MiddBooks is a student-to-student selling platform where students can sell their books directly to other students on campus with no fees, no shipping, and no waiting.
Subjects are organized into separate blog posts. If you’re selling or buying a book, search for the subject in the search box. All available books will be listed as comments – or create a comment to add your own book. Don’t forget your contact info as buyers will contact you directly, not through the site!
Here are some ideas that may or may not work for you, but hopefully something will be helpful. If you have questions or would like to discuss any of these further please let me know:
• If you’re only using sections of a book, and/or you use it often, you can scan these sections and upload them to Canvas for students to access for FREE – there are no copyright permissions required as no money is exchanging hands. Canvas also stores these PDFs for you indefinitely so it’s easy to add to future courses (this is by far the most economical option – I’m happy to help you get started with this if necessary!)
• Using Canvas for out of print materials that are no longer available – out of print books are usually very expensive, if we can find them at all
• Exploring all options/versions of course materials – sometimes an eBook is available at a fraction of the cost of the hard copy. You can adopt all acceptable editions and include a note saying students need to purchase only ONE version, whichever version works best for them
• Adopting books on time ensures students selling books at buyback get the most money for them AND allows us more time to source as many used copies as possible. It also allows students to see the cost of their materials at the time of registration so they can plan accordingly.
• Encourage students to use MiddBooks which is a student peer to peer bookselling site – so when they’re done at the end of the semester they can sell their books directly to another student on campus who will be taking the class next semester (this also keeps books on campus and reduces carbon footprint with shipping)
We have heard from multiple faculty members that they’re not familiar with Canvas and it’s one of my favorite resources available here – Midd actually has an entire department dedicated to helping faculty use it – so if you’re unfamiliar, here are some links with info:
We will reach out to the professor as soon as we are notified a book is on backorder from the publisher. Backorder dates are not guaranteed so we want to make sure everyone is aware in case the dates get pushed out.
Backorders come from the publisher, not MBS, and we would have encountered the same issues if we still had books in the store. At that time we had a larger staff who spent time finding individual titles. However, this additional work with third-party sellers increased the cost of the books to students and we have ended this practice.
Please note when a book is on backorder with the publisher it may still be available from outside sources (such as Amazon), but we do not source titles from individual sellers. If students have not yet ordered the book they can definitely check with alternate sources if they so choose, although shipping times are not guaranteed, prices may vary, and there is no guarantee the book is the correct ISBN/edition when purchased from a third-party seller.
If a book is out of print, please keep in mind the price goes up the longer it’s out of print, and makes it more difficult for students to find as time passes. We encourage professors to consider using alternative materials or creating PDFs from relevant sections of out of print books in order to provide the materials in the most economically friendly way for students. We are happy to assist in creating alternative educational materials – just ask!
Please note when a book is out of print with the publisher it may still be available from outside sources (such as Amazon), but the College Store does not source titles from individual sellers. If students have not yet ordered the book they can definitely check with alternate sources if they so choose, although shipping times are not guaranteed, prices may vary, and there is no guarantee the book is the correct ISBN/edition when purchased from a third-party seller.
Out of print issues are not MBS issues. We encountered out of print sourcing issues when books were stocked in the store, but at that time had a larger staff who spent time finding individual titles. However, this additional work with third-party sellers increased the cost of the books to students and we have ended this practice.
Adoptions are required by law to be available to students at the time of registration (please see this post for more information). This is important for students to see the total cost of their education, and allows us to stock titles for students who may be using financial aid for their books.
Delayed adoptions can cause delays in sourcing and stocking, especially for out of print titles.
Please note, we submit all approved courses for sourcing as soon as they’re approved, even if it’s before the deadline. Middlebury’s terms start a little later than other institutions and this helps ensure we can source enough copies of materials at the most competitive prices.
Why does it matter when I adopt books if books aren’t stocked in the store?
We continue to use MBS as our off-site warehouse and they begin sourcing and stocking books as soon as we submit adoptions (minimum 8-12 weeks prior to the start of class). Our deadlines allow us to give the best price for books to students during the December and May buyback periods. Book prices are based on supply and demand, therefore a book that has already been adopted will yield a higher price than one that hasn’t.
When do students order books? Why don’t my students have their books on the first day?
The Online Bookstore opens a month prior to class with consolidated free shipping to Middlebury for all student orders. Books are not stocked in the Middlebury College Store so please remind your students to order early. Having books adopted and ready to go for students allows them to take advantage of this free shipping promotion and have their books ready before the first day of class. It also ensures students are able to acquire materials in the event of sell-through on initial stock.
Recent surveys show over half of students wait to order their materials until the first week of class because they either didn’t know what was required or wanted to see if they truly needed the materials. If you know which text you’re using first, you can note that in Course Director (or let us know and we will add the note) to assist students in acquiring that book for the first day of class. Having an updated syllabus available at the time of registration with required texts listed is also helpful.