VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Library Ebooks as Course Materials

Requesting a purchase from VCU Libraries

If the library does not have an ebook you need for a class you are teaching, you can request that VCU Libraries investigate the purchase of the title using the following form: 

Please note in the "Reason this item should be purchased" field that you will be using this book as course material.

When requesting a purchase, please keep in mind: 

  • The request does not guarantee the library will purchase the book. We will do our best to meet requests, but a number of factors help determine which books we purchase, including availability as an unlimited user ebook.
  • We will try our best to expedite the process--especially given the current push to move courses online--but please note that purchasing the books is not instantaneous. Depending on staff workloads, it may take a week or longer from the date of the request to when the ebook is added to our collection.
  • All requests must meet VCU Libraries Collection Guidelines (linked below), which does not include traditional textbooks.

Requesting upgrades

If the library already owns an ebook but it does not meet the recommended guidelines for use in courses (e.g. limited number of users), please complete the above form or contact your liaison librarian or the Open Educational Resources Librarian.  We will investigate the possibility of an upgrade to unlimited users for the ebook, following the considerations listed above.

VIVA Faculty Ebook Portal

The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), the library consortium for Virginia, provides the VIVA Faculty Ebook Portal as an alternate avenue to locating or purchasing ebooks for use as course materials. 

The portal contains: 

  1. VIVA-owned ebooks. VCU Faculty have access to these titles as a part of the VCU Libraries collection.
  2. Open Educational Resources (OER). Everyone can freely access these resources based on their open licensing. To learn more about OER, visit our OER Guide.
  3. Ebooks available for purchase. VCU Faculty can preview and request VIVA purchase titles to be used in their classes. 

All portal titles allow for unlimited users, which means that everyone in a class can access the book simultaneously, no matter how big. 

Please note that the portal contains ebooks, such as monographs and edited volumes, rather than volumes which might traditionally be considered textbooks, such as a standard "Introduction to Algebra" textbook.

Both adopting and requesting purchase of books requires the completion of a short form outlining information about the class in which the book will be used and the book it will replace.  For additional details on how to access, navigate, and request books using the VIVA Faculty Ebook Portal, review the following: