Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How do I find out if the Library has the textbook I need?

Good question!  Finding a textbook can be simple or involved.  This is the process.  

Best case scenario:  the Gardner-Harvey Library has a copy of the textbook you want on Reserve for your course.  The Gardner-Harvey Library buys textbooks for about 30 Miami Plan courses.  In other words, we have many, but not all textbooks.  (Still the library is not the bookstore.  Just because the bookstore is selling or renting the 2014 print or electronic edition, it does not mean the library will have it too.)

At the Gardner-Harvey Library, all Textbooks on Reserve are listed by Course Number and Title so you can easily check.  In these cases, you may usually borrow the item for 2 hours.  You can keep it longer if you check the item out 2 hours before closing.  Then you may have it overnight and return it by 9 a.m. the next day the library is open.

If the textbook is not on reserve, search Books & More (the Miami University Libraries online catalog) to see whether any Miami library owns the title.  Search by Title or Author/Editor.  Sometimes the exact title and edition you want is in the collection!  Then you only need to find it in the stacks or click the Request Item button and enter your Miami ID and Password and Pickup location so that it can be shipped free by van to the nearest library.  You will receive a Miami email notification when it is ready for pickup.  Sometimes the library owns an older edition of the title and it is available.  If you are satisfied with this version, just request it as above.

If the textbook is unavailable at Miami University Libraries, then click the OhioLINK link displayed in your search results or go directly to the OhioLINK Library Catalog.  This allows you to check whether any of the 90 academic libraries in OhioLINK have a copy they are able to lend for several weeks with options to renew.  However, it is unlikely you will be able to keep the textbook for the entire semester.
To request an OhioLINK textbook, click the green Request button, Miami, and enter your Miami ID, Password, and Pickup location so the available item can be shipped in 3-5 days.  Sometimes you will find the exact edition you want; at other times you will only see older editions.  It is your decision.  If you see Due Date, Local Use Only, or Missing, the item is not available.  You may choose to pursue another option. 

Other options include:
Finding an eBook of the title, in one of Miami's databases or electronic collections
Checking to see whether a local public library might have the title you want
Going to the bookstore to buy or rent a copy
Buying the textbook online

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