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Textbooks at the Library
Looking for textbooks for your classes?
Use the UVic Bookstore’s ‘Find Your Textbook’ to find out what books you will need.
UVic Libraries do not routinely purchase textbooks or required readings for all classes offered at UVic. We may have a copy of the book you need, or an older edition. (Check with your instructor to confirm that an older edition is okay to use.)
- If your instructor has told you that your books are ‘on reserve’ in the library…
You can check it out at the Reserves Desk, on the left of the Loans desk, on the main floor of McPherson Library. You’ll need to use the Reserves Search (choose the ‘Course Reserves’ tab) to find the call numbers: XPR means a photocopied chapter or article, PRI means a copy that the instructor has loaned us for your course, or the book may have regular call number because it’s part of our collections. An item on the Reserve List may also have a link pointing you to the article or chapter in electronic format.
- If your textbook has not been put on reserve by your instructor… Ask your professor or TA to do so by contacting Reserve Services. Also, check our catalogue (link: http://voyager.library.uvic.ca) to see if we have the book on our shelves. Search by title or author, and pay attention to the edition.
- If the book is checked out… Use the ‘Recall’ link to the right of the book record to request that the book be returned for you. The library will ask the current user to return the book within 7 days, and you’ll be notified by email when you can come in to pick it up. Don’t be surprised if the book is recalled from you, too, as it’s likely to be a popular item!
- If you cannot wait for an item that is checked out, or we do not have a print copy of your textbook… You may find that the book is available in our catalogue as an ebook, which can be read online. Or you may find it available in full text or partially available as a preview on Google Books. OR, you can check other local libraries, who may have the book: Greater Victoria Public Library and Camosun College Library both offer services to UVic Students.
- Your instructor has worked with the UVic Bookstore to bring in the books that she or he wants you to use, so there will be copies available there. Often, there are used or new copies available. Check out their Textbook Survival Guide for details about their return policy, used books, and more).
- SUBtext, located in the Student Union Building, is a not-for-profit service provided by the Students’ Society. This consignment bookstore allows the sellers to set their prices, which means you can often score a textbook for less than at other used bookstores.
- There is a Facebook group which has been set up by students to buy, sell or trade textbooks.
- Check local used bookstores, or online used bookstores, to find the books you need. If you shop online, pay close attention to condition notes. Try abebooks, alibris , and amazon. You can download an app to help compare prices, or simply shop around.
In most cases you will be required to purchase the textbook or required readings for your courses. It’s always a good idea to wait until you’ve attended the first class, as textbook requirements may change until that point. Here are some additional tips that may save you time or money:
Need more help? Ask a Librarian!