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Top Textbooks at GW Libraries

Top Textbooks at GW Libraries

The Top Textbooks at GW Libraries program, launching for the fall 2017 semester, acquires 1-2 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 lower-income students struggle to afford the $1200 average cost of textbooks and supplies each year. The Top Textbooks program began as a proposal by Student Association president Peak Sen Chua and continues as a collaboration with the Student Association.

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 two hours inside the library. Textbooks may be used overnight in the library if checked out in the two hours before the Check Out Desk closes. Items must be returned before 9 a.m. 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.

Reserve materials may not be renewed. Once items have been returned, they can be checked out again after a 15-minute waiting period.

Top Textbooks includes required books for the following courses*

ANTH 1001: Biological Anthropology
ANTH 1003: Archaeology
ASTR 1001: Stars/Planets/Life in the Universe
BADM 2001W: Markets & Politics
BISC 1005: Biology of Nutrition & Health
BISC 1115: Intro Biology: Cells & Molecules
CHEM 1003: Contemporary Science for Nonscience Majors
COMM 1025: Intro to Communications Studies
ECON 1011: Principles of Economics I
ECON 2180: Survey of International Economics
ECON 2101: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
ECON 1012: Principles of Economics II
GEOG 1001: Intro to Human Geography
GEOG 1002: Intro to Physical Geography
GEOG 2120: World Regional Geography
HIST 1310: Intro to American History
HIST 1011: World History, 1500-Present
IAFF 1005: Intro to International Affairs: Washington Perspective
MATH 1009: Mathematical Ideas I
MATH 1231: Single Variable Calculus I
MATH 1051: Finite Mathematics for the Social and Management Sciences
MATH 1220: Calculus with Precalculus I
PHYS 1011: General Physics I
PHYS 1012: General Physics II
PHYS 1021: University Physics I
PHYS 1022: University Physics II
PSC 1001: Intro to Comparative Politics
PSC 1002: Intro to American Politics & Gov
PSC 1003: Intro to International Politics
PSC 2101: Scope & Methods in PSC
SEAS 1001: Engineering Orientation
STAT 1051: Intro to Business & Economic Statistics
STAT 1053: Intro to Stat in Social Science
PSYC 1001: General Psychology

*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.

Hours of Operation

Textbooks can be checked out any time the Gelman Library Check Out Desk is open. Regular hours for the fall 2017 semester (Monday, August 28, 2017 - Thursday, December 21, 2017) are listed below. Please check the library website for information about holiday and weather closures.

Sunday: Noon - 10pm
Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 10pm
Friday: 8:30am - 7pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm

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.

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.

Questions or Suggestions

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

Dorinne Banks
Valerie Fliss
Tolonda Henderson
Tara Lifland
Morgan Stoddard

Looking for Assistance with Food Insecurity?

Students facing food insecurity have a student-run resource at GW. To learn more about The Store: GW's Food Pantry, go to this link

This page is maintained by Interlibrary Loan
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