Message for faculty regarding Library support for course materials

As you wrap up this Winter quarter and start preparing for the next, the Library wants you to know that we are working hard to adjust to the rapidly changing news regarding COVID-19.  To that end, we wanted to clarify steps that we will be taking to support access to course materials.


The library will continue the textbook program with some modifications.  We will expand the model to include purchasing all required course texts to the extent possible.  When and where possible, we will buy ebooks when available and as funding allows.  Please note:

  • Some print books are not available in an ebook format.

  • We purchase ebooks with unlimited, concurrent user licenses when possible.

  • Many publishers only allow their ebooks to be sold with a 1-user or 3-user license.  In the past, we opted not to purchase these for the textbook program due to confusion over access limitations, but we will purchase them when and where available for the coming quarter.

  • Popular, consumer-oriented ebook platforms such as Kindle are, unfortunately, not available to the academic market.

  • Most traditional textbooks are not available in an ebook format, but we will continue to purchase these texts in print, so the material is available if needed.


The Library is also planning to dedicate resources to helping faculty transition to streaming media where and when we can.  Please see the Faculty tips for ordering & finding media


If you have NOT had an opportunity to submit your required materials to the University Bookstore, we won’t know to purchase them.  Please help alert Library staff by sending them via the Library’s Purchase Request Form.  The form helps us identify all the needed information up front, so we can process the requests as fast as possible.

If you are using only a small portion of a book or journal articles, please use the UW Libraries’ Course Instruction Scanning Service. We can scan articles (copyright restricted to one article per journal issue) or a book chapter (copyright restricted to one chapter per book). Use the Interlibrary Loan form for this service — choose the “Request a course instruction scan” option in the toolbar.


If you are interested in exploring open educational resources or OER (freely available, openly licensed materials), there are search tools available to help you find open textbooks, images, and other openly licensed materials.  For more information:

Last, but not least, there is planning in process to work on a “drive-up” check-out service for library materials and equipment.  We’ll send out announcements on campus listservs, but you can also check for updates shared on the Library blog and the UW Tacoma Library’s COVID-19 updates and resources webpage.

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