Published: Aug. 14, 2019

MSU Library program aims to help students succeed

Contact(s): Cindy Hunter Morgan Residential College in the Arts and Humanities office: 517-884-1933, Joseph Salem MSU Libraries office: 517-355-2341

When students return to campus for classes at Michigan State University in the fall, many of them will have some help with one of the most expensive parts of a new school year: textbooks.

Through the Affordable Textbook Program, MSU Libraries offers students enrolled in certain courses with costly textbooks a way to read those books without buying them.

In the last year, MSU Libraries has spent nearly $20,000 to acquire multiple copies of textbooks for nearly 25 courses. Books are on reserve at the MSU Main Library and the William C. Gast Business Library. MSU University librarian Joseph Salem said the program is one way the MSU Libraries is working to serve as a partner in student success initiatives.

“Textbooks can be prohibitively expensive and we don’t want students to drop out of classes because they can’t afford required books,” Salem said. “The MSU Libraries is here to support all students in many different ways and the Affordable Textbook Program is one example of how we’re working to expand our services for many students."

The MSU librarian explained that this program was designed so that students don’t have to compromise educational goals due to lack of resources.

MSU Libraries accessibility coordinator Heidi Schroeder, who helped organize the Affordable Textbook Program, said textbook costs significantly increase the financial burden placed on college students.

“This program is designed to increase access to course materials,” Schroeder said. “We know that the price of textbooks can have a big impact on our students and we don’t want students to have to choose between taking a course and getting enough food to eat.”

The 2019-20 academic year will be the second year of the Affordable Textbook Program. Last year, the Libraries purchased textbooks for courses covering 16 different subject areas: accounting, biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, finance, human nutrition, psychology, management, marketing, math, sociology, statistics, supply chain management and writing.

Some of the most heavily used books were checked out more than 100 times in a semester. A list of textbooks available for the Fall 2019 semester is available here.