I received three replies to my question about an electronic method of sharing textbooks among nurses at my hospital.  Here is my original posting:

Close to 100 nurses at my hospital are enrolled in the same BSN-completion program through an online university.   Wanting to save money, they come to the library to see if we can borrow the textbooks they need via interlibrary loan.  We've done this a couple of times, but of course the book is due before the semester is over.

I have investigated textbook rental options for them, which I think will be a cheaper alternative.  But I was also thinking about some kind of textbook sharing system, especially because there are so many of them enrolled in the same program.  At one point, the Manager of Nursing Development was serving as the central contact person for textbook sharing.  She maintained a list of names (and contact information) along with which textbooks that person was willing to sell.  When someone contacted her wanting that textbook, she would give out the contact information.  Then it was up to the nurse to contact the individual, determine a selling price, and make arrangements for the sale.  This was a number of years ago, and the Nursing Development Manager did all of this by maintaining a spreadsheet with the information contained there.  Obviously this was a very time-consuming and cumbersome way to accomplish this.

I would like to do something similar, but there HAS to be an electronic method of accomplishing the same thing.  Kind of like a Craig's List for textbook sales, but I would prefer it to be private or free-standing.  Does anyone know of any software or web site which could accomplish this?

Thanks in advance.  Email me privately at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]:[log in to unmask]>>.  If there is any interest, I'll post a summary of my answers.

And here are the replies, all excellent suggestions:

We have an e-Bay-type service on our intranet. I would let the people post their sale items themselves, and have nothing at all to do with it!


We have the same thing going on at our hospital, except only a few of them know to check our library for books that they can borrow.

We've tried to eliminate the issue of ILL the same books over and over again by purchasing one circulating copy, and put another one on-reserve so that nurses can refer to the materials in-house.  Most of the other nurses foot the bill and fill out a tuition reimbursement application.  One year the requests for ILLing books got so much out of hand that my manager wrote up a policy that we will not be able to borrow books needed for school anymore.  The requests have gone down significantly, so I'm guessing they ended up purchasing their own.

I think if you want a way to create a list of books for exchange that's private/free-standing - perhaps starting a Wiki would be an option.  Depending on if you want it to be accessible to all the BSN nurses, or moderated by one person it provides that sort of flexibility I think you're looking for.


If no one has suggested already: you could try using a simple Google Doc/Spreadsheet.  You can set it to be private, so that only those with the link can access it.  Those looking to sell can post their books, and those looking to buy can see what's for sale and who to contact.  Might be a way to let the students manage the exchanges themselves.

THANKS to everyone who responded!


Valerie L. Reid, MSLS, AHIP
Manager, Medical Library
Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center
18101 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
313 / 593-7692 Direct Line

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