New Student Guide to the Knox College Library: Getting Textbooks

This guide will introduce you to the basic library services available at the Knox College Libraries.

Textbook Q&A

Q: Where should I get my textbooks?

Short Answer:  The bookstore.

Long Answer:  The bookstore is the easiest place to get and return your textbooks. This will help you get the right edition (the version your class is using) and facilitate easy return. You can get these items immediately, which is why this is preferable to online vendors (such as Amazon).

 

Q: If I use an online retailer, how can I make sure that I am buying the right edition?

 

Short Answer: Search by ISBN.

Long Answer:  Copy the correct ISBN and then to make sure that the title, author(s), year of copyright, and edition number match the required course text exactly.

 

Q : Can I check my textbooks out from the Knox Library?

Short Answer : Probably not.


Long Answer: The library does not own the vast majority of required course texts.  If your course text is a novel, a book of essays or a scholarly monograph, we might have it.
 

Q: If the library does have my textbook can I use it instead of buying a copy?

Short Answer: Probably not.

Long Answer : If your text is not a traditional textbook and we do have it, it will probably be on closed reserve for your course.  This means you will be able to check it out for 2 hours at a time if it is not already checked out by another classmate. This does not facilitate academic success at Knox College. Your best option is to purchase a copy to use whenever and however you choose. Remember that you can usually sell these back at the end of the term.

 

Q: Can I use the I-Share System to borrow my textbook?

Short Answer:  Occasionally.

Long Answer:  If a copy of your textbook is available on I-Share, then you can request it.  I-Share loans are renewable for a period up to 16 weeks, so you can have it for the whole term.   However, be sure that you are requesting the correct edition; there are often significant differences between different editions as new discoveries are made. Do this by searching via ISBN.

Problems :

  • Most libraries don't have traditional textbooks (but they will likely have novels and academic monographs)
  • If they do, the books are usually on reserve at that library
  • If they are not, they are often checked out already

You can try I-Share for your textbooks - but try soon.  

 

Q: If I find my textbook on I-Share, how can I make sure that I am getting the right edition?

Short Answer: Search by ISBN.

Long Answer:  Copy the correct ISBN and then check to make sure that the title, author(s), year of copyright, and edition number match the required course text exactly.

 

Q: Can I use the regular Interlibrary Loan System to borrow a copy of my textbook?

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer:  Libraries that participate in the Interlibrary Loan program agree not to lend required course texts via interlibrary loan.