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Clemson Libraries’ textbook lending program


Emma Vick – News Editor

Clemson Libraries plans to renew its textbook lending program for the spring 2023 semester with the help of the Clemson University Undergraduate Student Senate.
The textbook lending program is a resource available to all Clemson students that allows them to check out a book for a four-hour loan period. 
Although there is a variety of textbooks available, the majority of textbooks that the lending team has purchased or is looking to purchase are for classes with a high drop or high fail rate, according to Senator Abigail Szlosek, who authored the revenue bill in the Clemson Undergraduate Student Government. 
“To make sure that we (Clemson Libraries) provide the highest impact for students through the program, we purchase textbooks for courses with high enrollment, high dropout, fail and withdraw rates, and large numbers of financial aid and Pell Grant students,” Clemson librarian Yang Wu, said via email. “The Academic Success Center, Financial Aid Center and Office of Institutional Research help us determine which courses fit these criteria.”
On Oct. 31, CUSG approved a bill to allocate $5,000 from their discretionary budget to the textbook lending program. 
“The $5,000 that has been generously donated by CUSG can be used to purchase between 30-40 textbooks,” Wu stated. “We also plan to use a part of this funding to begin a trial program through which the library will purchase homework access codes for students with the most need.” 
This is a project funded half by CUSG, and half by the libraries, so there is a total of $10,000 this year to fund new books for students. 
“Although textbooks don’t look expensive compared to tuition, housing and other student costs, they are key to student academic success,” Clemson librarian Yang Wu said. “Students need access to textbooks to pass and do well in their courses. If they don’t have textbooks all the other expenses that they and their families have paid for may be for nothing,” Wu articulated. 
Textbook prices have gone through the roof. Since the 1970s, the average cost of a collegiate textbook has increased by more than 1,000%, according to a 2022 study by The Review.  
“We at the Libraries don’t feel that students should suffer over high textbook prices or have their success, graduation and futures be affected by it,” Wu stated. “The textbook lending program is designed to support all students coping with high textbook costs, providing them with textbooks that they can check out for free.”  
The program was heavily utilized pre-COVID-19, but stopped in mid-March 2020 due to limited access to the libraries and their tangible resources, but it will be back up and running for the start of the spring semester in January 2023.

“Clemson Libraries invites you to checkout the books available through the program, and to sign a petition supporting its continuation, as well as other Libraries initiatives to lower the cost of textbooks for students by scanning the QR code,” Wu said.


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