Grasselli Library Textbook Sharing Program Goes Digital


Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash

Ann Walsh, The Carroll News

John Carroll has entered its fifth week of classes and school work has intensified. As paper due dates approach and late night study hours commence, students might feel overwhelmed, especially if the necessary study materials are at the library. 

Grasselli Library has enacted a Digital Textbook Sharing program that provides access to textbooks for free. This program allows students to check out textbooks digitally. 

Before the pandemic, students had the ability to check out textbooks in person and for free. Since students are not on campus this semester, the Grasselli Library staff created a way that would allow students to check out their textbooks again. Like our classes, these textbooks have gone digital. 

Amy Wainwright, student engagement and outreach librarian, said the creation of the digital textbook sharing program has been in process since classes first went online this past spring. “Many students were using our textbooks and shifting to remote learning was a huge financial impact,” Wainwright said.

While the Grasselli library staff could not simply scan every textbook due to copyright laws and time restraints, the library staff found a way to scan the textbooks legally to create the Digital Textbook Sharing program.

Wainwright mentioned that textbooks are scanned into the system on a daily basis, so students not seeing their textbooks should not worry. She explained that it is a tedious process involving the entire library staff. Wainwright encourages students to contact their professors if they wish to have their textbooks scanned. They should send their professors this Inside JCU link to request a scanned copy for the Digital Textbook Sharing program.

Pending a hopeful transition back to in-person classes next semester, the program might look a little different. Wainwright explained, “When we return to in-person classes, we’ll only be able to check out the physical copy of a textbook OR the digital copy. We can’t have both in use at the same time.” In the meantime, the Digital Textbook Sharing program is available for all students. 

Wainwright also hinted at the possibility of mailing textbooks out to students within a certain mileage around campus. This proposal  is still in process, but updates will appear  in an Inside JCU email, according to Wainwright. 

Allowing students to access library resources has been a collaborative effort involving the entire library staff. The library staff stresses that they are always there to help students succeed. 

“We miss all of you, and we’re trying to help keep you connected to the resources that we know you depend on,” Wainwright said.

For more information about the Digital Textbook Sharing program, email [email protected] or call the Help Desk at (216)-397-4233.