Student Textbook Policies

students checking out textbooks 

Textbook Issue

Undergraduate Students

  1. Textbook issue for undergraduate students begins at 8 a.m. one week before classes begin.
  2. A UW-River Falls ID card or another form of legal photo ID is required to check out texts.
  3. Those students who have Textbook Services holds on their eSIS accounts will be required to clear up these obligations before textbooks are issued.
  4. All textbooks from previous semesters or dropped classes must be returned before more textbooks will be issued.
  5. Students must check out their own textbooks. A student may not use another student's ID card to check out textbooks.
    1. The Textbook Services manager will make special arrangements for textbook issue in cases where the student is not able to come to Textbook Services.
  6. For most classes, textbook rental fees are paid as part of your tuition.
  7. Each student is responsible for the materials he or she checks out and must adhere to all policies to ensure that the rights and needs of other students are not compromised, and to ensure the proper management of the system.


Graduate Students

  1. Most textbooks for graduate students are available for purchase in the Falcon Shoplink in the University Center.
  2. Graduate students taking undergraduate and/or "slash" courses may rent texts from Textbook Services if the text is not available for purchase in the Falcon Shop, but only after all undergraduate requirements for the text have been met.
  3. A graduate rental fee is collected at Textbook Services at the time the materials are checked out.
  4. All check out and return policies and procedures that apply to undergraduate students also apply to graduate students.


Auditing Students

  1. Students that are not enrolled for credit and have not paid the segregated fee may rent any texts from Textbook Services only after all undergraduate requirements for the text have been met.
  2. Additional copies of a text will not be ordered for auditing students if they have not paid the segregated fee.
  3. A rental fee is collected at Textbook Services at the time the books are checked out.
  4. All check out and return policies and procedure that apply to undergraduate students also apply to auditing students.


Mailing Textbooks

  1. When necessary for online or distance learning classes, Textbook Services will mail textbooks to a student who is unable to come to campus. 
    1. Students should make every effort to come to campus before requesting items to be mailed.
  2. All check out and return policies and procedures that apply to undergraduate students also apply to students in online classes. 
  3. Requests must be made in writing to  Requests should include your name, student ID number, and mailing address.
  4. There is a minimum shipping charge of $10, and is adjusted according to the size and weight of the items being mailed.
    1. The mailing fee applies to access codes as well.  Textbook Services will NOT email or verbally distribute the codes.
  5. All items checked out from previous semesters must be returned before more items will be mailed. Any financial obligations must be cleared.
  6. There is a four day grace period from the assigned due date to allow for mailing time.  Any materials postmarked after these four days will be subject to late fees.
Textbook Return

Due Dates

  1. Textbooks/materials must be returned by closing time on the last day of finals of the semester in which they were checked out, unless prior arrangements have been made.
    1. Dropped classes:  due immediately, up to 4 calendar days, even if the course is to be retaken the following semester.
    2. Half semester texts:  due on Friday of the week in which the last scheduled meeting of the class took place according to the Registrar's class schedule.
    3. Online class texts:   due within one week of the last day of the class as published in the Registrar's class schedule.
    4. Summer session class texts: due on the last day of the class or by the date indicated on the booklist printout.
    5. Withdrawals:  due on the date of withdrawal unless prior arrangements have been made.
  2. Fines are charged for textbooks/materials which are returned after the assigned due date.
  3. Textbooks/materials which will be used in consecutive semesters must be returned by closing time on the last day of finals of the semester in which they were checked out. 
    1. Students who wish to keep texts/materials for study over the semester breaks must pay an additional rental fee.
  4. Incompletes:  students may retain the materials for those courses, provided there are enough copies for currently enrolled students, without fines or additional rental fees if the student is enrolled the following semester.  Arrangements must be made prior to closing time on the last day of finals. Maximum extension: one semester.
  5. Checking out materials to non-students -- Anyone who is not a student, nor a faculty member, may not check out textbooks.

Returning Texts

  1. An ID card is not required for textbook return.
  2. Textbooks/materials are to be returned at Textbook Services, checked in, and returned to the main stacks. They must not be left unattended on the counters, in the hallway, etc.
  3. Fines will be charged for items abandoned or returned to the wrong location.
  4. Texts/materials may be returned to the inside or outside bookdrops when Textbook Services is closed, except during finals week.  Fines will be charged per book for unauthorized use of the bookdrops during finals week and closed hours.
  5. The return of one student's textbook(s) by another person is permitted, however, the student who checked the materials out originally is ultimately responsible for the return of the materials, and for payment if they are lost, overdue, or damaged.

Penalties and Other Charges

Fines & Other Charges

  1. Materials which were due and not returned by their due date will be fined at the following rates:
    1. $5 per item returned within two weeks (14 calendar days) after the due date.
    2. $10 per item returned between two and four weeks after the due date.
    3. $15 per item returned after the first four weeks have elapsed, if a new semester has begun, or after an overdue notice has been prepared.
  2. Textbooks which are kept beyond the due date and for which it is necessary to purchase replacement copies to meet enrollment for a subsequent semester will not be accepted for return, but must be paid for at the full price.
  3. Textbooks/materials returned by a staff or community member, or returned to another library, will be fined at $2 per item.
  4. A fine of $5 per textbook, but no more than $10 per class, is charged for textbooks from dropped classes which are returned more than four (4) calendar days after the class has been dropped on eSIS or at the Registrar.
  5. There is a $5 fine for removal or mutilation of textbook barcodes.
  6. Fines for overdue materials will be waived in cases where sickness or family emergency is involved, provided a notification of absence has been received from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, or when proper documentation is provided.
  7. A fine of $1 per textbook is charged for textbooks which are returned to the wrong location in the main textbook stacks.
    1. Books that are put away using the red number will be fined at the discretion of the Textbook Services employee that found the book.
  8. Highlighting or marking materials is not allowed.  Fines will be charged depending on the severity of damage.
  9. A letter fee may be assessed to cover costs of preparing and mailing overdue notices.
  10. Undergraduate students pay a rental fee of $73.80 per semester as a part of their tuition.
  11. Graduate and auditing students pay a fee from $2 to $30 per text, depending on the original cost of the text.

Lost, Stolen, and Damaged Texts

  1. Materials that are lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair must be paid for at the full price.
  2. Materials that are returned with mold must be purchased due to health risks and to prevent the spread of the mold spores to other books.  
  3. Refunds of the full purchase price less a $15 per item service charge will be given, upon return, for lost materials costing $16 or more, provided all following conditions are met:
    1. The book is still current
    2. A replacement copy has not been purchased
    3. It is within one year of purchase
  4. Students who return materials which are damaged but still usable will be charged fines that will be assessed using a standardized rubric.  Fines are assigned using a percentage of the cost of the item.  Factors that affect this percentage are the original cost of the material, the extent of the damage, the age of the material, and on the approximate cost of repair.
  5. Materials which are damaged and no longer usable must be paid for at the full list price.
  6. There is a two week period at the beginning of each semester during which students may inspect their textbooks for damage and report any problems to Textbook Services.  
    1. This includes verifying that any CDs, inserts, etc that are included with the text are in working condition and are included with the text. 
    2. After this two week period, the student may be held responsible for damage to textbooks or missing CDs, inserts, etc at the discretion of the Textbook Services manager.
    3. Damage reported on new books is eligible to be fined, regardless of when it is reported.
  7. Students may exchange a privately owned text, CD, or disk to replace a lost item at the discretion of the Textbook Services manager only.  Replacement copies may not be purchased for damaged texts.  A $15 processing fee will be charged.


  1. All disputes involving textbook return, damage, overdues, fines, lost or stolen texts, etc. will be handled by the manager and/or assistant manager.
    1. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, students may write up a complaint and submit it to the library director.


Textbook Purchase

Current Texts/Materials

  1. Current texts/materials may be purchased at a discount of 20% by currently enrolled students during the posted book sale.
  2. Currently enrolled students who wish to purchase current textbooks outside of the book sale may do so at full list price.
  3. Graduate students may purchase only those texts that they have currently checked out from Textbook Services.

Discontinued Texts/Materials

  1. Discontinued texts/materials are available for sale at all times.
  2. Texts are on display at Textbook Services, and students, staff, alumni, and community members may buy them.
  3. A list of discontinued textbooks is available online.
  4. Discontinued texts must be purchased in person at Textbook Services.
  5. Book buyers may contact the Textbook Services manager for a quote. 

Financial Obligations

  1. Outstanding financial obligations will result in a hold placed on the student's eSIS account.  This may result in withholding of permission to class registration, receiving grades, and the release of transcripts until the obligation is cleared.
  2. Long overdue accounts may be referred to a collection agency or the Department of Revenue in accordance with University policy.
  3. Overdue notices are prepared and sent once each semester. Second notices are sent, if necessary, for obligations that have not been cleared.
  4. A letter fee may be assessed to cover costs of preparing and mailing these overdue notices.
  5. Overdue notices are sent according to the following schedule:
    1. First notice – 1 month after the due date
    2. Second notice – 1 month after the first notice is sent
    3. Collections – if amount due is greater than $50, final notice sent 1 month after the second notice, giving students 1 month to clear their record. 
  6. If there is a delay in sending overdue notices for any reason, the schedule for subsequent notices will be adjusted accordingly.
  7. Once accounts are turned over to a collection agency, books may not be returned and accounts cannot be adjusted.


  1. The "FAQ" section of our website may answer many questions. If there are other questions about policy relating to a particular situation, consult Textbook Services only. Do not ask other students or faculty members. You can contact Textbook Services at 715-425-3106 or by e-mail.

Click heredocument for a PDF version of student policies.

Click heredocument for a PDF version of our Textbook Guide (given to all freshman and transfer students)