Library offers textbook options

The price of text books is a problem that plagues students every semester, but one alternative to this ongoing problem is offered by the Coleman Library.

After worrying about tuition, getting overrides for classes and living expenses, students often have another obstacle they have to overcome: paying for school books.

The price of an individual book can often be over $100, which is often too much for students to pay five or six times for each class every semester. Sometimes, the price of books can rival that of tuition.

Often students buy books with the intention of selling them back later, but soon find out that the money received is small compared to what was given originally. There is also a limit to the number of books that can be bought back, so some students end up empty handed.

Many students are not aware that teachers can put books for certain classes on reserve in the library.

Anthony Green, Jr., a junior theatre performance student, believes students are just misinformed about the situation. “A lot of classes have books reserved, but the teacher just doesn’t tell you about it, or the student does not check,” Green said.

The books that are on reserve can be found on the FAMU website by checking under the section “libraries and research,” and searching under information. A list is then given with “reserve” as one of the choices. Information is then given on what is needed to use a book a reserve.

“It is up to the instructor to determine what is on reserve,” said Ruth Swan, a library employee. “They are not required to do it.”

The materials must contain readings required for a class taught during the current semester and must be picked up at the end of that semester.

The library can also exercise the right to refuse materials for reserve for legal or other reasons.

Some students have mixed feelings on what should be positive for everyone. Jamaal Jones, a senior computer information systems student from Miami, would rather buy his books. “I would rather pay for my books than wait for someone else to get done with them,” Jones said.

Jones feels that everyone should have an opportunity to utilize the material. “More copies should be available so more students can get their work done,” Jones said.

To solve that problem, two teachers can put the same book on reserve. The book will then be indexed under the name and course of each instructor.

Using books on reserve is also a good way to form study groups when there is a limited amount of material and time, Green said.

“Students’ grades might increase because of multiple study partners, and people will start using the library more often,” Green said.

To find out more about books on reserve, check with the Circulation Department at the front desk of Coleman Library or go to The Coleman Library is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Contact Darian Magee at