are just a few that carry used textbooks.  Students must make sure the book is the correct year and edition (use ISBN) and allow for shipping costs and time.

Chegg.com deals in rental textbooks, though prices may deter some.  The 5th edition of Martin-Gay’s Intermediate Algebra is currently going for $55.49 for the semester (125 days), plus tax and shipping.

A few services sell textbooks by the chapter or in electronic format.  We’ve noticed iChapters and CoursesMart, but would like to hear from faculty and students who have used them.

As an alternative to textbooks, you can save your students some cash by using open educational resources offered by the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, or by assigning public domain full-text books available through Project Gutenberg, Bartleby, Google Books, or the Internet Archive.

Adopt Open Textbooks

Happy Open Access Day! (What’s Open Access?)

October 13, 2008
Open Access Day banner

October 14, 2008 will go down in history as the first annual Open Access Day. Which might prompt a few questions: namely, what is open access, and why should we care?

Groups of scholars and librarians developed open access (OA) publishing as an alternative to the conventional model of academic publishing. In the traditional system, scholars submit their work to academic journals, who then assume copyright ownership, publish the work, and sell or lease the content to libraries and other entities–often for enormous sums of money.  OA content, by contrast, is freely available over the World Wide Web, and costs no more to read than this blog.

OA publishing is still a marginal enterprise, but it has increased in volume and prestige in the last few years. Peer-reviewed OA journals published by the Public Library of Science have earned an international reputation; Harvard University adopted a policy encouraging their faculty to make their scholarship freely available; and the National Institutes of Health now require anyone accepting one of their grants to submit any resulting article to its freely accessible full-text database, PubMed Central (a policy that is currently under attack in Congress).  Community colleges are getting in on the action by promoting OA textbooks.

Interested? Check out some videos celebrating open access, or

Unloading your books—Responsibly

October 4, 2008

From time to time, you might get an e-mail like this one:

Dear Professor,

Thanks for taking the time to read this email.

I buy and sell textbooks from professors such as yourself.  I sell these books on the used market.

If you have some books you would like to sell, please let me know your availability next week.  That’s the week of October 6th.  If you have any availability on Monday and Tuesday that would be great.

Now, you have the right to sell your own books, whether to senders of unsolicited e-mail, bookstores, or eBay.  But if you are looking to unload textbooks, you can do so in a way that directly benefits students:

  • You can donate desk copies of current SCC textbooks to RISE (located in AJ 7) and to the SCC library reserve collection.  Students use these textbooks to stay in school.
  • You can donate recent (non-current) textbooks on SCC curriculum topics to RISE.
  • You can donate non-current textbooks to the SCC library.  Books that are not added to the collection benefit students through the library book sale.  (Please call 558-2377 before donating materials.)


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