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Concordia’s Textbook Bursary Program supports students facing financial challenges during winter 2021

The Library Services Fund Committee initiative offsets costs for undergrads
March 25, 2021
By Leslie Goldstein

An atrium with walls with growing plants.

Concordia Library has been offering a large number of its services online to the university community over the last year. New key initiatives available since the fall term, such as Contactless Book Pickup, Article/Chapter Scan and Deliver and Library Study Space Booking, have contributed to students’ academic success.

But with the closure of the university’s two campuses — including the libraries — due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Course Reserves rooms remain unavailable. Print items from the course reserves collection cannot be borrowed at this time, which has had a particular impact on students who may not be able to afford the cost of textbooks.

As a way to alleviate the stress some undergraduate students have been experiencing during the pandemic, the Library Services Fund Committee created a Textbook Bursary Program. Made up of Concordia Student Union representatives and library administration, the committee specifically sought to support undergrads facing financial challenges at the beginning of the winter 2021 term.

The library managed the program in collaboration with the Financial Aid and Awards Office.

The bursary program, which ran from January 11 to February 11, aimed to offset the cost of textbooks or e-textbooks by providing a one-time assistance of $250 to purchase them. The program awarded 400 bursaries.

‘A great example’

Undergraduate students have been contributing $1 per credit to the Library Services Fund (LSF) since 2010. These contributions enable the LSF to provide students with carefully conceived collections, services and resources to inspire academic success.

“The Textbook Bursary Program is a great example of how the contributions to the LSF are benefiting the undergraduate student community,” says Guylaine Beaudry, vice-provost of digital strategy and university librarian. “This is especially true during the more challenging pandemic environment.”

Eduardo Malorni, a student representative on the LSF committee and student life coordinator for the Concordia Student Union, is excited about the number of initiatives that the LSF committee has created for students.

“The LSF has made it possible to continue providing improved services and additional resources to students that enrich their library experience and contribute to their academic success,” he says.

Prior to the current context, the fund has enabled students to benefit from offerings such as:

  • 24/7 access to the Webster Library and Vanier Library
  • Course Reserves rooms at the Webster Library and Vanier Library, to access copies of undergraduate textbooks and other readings
  • Laptops available for short-term loan at no charge
  • Tablets available for short-term loan at no charge
  • Living green walls to improve air quality at the Webster Library

Given the pandemic and consequent library closure, onsite services are not currently available.

However, with initiatives like the Textbook Bursary Program, the LSF committee continues to support undergraduate students with opportunities and resources during this exceptional time.

Visit the
Concordia Library website and find out more about the available services and resources.


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