Textbook Options for Students

Buy or Rent your Textbook from:

  • MacEwan University Bookstore (they are currently offering reduced shipping rates due to COVID-19).
  • RedShelf - a popular digital rental and discount purchase site that includes many textbooks
  • Vital Source - another digital rental and discount purchase site that includes many textbooks

Some textbooks may be freely available online. Check out:

Borrow from the Library:

The Library is currently closed. Information about library services is updated regularly.

A copy of most required textbooks can be borrowed from the Library Services desk for two hours, with no renewals, on a first-come first-served basis. To expedite the process, know the title of the textbook and the relevant course name and number.

Request Portions of Books in the Library Collection

While there is no access to the Library's physical collection due to the impacts of COVID-19, students can use our Scan on Demand Service to scan roughly one chapter of print books in our collection.

CAUTION: Entire textbooks cannot be scanned due to copyright restrictions and repeat requests for the same title will be monitored. Requests will typically be processed within 2 business days.

Used Copies

Check out the MacEwan Used Book Exchange on Facebook, as well as online vendors who sometimes sell used copies, including the MacEwan University Bookstore and Amazon.

CAUTION: Before you buy a used textbook, check to see if the book includes an access code for online content and if the code is necessary. If your professor says the code is needed, and your code has been used or is expired, you’ll be stuck buying a new one, which can be more costly than just buying a new textbook.

Finished with your textbook? Post it on the MacEwan Used Book Exchange on Facebook, or check out the MacEwan Bookstore Buyback program and see if the Bookstore wants to give you money for your old books!

Older Editions

Sometimes you can find older editions of textbooks available for sale online.

CAUTION: Before deciding you don’t need that new edition, check with your instructor. The content can occasionally change quite a bit between editions, and you might be missing out on some important sections!


Textbook Options for Faculty

Switch to an Open Textbook

There’s a growing number of online textbooks that instructors are free to use, share, and modify including:

Librarians can also support faculty wanting to create or modify existing open textbooks through the MacEwan Open Books initiative. Email openbooks@macewan.ca for more information. 

Switch to a Digital Rental Option

Consider assigning a textbook for which a digital rental options exists. RedShelf and Vital Source are two popular sites that offer digital texts, purchase discounts, and rental options of many popular textbooks.

Keep Using Older Editions

Only switch to a new edition of a textbook if the content is outdated or the edition becomes unavailable from publishers. This gives students more opportunities to buy used copies and sell them when they no longer need them.

Don't Assign Textbooks That Students Aren't Required to Read

If students only need to read a small portion of the text consider putting the title on Reserve in the Library or it may be possible to make the readings available in Blackboard.

Find Lower Cost Alternatives

Is there a cheaper textbook with comparable content? Can you replace a textbook with scholarly articles and other sources that students can access online or through the Library? Subject librarians have expertise and can assist with locating alternative sources and compiling reading materials.