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Center for Oklahoma Studies Symposium

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Oklahoma Ovation

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Textbook Initiative to Help Students

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The Need

According to the National Association of College Bookstores, wholesale prices of college textbooks have risen nearly 40 percent in the past five years. On Oklahoma State’s campus, as well as throughout the country, students are struggling to juggle this increasing cost with other expenses related to higher education.

The Library administration has been working closely with focus groups comprised of student leaders to identify areas in which the Library can improve our services to students. These representatives informed us that textbook checkout would be a great benefit to many students. In response, the OSU Library launched a pilot project to help students in need deal with the increasing costs of textbooks.

The Opportunity

In fall 2006, the Library purchased one textbook for each of the 74 OSU classes that enroll 250 or more students. The following spring, the project was expanded to purchase texts for classes enrolling 200 or more students. The textbooks are on reserve. This means they are available for shorter in-Library checkout periods. This ensures more students can consult them.

"Research libraries don’t typically purchase undergraduate textbooks. However, this project is an attempt to assist those students who can’t afford to purchase all of their textbooks," said Sheila Grant Johnson, Dean of Libraries.

For the fall 2006 semester, the Library spent $4,400 to provide these texts. We will monitor their use and may expand the project by purchasing textbooks for smaller classes as funds permit.

The Library is looking for donors of $1,000-10,000 to underwrite all or part of the textbook project for an academic year. If you are interested in funding this or other Library services for students, contact us.


For more information on giving to the Library contact the Tylerr Ropp, Senior Director of Development, at or 405-385-5664.