ALCTS surveys textbooks in academic libraries

For Immediate Release
Wed, 09/20/2017


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association

(312) 280-5052

CHICAGO — Shortly after the syllabi are posted, and long before the beginning of the term, interlibrary loan departments at academic libraries will have filled or rejected innumerable textbook requests. While it would be unwise if not impossible to buy and circulate every textbook at a college or university, there are many academic libraries who are selectively adding textbooks to their collections. And the practice seems to be gaining momentum. In the new monograph “Textbooks in Academic Libraries: Selection, Circulation, and Assessment,” published by ALA Editions, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) and editor Chris Diaz gather case studies that pull together creative approaches and best practices for print textbook reserve programs. This book discusses such topics as:

  • results and analysis from a detailed survey of a state university’s core-course textbook reserve program;   
  • funding sources for starting or piloting a program;
  • using aggregated enrollment, grade, and textbook cost data to identify “high impact” courses;
  • identifying course-related books that are in the library’s collection or fit an existing collection policy;
  • workflow for using bookstore data with ILS and purchasing systems; and
  • using LibGuides and Google Sheets to publicize textbook holdings, and how a back-end database supports discovery for students and reporting for reserves staff.

Diaz is the digital publishing services librarian at Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), where he manages the institutional repository and the library’s digital publishing program. He became interested in college textbooks and open educational resources when he was the collections management librarian at National Louis University (Chicago). The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) has been a division of the American Library Association since 1957. Its mission is to shape and respond nimbly to all matters related to the selection, identification, acquisition, organization, management, retrieval, and preservation of recorded knowledge through education, publication, and collaboration.

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