Desk and Exam Copies

Many publishers provide free desk copies to faculty members using a text in a course. They also provide exam copies (or evaluation copies), often with the expectation that exam copies will be returned to the publisher if they are not purchased or adopted for a course.

Publishers prefer to deal directly with faculty members concerning requests for and distribution of both desk and exam copies. Most publishers have an online form for requesting desk or exam copies, but some only take requests on specific printed forms or on college letterhead.

It is also important to realize that desk copies are often not provided until an actual order for a minimum number of new copies of the text is on record. The Greener Bookstore attempts to fill book orders with used books before ordering new books, so there can be quite a delay between your bookstore order and the publisher's record of orders for new copies. If you would like to know if the Greener Bookstore has ordered books at the publisher please contact the textbook buyer at and ask for the Purchase Order number. This will allow the publisher to see if new textbooks have been order.

Tips and Hints

  • Many texts are available through our library, especially with Summit's access to other libraries in the alliance. Before requesting exam copies, see if it is available in our library catalog.
  • The library is also happy to purchase materials that faculty request by Requesting a Library Purchase.
  • Another common approach is to use a web search engine to find the publisher's web site and then use that publisher's web search to find the text you'd like to request. The publisher's web page for the text may include a direct link to request a desk or exam copy. If there is no direct link, look for a general link about desk or exam copies.
  • Many publishers have designated representatives who are happy to work with you by phone or email to provide desk or exam copies. Again, the publisher's web site often has a way to find out who the representative for your area is. The Greener Bookstore is a good resource for finding out who to contact and helping you. Please email the book buyer at
  • You can also use services like Faculty Center to find books and publishers. Please go to The Greener Bookstore web page click on TEXTBOOKS, click for Faculty, and it will take you to Faculty Resources. Here you will find that the Greener Bookstore has an account for the Faculty Center. Please use the information to log in and create your own Faculty notebook. It allows you to contact the publisher for desk copies and other resources.

Using Academic Budgets (if free copies are unobtainable)

Since the 2010-11 academic year, there has been a specific line in the program budget request form to request funds to buy texts. It is, of course, helpful to the faculty as well as the overall college budget if faculty are able to get free desk and exam copies from publishers. But if that does not work out, you may fold some costs of buying texts into your academic budget. If you are approved to purchase your textbook you can do that at The Greener Bookstore with your ORG# at the Bookstore registers.

If faculty teaching courses are unable to obtain free desk copies, they may make a separate request to the dean (for Evening and Weekend Studies) or director (for graduate programs) for funds to purchase texts. Any such funding is very limited and impacts the availability to fund other requests (such as guest speakers, field trips, etc.).

If you purchase texts using academic budget funds, the texts become the property of the college. While you are employed by the college, the texts can remain in your possession, but if you retire or leave, those texts should be given to the library to be either added to the collection or sold.