How Illinois students are borrowing textbooks for free

31 Aug

The quest for the cheapest textbooks takes students to the farthest reaches of the internet. But there is one online source for getting textbooks that many college students might not realize they have access to: interlibrary loan.

It’s a service that lets students borrow books from any academic or public library in Illinois (and, in some cases, the world). And through I-Share, the database of books available to borrow in Illinois, students can borrow books up to 16 weeks, said Sandy Harris, interlibrary loan manager at Olivet Nazarene University, which adds up to almost a full semester.

Olivet receives more than 2,500 books for students per week on average. While not all of those are textbooks, many of them are, Harris said. If a student has questions on how to get started, they should just ask a librarian. “There are a lot of references to support you if you just come into the library and ask,” Harris said.

And while many students use ILL services for journal articles, Harris added, many students don’t realize they can borrow everything from textbooks to DVDs from 86 participating libraries all over the state.

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