Frequently Asked Questions

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Can the library help me find textbooks for my class?

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There’s no easy answer. Borrowing textbooks can be a tricky proposition. It depends a lot on what type of “textbook” it is:

If it’s a traditional textbook that undergoes frequent updates, then it can be harder to locate. There may not be that many copies out there, even in the OhioLINK catalog, and there can be heavy demand for those. You may have to go back several editions to find an available copy. The content may have changed substantially from the “old” edition to the one that’s on your syllabus. In this case, you should always check with your instructor before using a previous edition.

If it’s just a regular book that your professor is using as a course text, there’s a better chance that it will be available, either at our library, or in OhioLINK or SearchOhio.

Where to look: start with the Bluffton University Library Catalog. Move next to OhioLINK. Then try SearchOhio. Finally, you can fill out an Interlibrary Loan request, but it can take up to several weeks for a book to get here. Also loan periods can vary, and renewals are uncertain.

Library staff can help. If you’re confused about where to look and how to get started, let us help you. We will, however, give you the customary, cautionary speech about frequent lack of availability, the risk of using previous editions, and the mixed success of finding the textbooks you need.

Borrowing rather than buying/renting: Fines can add up rapidly for overdue books. If you borrow the textbook, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your due dates, and renew as needed. If someone else places a hold on your specific copy, you will not be able to renew it. To see our borrowing policies, review this page: Borrowing Policies: Undergraduate and AGE Students.

In the end, it certainly can be worth trying to find a copy you can borrow rather than buying/renting, even with all the potential drawbacks. It’s up to you and your particular situation. Need help?  Ask us...