Answered By: Darcy Gervasio
Last Updated: Jun 22, 2022     Views: 1867

Note: Please see the Purchase College Bookstore website to buy your textbooks or for a complete list of required textbooks. If the bookstore does not have a list for your course, and there are no items on Library Reserve, please contact your professor directly.

Pro-tip: search for ebook alternatives to your textbooks through the Purchase College Library. 

What are Course Reserves

Professors can choose to place books, DVDsCDs, or other course materials on physical reserve at Purchase College Library. Items on reserve are housed at the Circulation Desk and can be checked out for short loan periods.

(The Library does not have physical copies of articles on reserve. Articles, ebooks, and other online readings will be in your Moodle course.) 

How to Search for textbooks, films, and CDs on course reserve in the Library Discovery Search.

Method 1: Simple Search

  1. Start typing your search terms in the Discovery Search box. Then select "Course Reserves" as the scope from the drop-down menu that appears.
  2.  Click on "anywhere in record" below the search box to narrow your search by instructor, title, course name, etc. 
  3. You can also use the facets in the lefthand column to sort your results by course instructor or course name.  
  4. To check out a book on reserve, write down the entire call number, then go to the Circulation Desk to retrieve the item.
  5. For DVDs, write down the call number, retrieve the case from the Academic Film Collection, then bring it to the Circulation Desk to check out the disc.

Method 2: Advanced Search

  1. From the Discovery Search screen, click on "Advanced Search"
  2. Select the "Course Reserves" radio button under "Search for."
  3. Enter your search terms and select your parameters under "Any Field." 
  4. You can search by title, author/creator, course instructor, course name, course ID, etc.
  5. You can add additional search terms on the second box, if desired. For example, you might search for the book's title under "title" and your professor's last name under "course instructor."
  6. Click the green "Search" button to load your results.
  7. To check out a reserve item, write down the entire call number, then go to the Circulation Desk to retrieve the item. 


Method 3: Finding ebooks & electronic textbooks

  1. First, check Moodle. If your professor has asked the Library to order an electronic version of your textbook, it will likely be linked directly from your course's Moodle shell.
  2. If you're not sure that an ebook version is available, see our FAQ on how to find ebooks from the Library.
    • The best way to start is to search within several ebook databases listed on our eBooks Help Guide.
    • Some ebooks (but not all!) are available through the Discovery Search. Make sure to limit your results to Books/Media @ Purchase, choose "Books" under Resource Type, and choose "Available Online" under Availability. 
  3. New York Public Library and Westchester Public Library also have large ebook collections. If you have an NYPL or WLS library card, you can search for free ebooks through these public library system.
  4. Not all print textbooks are available in digital formats or offer multi-user licenses to college libraries. In some cases, you may need to purchase or rent a digital version of an e-textbook from the campus bookstore, publisher, or a third party like Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Reserves Status Between Semesters

The correct status and location of an item on course reserve may not appear in the Discovery Search until the semester has begun. If you are looking up a reserve item in Discovery before classes start or during the first couple weeks of the semester, it may look as if it is shelved in the Main Stacks, when in fact the item has been pulled for Course Reserves. At the beginning of each semester, be sure to check the item's status in Discovery but double check with staff at the Circulation Desk if you believe the item is supposed to be on reserve.

Interlibrary Loan and Textbooks

You may request items that Purchase College Library does not own through Interlibrary Loan. Note that other SUNY libraries lend items for 16 weeks. Other university libraries outside of SUNY may have shorter loan periods. If you need the book for the entire semester, you should explore other options like buying or renting it from the campus bookstore.

Keep in mind: Purchase College Library does not own every textbook for every class. However, we will do our best to help you access the resources you need.

Chat 24/7

Chat 24/7 logo: purple speech bubble with white question mark