Freshmen at Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ, are getting a break on their first year of textbooks through the school’s Textbook Reserve Program. The pilot provides students with access to most freshman-level courses via the school’s library.
The libraries on the school’s Lawrence and Princeton campus now have more than 100 books available for freshmen to use. Students present their ID to a librarian at the circulation desk to sign out the textbook for up to two hours, but they can’t take reserved books out of the library.
“If this can help offset hidden costs that students might not have anticipated, we’ll be able to retain more students,” said President Gregory Dell’Omo in an article for NJ.com. Dell’Omo brought the idea from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he served as president until taking over Rider at the beginning of August.
Robert Morris had more than 1,800 textbook signouts in the first semester the program was offered with a total of 10,000 during the first two years.
An added benefit for Dell’Omo is that the program drives students into the library. The goal of the Textbook Reserve Program is to expand it to upper-level courses.
“It’s not replacing people buying new books, it’s not going to cover every single book over time,” Dell'Omo said, “but it helps ease some of the financial burdens that students incur.”