Review common ways of obtaining textbooks and other materials needed for courses. Textbooks are not covered by tuition.

  • Determine textbooks for classes: Professors will let you know what the required textbooks are for your course through the syllabus. Additionally, you can use the GW Bookstore to search for which textbooks are needed for specific classes.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) are course materials that are freely and openly available, making education more accessible and affordable. This includes textbooks that are openly licensed for use.
  • Top Textbooks: GW Libraries acquires up to five copies of required textbooks for a select group of undergraduate, high enrollment courses with traditionally expensive textbooks and places them on course reserve for use by all students. Textbooks are available for use in accordance with current course reserve practices and loan periods at any time the Gelman Library Check Out Desk is open.
  • Find a book at GW Libraries: GW Libraries uses call numbers, determined by the Library of Congress, to organize its shelves. Learn how to use the call number to find your book.
  • Search the catalog: Search for articles, books, e-books, media, and archival resources at GW and WRLC libraries.
  • Course Reserves: Professors may place materials on reserve for your course. Learn about how to access these materials at Gelman Library.
  • GW Bookstore: Students can also buy and rent textbooks and other course materials through the Bookstore.

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) course materials are freely and openly available, making education more affordable and easy to access. This includes textbooks that are openly licensed for use. Because the material has nonrestrictive licensing, your professor can reuse, revise, and combine the material to customize it for their courses, and there is typically no expiration date on digital materials. With open textbooks, online and downloadable versions are often free of cost and access barriers, and print copies are significantly less expensive than traditional textbooks.

When talking to professors about the possibility of adopting open textbooks, personal stories are frequently more effective than dry data. Students interested in using OER can include a statement about OER in class evaluations or talk to their teaching/graduate assistants and faculty advisors about the benefits of using OER.

GW Libraries can provide assistance to professors in finding open textbooks relevant to their course and redesigning a curriculum with OER in mind.