Archive for the ‘library’ Category
Come join us in celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (1809-1865) at the William Rainey Harper College Library (second floor) on Thursday, February 11, 2010 at noon. There will be a Readers’ Theater evoking the spirit and legacy of the sixteenth President of the United States, presented by the Harper College Library and the Harper College Speech Team.
Refreshments will be served (including Lincoln cookies!). Also, test your knowledge of Lincoln by competing in the trivia contest (and the chance to win some amazing prizes). To help you prepare for the contest, check out our Research Guide on Lincoln.
If you haven’t checked out the library’s research guides, I’d highly recommend doing so. They give handy tips on how to find books, articles, and other resources at the library on a variety of topics. We even have research guides tailored to particular classes.
There’s a new (as in hot off the presses) research guide on the ever popular Engl 102: The Beat Generation taught by Kurt Hemmer. Even if you’re not taking the class, take a look at the research guide to check out the books, articles, and media we have on authors such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and others.
And if you’re interested, you can browse through the more than fifty other guides on topics ranging from chemistry to Martin Luther King, Jr. to psychology and more.
One new feature that you’ve probably noticed on the library’s website is the “New in the Library” link under “News and Events.”
Instead of coming to the reference desk to ask us what’s new in the library (although we wouldn’t mind if you did), you can quickly and easily find out for yourself by going to the library’s website. There are lists for fiction, non-fiction, and video—and you can get a quick glimpse at the book and DVD covers while you’re at it (perfect for the visually inclined).
Since the “News and Events” section is always changing, you can also go to the “New in the Library” link in the “Library Information” section. It’ll take you directly to the catalog, and you can narrow your search by selecting if you want to see all of the new books that have come in to the library within the past several weeks or months (or yesterday, if you’re so inclined).
Textbooks in the Library
For the first three weeks of every semester the most frequently asked question in the library is “do you have the textbook for my class?” Unfortunately the answer is probably no. Typically libraries do not purchase textbooks for a variety of reasons
- The library’s role is to buy materials that supplement and expand materials presented in the textbooks.
- There would be no way to purchase the multiple copies of a text book that would be required on a campus this size.
- Too many editions; on average a new edition of a textbook is produced every three years. It would be extremely difficult to be purchasing all these new editions.
- MONEY! The average cost of a textbook is $57-$61, students pay close to $900 for textbooks in a year. If we do some admittedly simplistic math we see that there are 793 courses taught this semester at Harper, at $60 per book that would be $47580 (This figure is only for this semester and doesn’t account for different sections of the same course using a different textbook). This figure is 21 percent of the entire book budget.
Issues surrounding the cost of textbooks are a big concern on every college campus. Textbook prices are rising at four times the rate of inflation. New editions are published rapidly, which harms the used textbook market. The same problems that plague students are multiplied many times for libraries.
If you are having trouble getting a textbook from the bookstore or you want to try and save some money, there are a few things that you can try. The first is to check the Library Catalog. We do have a few textbooks and sometimes you can get lucky. We also have access to books and other materials from libraries across the state and nation. It is possible to borrow a textbook from another library using the I-Share catalog or interlibrary loan service. Be aware, however, that this is not a sure thing. If the book is available it may take anywhere from 3-14 days to get it and you will not be able to keep it the entire semester. Ask your teacher to put a copy of your textbook on reserve in the library. Many times an instructor will have a copy of a textbook which can be put on reserve. Usually the book would be available for in-library use only, to make sure that the most people have access to it. Unfortunately there will be many times when you have no option but to purchase the book. You may wish to checkout online booksellers like amazon.com or alibris.com, which has a textbook section on their website, abebooks.com also, has a textbook section.
The future of textbooks looks a little brighter for example, downloadable E-textbooks which could be purchased in smaller units, like chapters. Classes could also be taught using open source materials freely available on the Internet. Some courses now are taught using a “coursepack”, a collection of materials distributed in class rather than using a textbook. Some schools have also developed textbook leasing programs. For now though, issues surrounding textbooks continue to be a big problem for students and the library.