The Top Textbooks at GW Libraries program acquires up to three 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 at Gelman Library for use in accordance with current course reserve practices and loan periods.
Courses Included for Spring 2023
ACCY 2001 Introduction to Financial Accounting
ACCY 2002 Introduction to Managerial Accounting (Buzinkai only)
AMST 2011/HIST 2011 Modern American Cultural History
ASTR 1002 Origins of the Cosmos
BISC 1112 Introductory Biology: Biology of Organisms
BISC 2452 Animal Behavior
CAH 1091 Art History II: Historical Perspectives in the Visual Arts
CHEM 1004 Medicinal Chemistry for Non-Science Majors
CHEM 2152 Organic Chemistry II (Dowd only)
CHIN 1002 Beginning Chinese II
CLAS 1001 Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations
ECON 1012 Principles of Economics II (Bird only)
ECON 2101 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (Joshi & Malik only)
ECON 2102 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (Tien only)
ECON 2151 Economic Development
ECON 2181 International Trade (Chen only)
EHS 1040 Emergency Medical Tech-Basic
FILM 2154 History of World Cinema II
FORS 2107 Fundamentals of Forensic Science
GEOG 1001 Introduction to Human Geography
GEOG 1003 Society and Environment
GEOL 1001 Physical Geology
GEOL 1002 Historical Geology (Jerez only)
GEOL 1005 Environmental Geology
HIST 1011 World History, 1500-Present
HIST 1311 American History since 1877 (Berolet only)
HIST 2011/AMST 2011 Modern American Cultural History
HSCI 2101 Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Illness
IAFF 1005 Introduction to International Affairs -- Additional IAFF 1005 book
IBUS 3001 Introduction to International Business (Rodrigo Flores only)
IBUS 3301 International Business Finance
MAE 2131 Thermodynamics
MATH 1007 Mathematics and Politics
MATH 1009 Mathematical Ideas I
MATH 1221 Calculus with Precalculus II
MATH 1252 Calculus for the Social and Management Sciences
ORSC 1109 Introduction to Organizational Sciences
PHIL 1051 Introduction to Philosophy (Meyers only)
PHIL 2133 Philosophy and Nonviolence
PHYS 1021 University Physics I
PHYS 1025 University Physics I - Bio
PSC 1001 Introduction to Comparative Politics (Gaedi, Puck, Kramon, and Croatti only)
PSC 1002 Introduction to American Politics and Government
PSC 1003 Introduction to International Politics
PSYC 1001 General Psychology (Howell only)
PSYC 2011 Abnormal Psychology (McDonald only)
PSYC 2011W Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 2012 Social Psychology (Stock only)
PSYC 2013 Developmental Psychology
PSYC 2014 Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 2015 Biological Psychology
SLHS 1011 Voice and Diction
SOC 1001 Introduction to Sociology (Alnassar only)
SOC 1003 Introduction to Criminal Justice (Gatewood & Johnson only)
SOC 2102 Techniques of Data Analysis
SPAN 1002 Elementary Spanish II
SPAN 1013 Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 1014 Intermediate Spanish II
SPAN 2005 Advanced Spanish I
SPAN 2006 Advanced Spanish II
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. Students will need the textbook's call number, which can be found by searching for the book in the library catalog (click the course number above). 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 10:00 AM the following day.
Course reserve materials must be returned to the Reserve Book Drop 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. You can also search for course reserves from any page on the library website by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the blue navigation bar and choosing the "course reserves" search option.
Hours of Operation
Textbooks can be checked out any time the Gelman Library Check Out Desk is open. 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.
Why Isn’t My Textbook Included in the Top Textbooks Program?
Each year, we carefully review the course schedule, course enrollment, textbook assignments, and other factors to determine which courses to include--and how to best serve students at GW--through this program with the funding available. Additionally, the library can only include a textbook in the program if we know it is assigned in a course and are able to acquire a print edition for students to borrow from us. Faculty are strongly encouraged to submit their textbook adoptions to the GW Bookstore for the upcoming semester in a timely manner in order to help the library select and acquire textbooks for the Top Textbooks program.
Even if a course is not included in Top Textbooks, the library may still have a copy of the textbook in its collection or course reserve, so check the library catalog. If a copy is not available, any faculty member can request that a copy of their course materials be placed on course reserve for students to borrow.
Open Educational Resources (OER)
While the Top Textbooks program seeks to improve textbook affordability and increase access to course materials, it does not fix all of the barriers and inequities created by the commercial textbook market. The library strongly supports the adoption of open educational resources (OER) and provides support to faculty interested in using OER as a way to reduce the cost of--and increase access to--course materials and enhance student learning.
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.
About Top Textbooks
The escalating price of textbooks is a significant concern for undergraduate students, and many students struggle to afford the high cost of textbooks and supplies each year. To help improve textbook affordability and access, the library launched the Top Textbooks program in fall 2017. The program began as a proposal by former Student Association president Peak Sen Chua and continues as a collaboration with the Student Association.
The Top Textbooks program has resulted in $621,252 in textbook savings for GW students!*
*Based on individual checkouts between Fall 2017 and Fall 2022
Questions or Suggestions
Gelman Library Reserves Services