Once you’ve registered for classes, the next step is securing course materials. We encourage students to have a plan for accessing all the course materials you need at least a month in advance to account for exploring options, personal budgeting, and, if needed, shipping.
Course materials are more than just textbooks. Lab coats are required for science courses and art supplies are necessary for art courses. Buying the materials necessary for course work is expensive. The goal of this webpage is to provide resources for procuring textbooks and other course materials for little or no cost.
Lute Lending Library & Course Reserves
An alternative to purchasing textbooks is to borrow them from the Lute Lending Library & Course Reserves at the Circulation Desk in the Mortvedt Library. Course materials at the Lute Library and Course Reserves are available for short term check out, for 2 hours to 24 hours.
How to Decipher a Course Schedule
Before purchasing any course materials, verify your semester schedule. Make sure you’re buying (or borrowing or downloading) the correct items. Here’s how to read your course schedule, using an example:
CRN Course Title …. Instructor
20638 WRIT 101 06 FYEP 101:Writing Seminar – WR …. James
CRN is a unique PLU number. You only need this if courses are canceled or added to the schedule.
Course is the four letter abbreviation for the course name. The number 101 signifies the level. (Any numbers 101-499 are undergraduate level courses.) The number 06 signifies the section of the course. There about two dozen WRIT 101 courses, so it’s imperative to verify which section, or class, is listed on the semester schedule.
Title is just that – the name of the course.
Instructor is the last name of the professor teaching this course.
When not buying or renting a textbook through PLU’s Lute Locker, verify that what is being procured is EXACTLY what the instructor requires.
- Verify which course you’re actually registered to take. (See box to the left on how to do this.)
- When buying or renting textbooks, match the ISBNs (What’s an ISBN?), issue/edition, publisher, etc. with what is listed on the Lute Locker website.
- Check the syllabus! Sometimes, instructors will provide access to free or low-cost materials. In other circumstances, the materials are available only through the instructor or the department. Contact your instructor if you have any questions about materials.
How to Buy Textbooks from the Lute Locker
- Access your schedule through Banner.
- See How to Decipher a Course Schedule for instructions on how to find the courses and specific sections on your schedule.
- Visit the Lute Locker textbook website and click the Get Started button.
- Use the first pull down menu to select your Term. For example, Fall 2021.
- Use the second pull down menu to select your Site. For example, if your class is WRIT 101.06, you will scroll down and select Writing.
- Use the third pull down menu to select your Course ID. For example, if your class is WRIT 101.06, select section 6.
- Repeat the process for each course listed on your schedule.
- Once complete, click the arrow and you will see all of the required course materials.
Money Saving Resources for the Savvy Student
More Ideas and Resources
Undocumented and Black Identified Student Resources
PLU commits to insuring all Undocumented and Black Identified Students course materials are available through the Lute Library & Course Reserves. This includes textbooks, course materials like lab coats and art supplies, and online access codes. Learn more and make a request HERE for Undocumented Students and HERE for Black Identified Students.
Reduce - Reuse - Recycle
At the end of each semester, the Lute Locker buys back textbooks that have been purchased through them. Check their website for buy back dates and location.
Most rental textbooks will need to be returned by a certain date. If the retailer provided you with a shipping label from USPS, UPS, or Fed Ex, you may take any textbooks to the Customer Service Center, located on lower campus, near Morken.
Consider donating any textbooks you cannot return. There are donation boxes located in the library towards the end of each semester. The SurPLUs store will take items as well, like clothing. They’re also located on lower campus, on the far end of the Customer Service Center building.
Need Help? Contact:
Center for Student Success
Director of the Diversity Center
Advisor, Center for Student Success