Santa Fe Community College

Overcoming the Challenges of Remote Learning & Improving Access to Library Reserves

Immediate digital access to reserve textbooks

Reduced costs for reserve content

Enabled learning equity for disadvantaged students

For more than 35 years, Santa Fe Community College has been the gateway to success for individuals and the community by providing affordable, high-quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological, and economic needs of a diverse community. SFCC is designated a Best for Vets and a Military Friendly school. The college serves more than 13,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult programs


When the COVID-19 pandemic closed down schools across the United States, many students found themselves separated from campus and the resources they depended on throughout the school year. As with most institutions, Santa Fe Community College faced difficulties with the sudden shift to remote learning in March 2020. The textbooks on reserve in the library, which were intended for students who could not afford to purchase their own copies, were suddenly unavailable to students. As a result, students who relied on these free resources suffered academically.

Serving 2,000 full-time students and over 13,000 adult learners, Santa Fe Community College is a cornerstone of affordable education in the county. As an open-enrollment institution and serving a primarily Hispanic student population, it plays a key role in helping underserved students rise socioeconomically through equitable access to education.

Val Nye, the library director at SFCC, held a particularly personal stake in seeing that her students had access to the material they needed to succeed. She knew that the library’s reserve textbooks circulated to students with the greatest financial needs, as she would see them daily when they would come in to borrow textbooks for 2 hours at a time to complete assignments. The reserve shelf included 175 textbooks, circulating 2,000 times a year and serving 500 unique users. When COVID forced the closing of the library to the public, and students had to wait for 72-hour quarantine periods to gain access to physical reserve textbooks, Val knew that enabling immediate access to materials was an urgent need.

At the start of the pandemic, none of the textbooks on reserve were available to remote learners. Val found a temporary solution to make digital copies available. However, with affordability and accessibility top of mind, she needed to seek out a new provider of digital text books for the coming months.

“BibliU is playing a key role in promoting equity and inclusion in education. Working with BibliU, SFCC has enabled immediate and cost-effective digital access to reserve textbooks.”


BibliU offered a solution that worked for SFCC, providing immediate digital access to all the reserve textbooks that the most in-need students required to succeed in their coursework. Using funding provided by the CARES Act, which helped institutions manage the COVID transitions, SFCC chose BibliU to provide their reserved textbooks on a digital platform, allowing students to learn remotely and not have togo to the library in person.

With an intuitive interface that students found easy to use, and minimal staff involvement and training required for onboarding, BibliU was ideal for a school that needed a quick and effective solution. SFCC used BibliU’s uniqueUser-Activated Acquisition model, which met the school’s needs for affordability, while ensuring all students had access to any book in the library they needed on demand.

A major issue that Val came up against was keeping in line with copyright laws. Under fair use law, only 20% of a textbook can be scanned and shared, which limits how much a librarian can fulfill student requests. BibliU solved this problem by providing full access to most of the textbooks on reserve forSFCC’s most in-need students.


SFCC’s most financially struggling students gained free access to the textbooks they needed this academic year. BibliU played a key role in promoting equity and inclusion in education at the school, making sure no student was at a disadvantage as learning went remote. Working with BibliU, SFCC has enabled immediate digital access to reserve textbooks via a cost effective user-activation acquisition approach.

Other Case Studies

North Shore Community College

Providing Digital Content Access to Students Who Have No Other Content Access Options

Edge Hill University

Enabling Round-the-Clock Content Access for All Students

Allan Hancock College

Streamlining the Content Acquisition Process and Expanding Digital Reserves