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Medical Student Resources

Rules and Policies

Welcome to the Book Exchange!

Medical School students do not typically have required textbooks during the second year. Instead, they choose books which allow them to prepare for their clinical rotations and exams. The number of books used during the eight different rotations for the year can be very costly. The students came up with the Book Exchange as a solution.

Second year medical students can choose to buy into the program. The money collected is used to purchase new books at the beginning of each Fall semester. Only students who are paying members of the program may check out books.

The Medical Center Library & Archives houses, maintains, and facilitates the loan of the books, but we do not own the collection.


To best serve the needs of your group the Library would like you to know a few things:

  1. You may only check out books for the rotation you are currently in.

  2. Book Exchange is only available during the hours library staff are present (M-F from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.). You may request materials to be pulled and checked out to you for pick up AFTER HOURS ONLY. This means we pull copies for your next rotation, check them out to you, place them in a bag, you come during security hours (M-F: 6 p.m. - 12 a.m., Saturday: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. - 12 a.m.), and the security guard will hand you books (must show ID). Please do not place requests for materials you will pick up Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To submit a request for after hours pick-up, please fill out this form: https://mclibrary.duke.edu/book-exchange

  3. You may check out books NO EARLIER than the Friday before your rotation starts. This allows your fellow students time to return their books and for us to check in/replenish the shelves.

  4. You may NOT check out your next selection of books until ALL of your previous rotation’s books are returned. There is not a vast supply of books. If you do not return your books there may not be enough for the next group.

  5. Rotations are 4, 6, 8 weeks in length. If you are in a 6 week rotation (OBGYN or Psych) you may NOT check out your next rotation until the end of the 8 week cycle. This allows students to use books during the entirety of their rotation. You may decide you need one more title two days before your final exams. You should have the option to do this. So, no early checkouts!

  6. You cannot return your books and check out your next rotation in the same transaction. Students will often come into the library in large groups to check out and return materials. If there are a lot of people, we may not have time to process your returns and replenish shelves in time for books to be available. You may need to drop off your returns and come back later to get your next rotation. Be patient with Desk staff. We only have a limited number of people to assist.

  7. If you check out books well before the beginning of your rotation your books WILL go “lost” in our system. Our system checks out the BEx books for only 4, 6, or 8 weeks. At 5, 7, or 9 weeks the system thinks these books are overdue and automatically assigns fines – sometimes big fines. Ignore Book Exchange Fines!  We do not own these books – the program does. Once your books are returned we will remove the fines. It is rare for us to truly fine for BEx books, lost or heavily damaged are the only two which might occur. However, if you don’t check out books early your account will not generate fines.

If you have further questions or issues concerning the Book Exchange, or your account, you are welcome to contact Elizabeth Berney or the Book Exchange administrators.

Thank you for using the Book Exchange! 

- Elizabeth

Elizabeth Berney
Access Services Manager
elizabeth.berney@duke.edu
919-660-1100