Textbook Search

A web-based application for discovering textbooks available at the library.


The North Carolina State University Libraries adds one copy of every required fall and spring semester textbook to our Course Reserve collection. The popularity of this service created the need to identify assigned textbooks at the Libraries' service points. The Textbook Search allows staff and patrons to lookup available textbooks by curriculum code, course number, course title, or instructor last name, and quickly retrieve call number and location information. This tool uses data from the NC State Bookstores and ReservesDirect, our Course Reserves system, to expose all physical materials related to a specific course, acknowledging that the Textbook/Course Reserves distinction is not meaningful to our users.


How We Did It

The Textbook Search application consists of a data management server backed by a MySQL database and a set of python scripts for processing textbook data for ingest. Each semester, the campus bookstore provides Acquisitions and Discovery a list of textbooks for the term. This data is processed into CSV and imported into the Textbook Search application. The current interface supports searching for textbooks by curriculum code, course number, course title, and instructor last name.