Students, welcome! We believe all students deserve to be able to access course texts. The high costs of textbooks and other course materials prohibit access and perpetuate inequity, and Barnard librarians and library staff are partnering with students, faculty, and staff to increase access. Barnard Library recommends the following strategies for students to access course texts at no cost, and we are partnering with faculty to make course texts more accessible via the Library.
Faculty, please visit the Faculty Guide to Course Reserves & the Barnard FLI Partnership Library.
How to Find & Access Course Materials
- Check to see if resources are already linked to your class: You can look at your class CourseWorks page, or from CLIO catalog view click on "Course Reserves" in the box along the right side; e-resources and are directly linked, and physical books and DVDs are available for 4-hour checkout at the Circulation & Help Desk on the 2nd floor. Individuals may watch DVDs at the Media Viewing Stations on the 2nd floor of the Barnard Library or by checking out portable DVD players from the Barnard Circulation & Help Desk.
- Based on our research, we have found that students use Barnard Library Course Reserves to access expensive textbooks, expensive anthologies, and/or materials by authors/directors of color and/or with a focus on social and racial justice. Course Reserves makes copies of these types of materials available eresource or print use.
- If you self identify as a first-generation and/or low-income undergraduate student, you can check out textbooks for a full semester from the Barnard and Columbia FLI Partnership Libraries.
- Where available, the Barnard FLI Partnership Library also links eresources to Course Reserves for these materials (see #1 for where to find these)
- To check out Barnard or Columbia FLI Partnership Libraries materials, you may either:
- Visit the shelf yourself to pull the book and check it out right away at the Circulation & Help Desk (at Barnard this is on the 2nd floor) or
- Place a "Pick-Up" request (for Barnard FLI Partnership Library items only) with the "FLI Pick-Up" link in the catalog record; you'll receive an email when the item is ready to pick up at its home location (2-3 business days).
- For either option, to search the catalog, search for "fli partnership library" and any other title or author information. If you have not yet signed up for use of the collection, first-generation and/or low-income undergraduate students can sign up on this FLI Partnership Libraries Access Form to receive semester-long checkout of these materials.
- The Barnard FLI Partnership Library focuses on expensive textbooks for core courses for Barnard majors with a focus on STEM, language learning, and social sciences. More information about the history of the collections can be found here.
- Check CLIO (the library catalog) for the item by title and/or author to see if it's available at Barnard or at one of the other Columbia University Libraries. Once you click on the title you'll see a full-page about that title, in the box on the right side you'll see whether and how the item is available. Look under "Requests".
- "Pick-Up" means you can request the title to physically pick up at one of the Columbia Library locations; click on the link to make the request and receive information about how to pick it up. Currently, Columbia University -- including Barnard -- Libraries stacks are not open for you to pick up a book and check it out on site; you'll need to use the "Pick Up" link in the catalog record. You'll receive an email about where to pick up the item (any Barnard items will be available for pick-up at Butler).
- "Scan" means you can request a scan of a single chapter of the book; click on the link to make the request and receive information about how to download it.
- "Log in for Temporary Access" or any link to "complimentary access" will connect you with temporary eresources while our collections are not fully available; follow those links in the CLIO record for an item.
- Eresources are available through the CLIO search as well: on the left side of your search, filter for e-resources to find ebooks or streaming films and more.
- Fiction and creative literature that is out of copyright might be available in HathiTrust.
- For education-related items, you may also want to check the Teacher’s College Catalog as these items do not appear in CLIO. When the Teacher's College collections reopen, you will be able to check those out on site.
If CUL doesn’t have the item, you can request to pick-up a book or to receive a scan of a chapter of a book or journal article through ILL; follow the link to make the request.
- Barnard students with financial need or insecurity can fill out the Access Barnard Student Academic Support Application, or reach out to Barnard Financial Aid for help buying course materials.
- The Barnard Buy Sell Trade is a Facebook group run by students wishing to sell their items. You may find your course materials there.
- Course materials can be rented through services like Chegg, Amazon Rentals, and Redshelf. (The Barnard Library has not reviewed these services.)
- The New York Public Library may also be a resource. The closest branch is the Morningside Heights location. Follow these instructions to apply for a library card.