Robert W Van Houten Library

Purchasing Textbooks Policy

The NJIT library does not purchase textbooks required for courses offered at NJIT. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

  • With over 1,000 textbooks required by NJIT courses each semester, any attempt by the library to get a copy of each would quickly consume a significant portion of its book budget. Getting multiple copies and keeping up with the new editions published each year would be nearly impossible. For example, there were 675 courses offered in the fall 2003 semester. At an average of one $50 textbook per course that's $33,750. At an average of two $65 textbooks per course that's $87,750.

Faculty members may elect to donate textbooks to the library. Faculty members may elect to place textbooks on temporary reserve in the library.

  • The library will, however, purchase quality, academic-level books on topics that support the NJIT curriculum. Some of those books may be required or suggested reading for NJIT courses. The library makes no attempt to systematically purchase all such books.

What is the definition of a textbook? And how do textbooks differ from “quality, academic-level books that may be required or suggested reading for NJIT courses”?

  • Textbooks typically contain examples, practice exams, problems, and so forth.
  • Textbooks are typically reissued in updated editions each academic year.
  • Textbooks are typically organized with a 14-week teaching cycle in mind.
  • Textbooks typically have a companion teacher's edition.

Approved at the Aug 13, 2002, Librarians Team meeting