Paws' Bookshelf brings a free textbook loan program to campus for IUPUI students


The highly anticipated -- and free -- textbook loan program for IUPUI students is hitting the shelves this spring. With Paws' Bookshelf, students can borrow textbooks for the semester without the hefty fees.

We sat down with Shaina Lawrence, assistant director in the Office of Student Advocacy and Support, to get the scoop.

Question: Why was Paws' Bookshelf created?

Answer: In 2018 focus groups, many students reported struggling with paying for textbooks as a top barrier to success. Due to the high cost of textbooks, many students reported choosing to have to pay for food over books and expressed a need to utilize any type of rental service that would reduce the cost of books. In order to help our students and reduce their barrier to success, the Office of Student Advocacy and Support, the physics department, the mathematical sciences department and University Library are excited to launch this new pilot program.

Q: What kind of textbooks can students borrow?

A: As we pilot Paws' Bookshelf, textbooks are currently available for most intro-level mathematics and physics courses. We will continue to expand offerings as we partner with more faculty.

Q: How can a student utilize Paws' Bookshelf?

A: Textbooks will be housed in University Library at the second-floor service and information desk. Students will need a referral form to the library in order to use Paws' Bookshelf, and they can get a referral form from their academic advisor or from the Office of Student Advocacy and Support, located in the Campus Center room 270. The library will help advise students on the textbooks they need based on the classes they are enrolled in. Students can check out one book per subject per semester, and students are expected to return the book(s) at the end of the semester.

As a reminder, Paws' Bookshelf is free for students to use. 

Q: Who should a student contact if they have questions, concerns or need support around using Paws' Bookshelf?

A: Students should contact the Office of Student Advocacy and Support with questions or concerns. They can email or 

Q: How can faculty refer students to Paws' Bookshelf?

A: Faculty should contact me at to have referral forms available, or faculty can direct students to their academic advisor or the Office of Student Advocacy and Support. 

Q: How can faculty partner with Paws' Bookshelf to have their textbooks included?

A: Faculty interested in having their textbooks included in the program can email me at

For more information or resources from the Office of Student Advocacy and Support, please visit

Connect with Paws on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Photo by Mary Olk, IUPUI