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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Textbook Goldmine

Can’t find what you are looking for on Healey Library? Textbooks eating up all your money? If you are among the majority of UMB students who don’t know about what our humble university library is capable of, prepare yourself for amazement.

Here is the big news: every UMB student who has a Healey Library account can benefit from Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system, allowing you to check out an almost unlimited number of books from associate libraries. The system allows you to ask for a book from the libraries of MIT, Princeton, UMass Amherst or New York Public Library and you are likely to get a copy just in a couple of days.

The bigger news is that this library network is not limited to only expensive textbooks, but also millions of other books, articles and multimedia items.

“Only with this one, I have saved $200,” marketing major Long Lin said, while returning an ILL textbook to the Healey Library front desk. “I checked out four textbooks so far this semester and that helped me not spend a fortune of $500.”        

Long has two more years to graduate and is happy to know that library networks will probably save him around another $2,000.

“Why do I have to buy every single textbook and pay a second tuition?” Long continued. “Sometimes you are not even sure whether you will drop the class or not; sometimes the teacher does not use the book a lot. This system saves me from all those unpleasant expenses.”

Long is not the only student on campus who digs this textbook goldmine. According to UMB ILL system database, there are 3,500 active student users at the moment. And student participation is still growing: another statistics report shows that total number of requests (including textbooks, articles, all genres of books and multimedia items) jumped from 13,511 in 2009 to 19,297 in 2010, an increase of about 43 percent.

“In some universities, undergraduate students are restricted from library network systems,” said Janet Steward, the interim supervisor of ILL at Healey Library. “But it is not the case in UMB. Our system is open to all students and faculty.”

However, according to Steward, some textbooks are still hard to get hold of, especially the newest editions. Earlier editions, however, are available for the most part. “Ask your professor for the early edition,” she recommended. “Early editions are easier to find and sometimes professors may accept these editions.”

Steward strongly highlights the fact that ILL is not the only option to get books from other libraries. “Boston Library Consortium Card is another option. If you need an item from any of the Consortium Libraries such as Tufts, MIT and Emerson, you can actually go to that library and check it out from its original location.”

Another benefit of this network is for those who struggle to learn foreign languages or miss their homeland’s literature. “ILL is not only restricted to English,” said Natalie Coady, ILL Borrowing Coordinator at Healey Library. “As long as found in the member library’s catalog, books even in Arabic and African languages can be requested.”

A huge fan of Interlibrary Loan since her college years, Coady’s experience is maybe eye-opening for many. “When I used to request movies from ILL, sometimes it was even faster than NetFlix.”

About the Contributor
Barış Munyakmaz served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Managing Editor: 2010-2011 Culture & Diversity Editor: 2009-2010