According to the University of Guelph Library, approximately 85% of commercial textbooks in use today are not made available by their publishers for libraries to acquire in any format except print. Even when the publisher makes the ebook available to libraries, they often charge astronomical prices for multi-user access, leaving them out of the price range of libraries.
Since textbook publishers frequently issue new editions of textbooks, it is very expensive for a library to keep up with purchasing textbooks. See the Guidelines on Textbooks for details on the UNT Libraries' policy on purchasing course materials.
The UNT Libraries provides access to many ebooks that can be used as assigned course reading: see Discover, the library catalog. Note that due to licensing restrictions, some books are available for only one user at a time, which essentially prevents their use as assigned reading. In some cases, the Libraries is able to acquire a multi-user version of the book: to inquire, contact your subject librarian.
The Libraries will put print books from the collection on course reserves by request from the instructor (see policy for specifics). In addition, instructors are welcome to loan the Libraries a personal print copy of a book to put on course reserves. Note that print course reserves are currently suspended due to COVID-19.
While students and faculty sometimes request textbooks through interlibrary loan (ILL), please be aware that other libraries generally will not loan textbooks through ILL to UNT or other institutions, meaning we are unable to borrow them to put on print course reserves.
The UNT Libraries offers online course reserves for single journal articles and portions of books (see specifics in policy based on limitations required by copyright law). Instructors can request that specific items be put on course reserves. There are also other options for sharing course materials with students outside the Libraries.
Instructors should consult with their subject librarian about content that meets the needs of the curriculum that the UNT Libraries already has access to or can purchase for the class.
Media (video) and music can be made available on reserves for students under certain circumstances. For more information, see: