Duke University Libraries Textbook Policy

Duke University Libraries will purchase materials which support the teaching and research interests of Duke University. As a general policy, we do not purchase undergraduate textbooks for the collection. We add graduate level materials to the collection on a case-by-case basis, if the materials support long-term research or cover emerging research areas.  

Textbook Characteristics

  • include discussion topics, problems and study questions at the end of individual chapters
  • may be published in subsequent editions
  • are designed to be used by students for introductory, intermediate and advanced courses of study
  • fit the definition of "textbook" in the Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science by Joan M. Reitz, ABC-CLIO.     


  • A faculty member may place a personal copy of a textbook on reserve.
  • A faculty member may request that Perkins Library purchase a textbook that he or she has written and place it on reserve.
  • A faculty member may request that Perkins Library purcahse a single copy of a textbook and place it on reserve.
  • Subject librarians may determine that a textbook significantly supports Duke’s teaching/research interests.

Approved by Collections Council on October 22, 2008