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General Information

A page within Textbook Rental

Please refer to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Textbook Services Policy for specific details regarding Textbook Rental Services.  The following items are only meant to highlight the commonly asked questions about the policy. 

How is the Textbook Rental program funded?

Undergraduate students pay a segregated fee to rent a majority of their textbooks from Textbook Rental Services.  Supplemental course materials that are not eligible based on policy guidelines may be purchased through the University Bookstore.  Examples of these items may include:  access codes, lab manuals, workbooks, course packs and any consumable materials intended for one-time use. 

Who is eligible to use the Textbook Rental program?

Undergraduate students that pay the segregated fee are eligible to utilize the rental program. Graduate students do not pay the segregated fee and therefore are not eligible to make use of Textbook Rental and can purchase their textbooks from the University Bookstore. 

Textbook Rental policy notes "a textbook must be used 3 times or 3 years, whichever is greater." What is my course is not offered every semester? i.e. every other Spring, occasionally, etc.

Some examples:

  • If a course is taught every Fall and Spring term, it will be used 6 times within 3 years. Therefore, it would be eligible for replacement after 3 years.
  • If a course is taught every Spring, it will be used 3 times within 3 years. Therefore, it would be eligible for replacement after 3 years.
  • If a course is offered every other year, it would be used 3 times within 6 years. Therefore, it would be eligible for replacement after 6 years.
  • If a course is taught occasionally, for example once annually for 2 years, but then not taught again for another 3 years, it would be used 3 times within 5 years. Therefore, it would be eligible for replacement after 5 years.

How many titles may I order for a course and how long does it need to be used?

One textbook is guaranteed in textbook rental for every class OR multiple textbooks may be ordered up to the combined publisher's list price total of $100.  All textbooks and course materials in the textbook rental program must be used for a minimum of three years. 

What are the deadlines for textbook order requests?

To maintain compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) guidelines and assure adequate time for processing, ordering, and shipping, textbook requests should be submitted according to the ordering cycles outlined below. This schedule allows time for follow-up contact before the end of the semester and appropriate notice to the Office of Disability Resource Services so that textbooks may be made available in formats of appropriate accommodation. Instructors/departments ordering textbooks supplied by foreign publishers should place orders as early as possible (at least 12 weeks in advance). 

Summer Session

Course Schedules Due - Second Friday in January
Textbook Orders Due - Second Friday in March, before Spring Recess  

Fall Semester

Course Schedules Due - Friday, end of the third week of second semester classes
Textbook Orders Due - Second Friday in March, before Spring Recess 

Winter Session and Spring Semester

Course Schedules Due - Friday, end of the third week of first semester classes 
Textbook Orders Due - Friday, three weeks after course schedules are due 

How do I request a new textbook for Textbook Rental?

To request a new textbook for Textbook Rental, complete the Textbook Rental Adoption/Order Form and submit it to Textbook Rental Services following the appropriate ordering cycle listed above. 

Should I still submit a request if the books I want take me just a dollar or two over the limit?

Please submit the request to Textbook Rental Services as we use a specific database from the publishers that contain the most current information available to evaluate the requests. If you are using online sources to review information, they may not always be up-to-date or accurate.

How do I order supplemental course materials?

To order a textbook, lab manual, workbook, or required course supplies for purchase in the University Bookstore, complete the Bookstore Adoption Form found on the University Bookstore website. Textbook Rental Services is intended for required materials only. No reference materials should be adopted through Textbook Rental Services.

When utilizing multiple textbooks for a course, can unused balances be applied toward the purchase of additional textbooks for that course?

In multiple textbook courses, the textbooks will retain their full purchase price for three years starting with the semester of purchase.  If the full $100 is not utilized, the unused balance is available for the purchase of additional course materials.  The three year timeframe and associated cost for each item starts with its semester of purchase. 

If I find a book I want to use that is already in the textbook rental inventory, does that count towards the $100 cap?

Anything in the existing Textbook Rental Services inventory bought in the last three years, DOES count against the $100 cap.

If it was bought more than three years ago, it would not count towards the $100 cap, unless the current inventory volume does not meet your enrollment needs and additional need to be purchased. In that case, it would be similiar to a new adoption and would count against your $100 cap.

Please contact Textbook Rental Services if you would like to add additional titles to your book lists after the term starts.Students have the ability to check out anything in the Textbook Rental Services inventory two weeks after classes begin to use as a resource or for an individual or small group project for the term, subject to availability.

What is the timeline for notice on Textbook Rental requests?

Textbook Rental Services will respond to each instructor/department regarding availability of textbooks prior to the end of the semester in which an order was placed.

How do I obtain a desk copy?

Instructor desk copies must be requested directly from the publisher.  Textbook Rental Services can assist faculty with information needed to obtain desk copies from publishers for the classes they teach.  When possible, Textbook Rental Services will provide one student desk copy to faculty/staff for a period of 30 days while the instructor is acquiring a desk copy. The Textbook Rental Desk Copy Contract must be reviewed and signed prior to check-out.

What if a title goes out of print?

Textbook Rental Services will notify departments when a textbook goes out of print.  Textbooks that go out of print are no longer available for purchase from publishers or reputable book vendors.  These textbooks will be retained and can be used until the current inventory no longer meets enrollment for the course.  In the case where enrollment exceeds the current inventory, Textbook Rental Services will provide the eligibility status for replacement based on the policy and other available options. 

How can I find a current inventory of textbooks?

Textbook Rental Services maintains an inventory of all textbooks housed in Textbook Rental as well as a record of the use of textbooks in all classes each semester. The Inventory List is updated prior to beginning of the fall and spring semesters or upon request at any time. 

What happens to unused textbooks?

In accordance with the Textbook Rental Policy and to assist with maintaining and managing the textbook inventory, faculty and staff are contacted during the fall and spring semester to review their current textbook inventory.  If a textbook has not been used in the last three years, written justification via a retention form is required to keep the book in the rental inventory.  If a textbook has not been used for the last five (5) years it will be automatically discontinued.

What if I only need to use one chapter in a book?

Please consult with the University Bookstore to determine available options and additional information regarding Educational Fair Use policies is provided on the Murphy Library website at: Copyright Guide: Fair Use

How does the Rent-a-Text program available in the University Bookstore differ from Textbook Rental?

Textbook Rental Services provides the majority of the textbooks utilized by undergraduate students based on the segregated fee these students pay each semester.  Supplemental course materials that are not eligible based on policy guidelines may be purchased through the University Bookstore.  Adoptions for the University Bookstore and Textbook Rental Services are submitted independently.

If you decide to add an adoption for your students to purchase in the University Bookstore, the Rent-a-Text option may provide students with the option to rent this item as a lower cost option when compared to purchasing. Please note that not all titles are available through the Rent-a-Text program.

Who do I talk to about an exception to the Textbook Rental Services Policy?

For day-to-day questions, the manager of Textbook Rental Services oversees the operations. However, if you have spoken to the manager and still feel you have an extenuating circumstance or would like to further discuss an exception to policy, please reach out to the Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance, Robin Tuxen.