Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Oh.my.god.

So I almost never assign books, right? I just do up course kits, for the vast majority of my readings. This year I thought I'd assign a couple of books. I assigned one for my first year course that started this week (as well as a course kit, of course). I put my book orders in, in the last week of September. That's three and a half months ago. I designed my course, relying exclusively on that collection of essays at the end, with a few pieces from it scattered throughout.

What do I find out this morning? (Let me remind you that this is 3 1/2 months after I put my book order in.) That the book is probably never going to come in. The publisher doesn't have it in stock. Oh my fucking god. Fuuuuuuuck. What the hell am I going to do???

This is why I should never order books. Dammit. I was so pleased about this book, too. It was one of the things that I felt made this course awesome. Oh, I could strangle someone!!!!!!

11 comments:

Dr. Crazy said...

Check with online book places (amazon, powells, alibris) to see whether they have copies available either used or new. If they do, you can have students get the book from there and do an end-run around the bookstore and the publisher.

Hilaire said...

I've looked online...there aren't enough copies at places like this to guarantee that my students could all get one. I.e. there's one copy at Amazon.

What's infuriating about this is that I actually checked on my book orders in early November, to make sure all was okay with them. I was told it was! Argh!

Anyway, I've asked the bookstore if they can make course kits out of the essays I require for the course. It's a long shot, I know (copyright), but it's the best idea I can come up with.

neophyte said...

Don't tell anyone I told you to do this (conspiracy!), but get course packets of the essays you can, and for the others, make photocopies as you go along and give them as handouts. No one will know, and if the book's not for sale new, you're not screwing anyone out of anything. Or (gasp) make them go to the library. Explain carefully and slowly that it won't kill them, and they'll go.

Bardiac said...

Can you put some stuff on reserve in some way? (e-reserve, or physical copies) I've used that in various modes with fair success. I especially like e-reserve, because I can usually convince students to print out their own copy so they have it in class.

Belle said...

E reserves are good, but the latest batch the library made for me are the most awful of copies; the inside margins are solid black, completely unreadable. And classes start Monday!

Hilaire said...

Oh, e-reserves, wherefore art thou? Not in Canada, that's for sure. Seriously, I always hear these things about e-reserve, and I don't know of any Canadian university that has it - and I've worked at quite a few by now. But I should look into it, just for the hell of it. 'Cause that would certainly be the perfect solution, no?

I have calmed down since this post...I will find a way to do this. The bookstore can't make a coursepack of the stuff because it's not "out of print" - funny, it's not out of print but the very publisher doesn't know when they'll be getting more copies? Sounds pretty near out of print. But I will do some kind of scanning/email thing.

Thanks for all your comments, folks!!! Bloggers are so helpful.

Hilaire said...

Nope. I checked. No e-reserves. Why, why??? It's embarrassing, frankly!

dbm/gaa said...

You could make your own e-reserve. You'd have to scan the book, but then if you pdf it into a protected space (course website accessible only to students registered in the class) and you are basically okay with copyright laws. It is kind of a grey area, but it works.

Hilaire said...

Grumpy, I don't have WebCt or a website. But I do plan to in future. (Once I learn how! - I was going to learn WebCT for this term but then I found out the uni is changing their system to a new one for next year so I thought I'd wait for that one.) It is *great* to know that this is okay woth copyright laws - you've just made my day!

medieval woman said...

Grrr on your behalf! I'm having trouble with Norton this semester - and they always have everything in stock!

A pox on them!

JM said...

Also, you can post the pdf on a non-protected space (like your personal site instead of webct or the like) as long as the pdf is passworded (you can do that in acrobat) and only the students and you have the password to unlock it. So, easy download but only readable by those with a password.

I'm not sure if it's exactly cool with copyright issues, but I have had many instructors do this and _say_ it met the copyright/distribution requirements...