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Textbook Rental Policy

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Policy 502.7

1 Introduction

1.1 This document outlines a revised policy for the textbook rental system and faculty selection of textbooks and other educational materials. Between December 2004 and May 2006, Appalachian engaged in campus-wide discussions on whether the textbook rental program should continue and, if it did, how it should change to better accommodate the needs of both faculty members and students. During the 2006/2007 academic year, the University Bookstore Committee was charged by the Provost to recommend changes to the textbook rental system and develop a textbook rental policy. This policy incorporates the recommendations of the University Bookstore Committee, whose voting members include five faculty members and three students. The committee has made adjustments to previous policies and statements on the textbook rental system to more effectively support the goals of reducing textbook costs to students, preserving departmental and faculty control of teaching resources, and supporting the overall educational mission of the University.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all Appalachian State University students who rent textbooks.

3 Definitions

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

This policy outlines the procedure for selection and distribution of textbooks and other educational materials. This document does not dictate what materials faculty should select.

4.1 Number of textbooks that may be placed on rental for a given course

4.1.1 Departments should adopt only one rental book per course, except in the case of multiple-section courses. Departments will decide whether more than one textbook choice will be available for faculty members teaching a course for which multiple sections are offered.

4.2 Length and frequency of use for textbooks placed on rental

4.2.1 Rental books must be used for at least two consecutive years. The same book must be used four times in the two-year period if the course is taught both fall and spring. It must be used two times in the two-year period if the course is taught only once per year. When books are placed on rental, this constitutes an agreement with students and the Bookstore that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the book will be used each semester the course is taught for at least the two-year rental cycle.

4.3 Books that may not be placed on rental program, but must be purchased

4.3.1 All books or materials not on the rental program must be purchased by students. This includes all books for the following courses:

  1. graduate courses;
  2. extension and distance education courses;
  3. any undergraduate courses in which the same books will not be used for at least two consecutive years. (Examples include special topics courses, selected topics courses, senior seminar courses, alternating year courses, courses taught on demand, and any other courses that departments deem appropriate for exception.)

4.3.2 The following must also be ordered for purchase:

  1. books for undergraduate courses to be used in addition to the rental book(s) (supplemental books);
  2. all consumables—materials in which pages are completed by students and then submitted to the instructor; (examples are lab manuals and workbooks);
  3. all publisher-provided supplements to a textbook; including access codes and other online products.
  4. textbooks that are published annually (such as the Annual Editions volumes published for a number of disciplines by McGraw-Hill/Dushkin).

4.4 Faculty autonomy in selecting course materials

4.4.1 All course materials should be selected by the departments and faculty member(s) offering the course. The faculty of each department should establish procedures for the selection of course materials, including rental texts, within the parameters established by this policy. For specific policy regarding the use of rental textbooks in multiple section courses taught by more than one faculty member, see section 4.7, below.

4.5 Requirement of faculty members to use the rental system

4.5.1 Faculty are required to use the rental system. However, exceptions are stated in Sections 4.6 and 4.7. To reduce expenses for students, every possible effort should be made to adopt books for the minimum two-year term and make them available through the rental system.

4.6 Requirement of faculty members to use a textbook

4.6.1 The decision whether or not to use a textbook rests with the department. Faculty members may consider using alternative forms of publications in place of or in addition to textbooks. These alternatives may help keep costs down for students.

4.7 Additional policy regarding rental textbooks

  1. Prices of rental books: There is no maximum price for textbooks adopted for rental. Faculty members are urged to be conscious of the price of textbooks they select.
  2. Paperback books: Paperback books can be placed on rental.
  3. New editions: The publication of a new edition does not justify changing a rental adoption prior to the end of the two year adoption period. It is recommended that faculty members make every effort to synchronize their adoption cycle with the publisher’s revision cycle.
  4. Multiple sections of a course: The decision as to whether the same textbook will be used for multiple sections of a course and whether different sections may use different texts rests with the department.
  5. Materials bundled with a textbook: The Bookstore will place a CD or DVD on rental with a textbook if the disk is attached to or included with the book.
  6. Exceptions policy: In some situations, a rental book might become unsatisfactory for a particular course or become unsatisfactory before the end of the two-year adoption cycle. See Section 4.3 for examples of courses for which textbook rental may be inappropriate. Questions regarding exceptions to the textbook rental policy should be settled at the departmental level.

4.8 Additional policy regarding purchased books

  1. Number, cost, and semesters of use for purchased books: There are no limits on the number of books or the prices of books that students may be asked to purchase for a course. In addition, there is no minimum number of semesters a purchased book must be used. Faculty members are urged, however, to consider less expensive book choices and less expensive editions of books they require students to purchase.
  2. Purchased books reused in subsequent semesters: The Bookstore does not automatically reorder books that students must purchase, whether these are supplemental texts (books ordered in addition to the rental book(s)) or books not eligible for placement on rental. Faculty members must submit a new request form each semester, whether they are using the same books or different books. The forms must be submitted by the deadlines.
  3. Deadlines for submitting book orders: Faculty members should submit their book orders by the established dates set by the University Bookstore. Late orders may significantly increase the cost of textbooks to students.
  4. Changes in enrollment for a course: If departments add a section of a course, delete a section, or add students to a section after they have submitted their book orders, they should notify the Bookstore so that the correct number of books can be provided for the class.
  5. ISBNs: Faculty members must ensure that the ISBN on the request form reflects the edition they wish to adopt.. The Bookstore uses the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to place orders. Books will have a unique ISBN for their paperback, hardback, forthcoming, bundled, and online versions, as well as for accompanying material such as a study guide.
  6. Media supplements: If a course requires that students purchase supplemental media (CDs, DVDs, or codes for online products), faculty members must talk with Bookstore personnel before placing the order. These products present special challenges that must be discussed prior to ordering.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

8 Original Effective Date

9 Revision Dates

Approved by the Faculty Senate on October 8, 2007
Approved by the Board of Trustees on December 7, 2007
Approved by Chancellor on August 18, 2015