Internal Governing Policies


#49 - Textbook Rental Service

Approved: May 24, 2014

Monitor: Vice President for Student Affairs

Textbook Rental Service is designed to provide for students cost-effective access to textbooks.  The Textbook Rental Service alternative, however, is an expedient, not a goal.  Students are encouraged to purchase those basic and supplementary materials that will enable them to develop personal libraries.  The University continues to emphasize to its students the important role personal libraries play in educational development.

Books for courses in the curriculum include basic textbooks, reserve books, supplementary material, and workbooks.  Basic textbooks and some reserve books are supplied by Textbook Rental Service.  Supplementary material and workbooks are available for student purchase at booksellers, including the University Union Bookstore, but are not stocked or sold by Textbook Rental Service.  (See “Supplementary Material” and “Exceptions.”)

Basic Textbooks

Basic Textbooks for courses are adopted based on departmental decisions and approval by department chairs.

Multiple sections of courses and honors sections of courses are considered to be separate courses for purposes of selecting basic textbooks with the exception of core and introductory level courses.

A basic textbook shall remain on the approved textbook list for a course for the longer of two years or three semesters of scheduled use.  A semester of scheduled use is defined as a semester in which the course for which the book is an official textbook is offered and the official textbook is issued.  If a book is a basic textbook for more than one course, it shall accumulate only one semester of scheduled use during each semester in which it is used.

Ordinarily, the sum of the list prices of approved basic textbooks for any one course shall not exceed the amount in the current year’s cost limit schedule.

A separate request is required for each basic textbook adoption and shall include, where feasible, the following information.

  1. Title, author, publisher, edition, course in which the new textbook is to be used, semester needed, number of copies needed, and estimated list price.
  2. Author, title, edition, date of adoption, course for which the replaced textbook was used, and suggested disposition of the replaced textbook.

Additional Instructional Materials

Increasingly, publishers are including additional instructional materials with textbooks.  These can be in the form of CD ROMs, PowerWeb cards, InfoTrac cards, Registration Codes, Workbooks, Charts, Guides, and other forms of supplemental materials.  These materials are not basic textbooks and will not be issued by the Textbook Rental Service.  If the Request for Textbook Purchase form indicates a package ISBN that includes a CD ROM and the request is supported by the Department Chairperson and approved by the Director of Textbook Rental Service, the CD ROM will be included in the text, if feasible.  All other materials will be delivered to the instructor or, in the event of multiple instructors, the Department Chairperson of record and distributed to the students at their discretion.

When a book, used as a basic textbook for a particular course and not listed as a basic textbook for any other course, is removed from the official textbook list, the Textbook Rental Service Director may dispose of the books.  Upon written request, one copy shall be sent to the appropriate academic department.  If Textbook Rental Service is unable to dispose of the remaining copies through sales, additional copies may be provided to the appropriate academic department if so requested.

In addition, textbook information for all textbooks not issued for a period of five years or longer will be included in a "Fair Warning Listing" to be sent to each appropriate Department Chairperson to be shared with all faculty members within that department as to the lack of usage and the removal of these titles from the Textbook Rental Service inventory or the specific plans to issue these titles for current or future courses.  Individuals, within each department, will review this listing and make notations as to the removal or retention of each title.  If titles are to be retained in the Textbook Rental Service inventory, there must be specific information as to the course or courses that the textbook will be assigned and the expected date of use, (i.e. semester/year)  This information must be returned by the established deadline.  If the information is not returned by the established deadline or no notations are visible upon receipt of this information by the Textbook Rental Service, the "Fair Warning Listing" will be forwarded to the appropriate Dean of each academic area to serve as notification that these titles will be eliminated from the inventory.  If titles, listed to be issued for current or future courses, are not utilized, these titles will be removed from the Textbook Rental Service inventory by the authorization of the Director, Textbook Rental Service.  Textbooks that are listed to be removed from the inventory cannot be reordered for a period of two years following their removal.

When a new textbook purchase is approved, the Director of the Textbook Rental Service shall notify department chairs that the order was placed.

Reserve Books

Faculty may request Textbook Rental Service to place approved texts on reserve at Booth Library subject to availability.  If department chairs desire additional copies or titles which are not available from Booth Library, they may submit purchase requests to Textbook Rental Service for new reserve books.  The same information is required as in the basic textbook request.

The total number of copies of a title on reserve during a semester for one or more sections of a course shall not exceed one copy for each ten students in the estimated enrollment of those sections.  Expected enrollments may be rounded upward to integral multiples of ten for the purpose of determining the maximum number of copies that may be placed on reserve.  Unused Textbook Rental Service reserve copies may be disposed of by the Director after notification to the chair of the department requesting their purchase.  Ordinarily, the sum of list prices of reserve titles purchased with Textbook Rental Service funds shall not exceed the amount in the current year’s cost limit schedule.

Supplementary Material

An instructor, with the approval of the department chair, may require that students purchase certain supplementary material for a section of a course.

Workbooks, study guides, laboratory manuals, periodicals and other consumable materials must be purchased by the students.  Such items are not stocked by Textbook Rental Service nor are copies placed on reserve.

Requests for approval and purchase of supplemental materialshall include the same information as basic textbook requests. 

The Textbook Rental Service Director shall notify the University Union Bookstore, and booksellers who have requested such notification, of approved items on the Supplementary Textbook List indicating the course and sections and the expected enrollment in those sections.

The following supplementary material purchase procedure shall be followed:

  1. The instructor may require purchase by students but may not recommend a seller.
  2. Supplementary material requests will not be automatically renewed for successive terms the course is offered.  They must be renewed each time they are to be used for a section of a course.

Purchase Options, Lost Books and Fines                                                                                         

During periods designated by the Textbook Rental Service Director, students may purchase textbooks at selling price, subject to the availability of replacements.

Graduate students may purchase textbooks for courses in which they are enrolled.  After the Add/Drop deadline for each semester/term and by the mid-term for each semester/term, or by a later date determined by the Director, Textbook Rental Service, graduate students purchasing textbooks for courses in which they are currently enrolled can receive a refund of their textbook rental fee.  A refund will be processed for the amount of purchase up to the actual amount of textbook rental fee paid.  See Textbook Rental Service for details.

Lost textbooks must be paid for at current list price.  Students may also be required to pay - current list prices for textbooks in which they have done extensive writing or highlighting, which have been subjected to unusual wear, or which have any visible signs of liquid damage of any type.

Students not returning textbooks by announced deadlines at semester or term ends are subject to charges including the list price of each textbook not returned and late charges of $20.00 per book.  Late charges will be imposed immediately following the announced deadlines.  Students will be charged the current list price for each unreturned book five days after the announced deadlines.  These charges are non-refundable.  Late returns will not be accepted after the five day grace period following the announced semester/term deadline.  Late charges of $20.00 per book are in addition to the list price of each lost or damaged book as well as any books that are not returned by the five day grace period following the designated deadline.

Students are required to return all textbooks for courses they have dropped/withdrawn within two working days for regular on-campus courses or five working days for courses offered through the School of Continuing Education, after the drop date or be subject to charges which may include the list price of the textbook(s), late fines of $20.00 per book, and a non-refundable processing fee of $20.00 per book.

Textbook Rental Service holds will be included with all other University holds processed through the Student Accounts Office.


The Textbook Rental Service does not purchase textbooks for workshops, special courses, independent study, internship, research or thesis courses.

Any textbooks which are not needed as basic textbooks for other courses may be issued to students enrolled in workshops, special courses, independent study, research or thesis courses, but only after the official enrollment count day of a semester or term.

In instances where the body of knowledge in a discipline is undergoing rapid and substantial change, where a new edition replaces a current one on a cycle of less than two years, or where a textbook has substantial and serious shortcomings in its instructional value, the department chair may, with the concurrence of the Textbook Rental Service Director, approve basic textbooks for a course for less than two years or three semesters of scheduled use.

If necessary for academic quality, dollar amounts may vary with the level and discipline of courses involved with the approval of the Textbook Rental Service Director. 

If a department chair anticipates an accelerated depreciation schedule for a basic textbook, the textbook adopted shall have a copyright date no more than one year preceding the adoption inasmuch as the secondary market for such books may be greatly diminished.

Continuing Education:  If the University charges the textbook fee for a specific course on-campus, the same fee will be charged when the course is offered off-campus.  For offerings where there is no text and the course is not offered on-campus, there will be no textbook rental charge.

Exceptions, other than those specifically noted in this section, must be approved by the dean responsible for the academic department upon recommendation of the department chair and the Textbook Rental Service Director.  In the event of no concurrence, the Textbook Rental Service Director shall refer such matters to the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Academic Affairs for resolution.  Due consultation with others as needed and as circumstances dictate is assumed.

Special Conditions for Computer Software

Requests for basic or supplementary material with companion software must be submitted through appropriate channels by the established semester/term deadline for the return of textbook information to the Textbook Rental Service.

For supplementary material with companion software the sum of the list prices may not exceed approximately three-fourths of the maximum for a basic textbook.

Textbooks Authored by EIU Faculty

To minimize suggestions of conflict of economic interest, recommendations for adoption for basic or supplementary textbooks authored by University faculty members must include approval of the department chair and the dean responsible for the academic department.  A statement must accompany such recommendations, indicating (a) that no other textbooks containing material appropriate to the course are available, or (b) that if other textbooks are available, the textbook selected is deemed most appropriate.

Textbook Rental Service Advisory Committee

The Textbook Rental Service Advisory Committee, a standing University committee, is constituted as follows:

Student Affairs:


Vice President for Student Affairs, Ex-Officio

Director, Textbook Rental Service, Chair

Council on Academic Affairs:


Two members appointed by Council on Academic Affairs Chair

Council on Graduate Studies:


One member appointed by Council on Graduate Studies Chair

Graduate Student Advisory Council:


One student member elected by the Graduate Student Advisory Council for a one-year term.

Faculty Senate: 


Two members appointed by Faculty Senate Chair 

Academic Affairs:


One member appointed by Vice President for Academic Affairs

Academic Dean:


One member appointed by Vice President for Academic Affairs

Department Chair:


One member appointed by the Council of Chairs



Two members appointed by Vice President for Academic Affairs



Two members appointed by Student Body President

Unless otherwise specified, appointments shall be for two academic years with appointments made during spring for the following fall.  Members unable to complete their terms shall be replaced for the unexpired portion of their terms by appropriate appointments.


The Textbook Rental Service Advisory Committee shall meet to discuss possible policy changes and to recommend cost limits.  Faculty members wishing to suggest changes in policy are urged to submit their ideas through the Committee.