Students fail to utilize the Thomas Tredway Library’s free resources

Zach Blair

Augustana has a wide selection of resources that can be accessed by students, though sometimes, there’s a lack of knowledge when it comes to good offers the library provides. Unfortunately, rather than going to the vast array of resources in the library, students flock to resources that they believe are more easily reachable. 

What causes such misconception and mislocation of efforts regarding this situation? I think it lies in the fact that certain resources are more well-known and convenient to access than others. 

The bookstore on campus, for example, has almost all the books required for different classes. We – Augie’s students – should feel lucky to have such an adequate little bookstore. However, what most people are probably unaware of is that the library has many of those same books and resources that one may seek to buy at the bookstore (and at a much cheaper price). 

Come spring semester, I’ve spent some money at the bookstore for the mandatory texts needed for my new classes. I’ve had to spend north of $100, which is not a small amount of money for a college student!

On top of that, when I bought it last fall, my Swedish workbook Rivstart cost me a pretty penny. Before purchasing it, though, if I had been smarter and scoured the library’s resources, I would’ve found that the library has two copies, helping anyone who may have had the same need as me to save money. 

What’s fascinating about my circumstances is that I’m like most people, mindlessly spending without priorly checking if the library had any of the books that I needed. Now, I know for certain that I would’ve been able to save money. 

Other concerns come up during these decisions as well: what if a student doesn’t want to spend or doesn’t have the change to spare in the process of buying required books? What if the bookstore doesn’t have the books they need?

Let me help you out with that one. By going to the Tredway Library’s website,, and clicking on the tab that is labeled “Research Support,” a few suboptions drop down. One of the options that becomes available reads “I-Share and Interlibrary Loan,” and it will take you to a page full of information clearly explaining how they work. 

I-Share is a service that allows Augie’s students to gain access to physical materials from more than 90 college and university libraries from across the state of Illinois, and it is not available to non-Augustana users. 

Along with I-Share, there’s the Interlibrary Loan. This service allows access and delivery of materials held by other libraries around the world, free of charge to students, faculty and staff of Augustana. 

Combined, these services grace students with a wonderful chance to exploit invaluable resources that come absolutely free.

More often than not, the best time to buy books is as soon as your teacher notifies your class of essential books specific to the course. So, the next time you struggle to access materials, I highly recommend every student at Augustana, before sprinting off to the bookstore on the prowl for those books, head to Tredway and ask questions to our delightful library staff. Maybe they can save you a couple bucks.