LSU Student Government and LSU Libraries recently implemented a textbook lending program to help students save hundreds of dollars on textbooks.
The program initially funded 14 books that were used by the majority of the student population, as they were textbooks used in General Education classes that had the highest enrollment numbers. SG then paired with LSU Libraries and expanded the program to 250 books. This number includes graduate level textbooks.
The textbooks are located on the second floor of Middleton Library. Students may check out textbooks for up to two hours. Students also have access to scanners to freely scan chapters of the textbooks and convert them into PDFs.
Students are advised to pay close attention to copyright restrictions that are posted near all available scanners.
Presently, the program does not include access codes, as SG is not allowed to give ‘gifts’ to students. However, SG Assistant Director of Academic Affairs Miranda Campbell believes this will alleviate the cost of textbooks tremendously, especially for economically disadvantaged students.
“If you were to buy an access code for a Spanish book, it would cost about $60 instead of $300,” Campbell said. “There are obviously students here on Pell grants or other grants that really need stuff like this.”
Campbell said while SG works hard to improve campus life, she feels this program has the potential to have a large and lasting effect on students.
“We have a large budget, so we need to spend it on something that students can use instead of on some event,” Campbell said.
Campbell and former Student Body President Stewart Lockett visited North Carolina State University on a trip funded by the LSU Foundation. On this trip, the pair learned more about NC State's successful textbook lending program, which inspired the University's current program. Campbell will be visiting Temple University this year.
Campbell said there was already a demand for a textbook program prior to the program’s implementation.
“There were students that would come to the library asking to check out textbooks, so there’s definitely a demand,” Campbell said.
Sen. Mike Walsworth recently authored a bill that pushes for the selection of textbooks to be more uniform in college classes throughout the state. Once approved by the Board of Regents, these textbooks will then be available through all Louisiana public university libraries.
“It’s kind of like the State coming together to say, ‘we don’t want students paying $300 for a textbook,” Campbell said. “We want to provide it for free.”
SG is currently working on a Test Prep Program that will offer free test prep classes for tests such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT. SG also hopes to partner with the Center for Academic Success to aid expansion.