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Textbooks @ the LRC

What types of textbooks are available at the LRC?

With the Spring 2022 semester, the LRC began purchasing print textbooks assigned for certain JD courses for placement on course reserve. The initiative began with required courses, including 1L and upper division courses. As the budget allows, the LRC continues to add books for other popular elective courses.

Why can't we get an e-book?

Ahh if only it were so easy...The answer of why we don't just buy e-books instead of print textbooks is complicated but the crux of the argument is that licensing library e-books (intended for multiple users) is a lot different than buying an individual e-book for your own private use.

  • Library e-books are much more costly than individual e-books or print books.
    • Thanks to a legal principle called the first-sale doctrine, libraries have the right to lend print books to any number of readers free of charge. But the first-sale doctrine does not apply to digital content. Instead, e-book publishers license the rights to third party vendors who provide access to books, usually for a limited time and with a large markup. See The Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-Books, The New Yorker (2024)
  • Some legal publishers will not license the rights for legal textbooks at all since it's just a less profitable business model.
    • Let's say we have a Contracts class of 100 students.  Now let's say that 50 of those students buy print textbooks and 50 of those students buy individual e-books.  The publisher has their money, they are satisfied.  Now let's say the publisher offers the library an e-book license for multiple users at a cost of 20x the textbook price.  In this scenario, let's assume the 50 print users are still using print but the 50 e-book users all use the licensed copy of the library's e-book.  That is a profit loss of 30 books. Taking it one step further let's say 20 of the print users drop off and convert to the library's e-book.  That is now a profit loss of 50 books. This doesn't account for a lot of other variables: students who rent textbooks, students who pirate obtain textbooks another way, students who choose not to buy the book at all.  But by and large there is low incentive for publishers to license textbooks.
  • But doesn't the library own a lot of other e-books?
    • Yes, yes we do! The library owns plenty of "regular" e-books (monographs in library-ese).  If a publisher doesn't think they will get enough demand (i.e. it is not a required textbook for a class) they may be more inclined to provide a fair price for the licensed copy.  The LRC's preference is to always purchase an e-book versus a print monograph.
  • What about electronic study aids? 
    • The LRC does offer electronic access to many of the recommended or optional study aids for your courses. Find your title here.

Where are these books in the LRC and how long can I keep them?

Our textbooks are located on the first floor of the library, across from the Circulation desk.  

Type of textbook Loan Period Renewals
Current semester reserves 3 hours no
Previous semester reserves 24 hours once
Paralegal reserves 3 hours no

During business hours: Course reserve items MUST be checked out at the Circulation desk or via the self-check machine.  

After hours: Course reserve materials are available for in-library use only.  There is no need to check out the materials after-hours use. Please remember to return items to the Reserve shelf in consideration of your fellow students.