Find Textbooks

Please contact the MacEwan University Bookstore to buy or rent a textbook (they are currently offering reduced shipping rates due to COVID-19).

Below are some tips from the Library on how you can make the most of your textbook budget and access the resources you need.

We’ve also included some tips for faculty to help students!

Tips for Students

Request Portions of Books in the Library Collection

While there is no access to the Library's physical collection or those of other local libraries until further notice 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 3 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 app 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!

Online Access

Some textbooks can be found freely online through a variety of sites such as the Emergency Internet Library (accessible until the end of June 2020).

Textbook Rentals & eBooks

You can find many options for renting reasonably priced e-book and print versions of many popular textbooks online. Two popular sites are RedShelf and Vital Source.

Tips for Faculty

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Only switch to a new edition of a textbook if the content is outdated or the edition becomes unavailable from publishers.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 portion of the text, talk to the library. You might be able to put an electronic copy in e-reserves for your students to access for free.

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?

Switch to an Open Textbook

There’s a growing number of online textbooks that instructors are free to use, share, and modify. Check out the Open Textbook Library and BC Campus’ open textbook collection for examples.

The library can also support faculty wanting to create or modify existing open textbooks through our MacEwan Open Books initiative. Email for more information. 

Ensure Materials are Accessible  

If you’re creating your own resources, ensure that they are accessible to all your students including students with disabilities. The OER Accessibility Toolkit created by UBC provides information on how to do this effectively, including a checklist, or you can contact to access information and resources through Services to Students with Disabilities.

Want some help exploring your options?
Contact your Subject Librarian