Renting Textbooks

I’m putting this out there more for discussion than anything, as I haven’t had a chance to put much thought to it. I’m interested in hearing what people think of this new move to rent textbooks. I think I would have liked to have this option available to me when I was a student. Textbooks have become increasingly expensive. Chegg allows you to rent textbooks and Barnes and Noble is moving that way as well.

I’m wondering what this means for libraries, if anything. I know my library policy is not to purchase textbooks – there is no way a library could have enough copies to allow this type of renting model. Textbooks change to quickly to make it a worthwhile investment when budgets are so tight. My guess is that this particular model – textbook renting – will have little impact for us. (for an interesting read on textbook publishing, check out this Boing Boing article)

This idea of renting books is what intrigues me. Could this become a bigger phenomenon than just textbooks? It certainly sounds like what libraries due, except the whole making money off the process.  As a librarian, I’m all for free access to information and this renting thing gives me a bit of a funny feeling. Is this a possible future for libraries though, as budgets get tighter?


About theweelibrarian

Liaison Librarian extraordinaire! Interests in libraries and technology, virtual worlds, gov pubs, fun and chocolate.
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