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Gelman Hours for GWorld Holders
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Top Textbooks at GW Libraries

Top Textbooks at GW Libraries
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$70,000 in textbook savings

Based on individual checkouts per semester


The Top Textbooks at GW Libraries program acquires up to five copies of required textbooks for a select group of undergraduate, high enrollment courses with traditionally expensive textbooks and places them on course reserve for use by all students. Textbooks are available for use in accordance with current course reserve practices and loan periods any time the Gelman Library Check Out Desk is open.


The escalating price of textbooks is a significant concern for undergraduate students, and many students struggle to afford the $1200 average cost of textbooks and supplies each year. The Top Textbooks program, launched in fall 2017, began as a proposal by former Student Association president Peak Sen Chua and continues as a collaboration with the Student Association. We continue to make improvements to the program each semester, thanks to input from students like you -- for instance, the extended three-hour loan period is a direct result of your feedback!

How It Works

Students can come to the Gelman Library Check Out Desk any time it is open to request the textbook for a participating course. If the textbook is available (not currently on loan to another student) the student may check the book out with their GWorld card to use for three hours. Textbooks may be used overnight if checked out in the three hours before the Check Out Desk closes. Items must be returned before 8:30 AM the following day.

Course Reserve materials must be returned to the Reserve Book Drop in Gelman Library (located in the front of the Check Out Desk) or fines may be incurred. Unreturned books will incur a fine for the cost of replacing the book. Reserve materials may not be renewed. Once items have been returned, they can be checked out again after a 15-minute waiting period.

In the event that an instructor changes or adds a required textbook during the semester, you may experience a delay while Top Textbooks acquires the new book.

How to Check if a Textbook is Currently Available

To see whether a textbook is currently available in Gelman Library (i.e., not currently checked out by another student), search the library catalog for course reserves. To learn how to search for course reserves, visit our How Do I? page on the topic.

Top Textbooks includes required books for the following courses in fall semester 2018:

ACCY 2001 Introduction to Financial Accounting
AMST 2320 US Media & Cultural History
ANTH 1001 Biological Anthropology
ANTH 1002 Sociocultural Anthropology
ASTR 1001 Stars, Planets, and Life in the Universe
ASTR 1002 Origins of the Cosmos
BADM 2001W Markets & Politics
BISC 1115 Intro Biology: Cells & Molecules
BISC 2207 Genetics
CHEM 1003 Contemporary Science for Nonscience Majors
COMM 1025 Introduction to Communication Studies
ECON 1011 Principles of Economics I
ECON 1012 Principles of Economics II
GEOG 1002 Introduction to Physical Geography
GEOG 2120 World Regional Geography
GEOL 1001 Physical Geology
GEOL 1005 Environmental Geology
HIST 1011 World History, 1500-present
HIST 2320 US Media & Cultural History
IAFF 1005 Intro to International Affairs: Washington Perspective
MATH 1009 Mathematical Ideas I
MATH 1051 Finite Mathematics for the Social and Management Sciences
MATH 1220 Calculus with Precalculus I
MATH 1231 Single Variable Calculus I
MATH 1232 Single Variable Calculus II
PHYS 1011 General Physics I
PHYS 1012 General Physics II
PHYS 1021 University Physics I
PSC 1001 Intro to Comparative Politics
PSC 1002 Introduction to American Politics and Government
PSC 2101 Scope & Methods in PSC
PSYC 1001 General Psychology
PSYC 2011 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 2012 Social Psychology
PSYC 2014 Cognitive Psychology
STAT 1051 Introduction to Business and Economic Statistics
STAT 1053 Introduction to Statistics in Social Sciences
STAT 2112 Business and Economic Statistics II
STAT 2118 Regression Analysis

Hours of Operation

Textbooks can be checked out any time the Gelman Library Check Out Desk is open for three-hour loan. Please check the library website for information about holiday and weather closures.

Fines for Late Returns

Fines are an important tool to make sure circulating items are returned promptly and are available for everyone. To ensure these textbooks remain available, late returns will be assessed a fine of $1.20/hour per item with a $30.00 maximum fine per item.

Questions or Suggestions

Please contact any member of the library implementation team with questions or suggestions:

Dorinne Banks
Amanda Darby
Joscelyn Leventhal
David Lemmons
Morgan Stoddard

Looking for Assistance with Financial Insecurity?

The Store: GW's Food Pantry provides food, toiletries, and school supplies to students facing insecurity. Through the Financial Aid Office, emergency funding is also available to students in some situations.

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