Course Materials FAQ

August 7,2020

Is there information somewhere that tells students what books they need?

The Dal Bookstore website ( is a good place to start. Just click on Textbooks in the top-level menu and use the textbook search tool. Our website is constantly being updated as orders for textbooks and other course materials are received and processed, so it’s a good idea to check the website regularly. If you don’t find your course or a textbook for the course, you should contact your instructor or consult your course syllabus.

Is it the professor who communicates to students what books they need?

Yes, any textbooks or additional course material needed for a course – including where they can be obtained – are provided by your professor. This information is often shared through the course Brightspace page. You can also check the Dal Bookstore website.

Does the student have to find out from each professor, or do they get a list of textbooks they need from their faculty?

Any required textbooks or other course material are communicated by the faculty or found on the Brightspace page for the courses. You can also check the Dal Bookstore website.

How do I order textbooks and course material through the Dal Bookstore website?

On the Dal Bookstore’s website, click on the Textbooks tab. Textbooks are organized by the campus where your faculty is based, the academic term, and then the course the textbooks are for. Your search begins by selecting your campus where your program is based. 

To refine your search, you will be served with a series of dropdown lists beginning with the term for the course you’re registered in. That will be followed with the option to select your program, such as Biology, Commerce, Law, Music, etc., and then – under that – your course.  


See walkthough video


Using the Textbooks Search tool, follow these steps:

1. Search by campus

2. Select the Term

3. Select Programs and Courses  


4. Select from the available formats

5. Check your cart and create an account




Can I return my course materials?

There are no returns on digital course materials. Due to COVID-19, we’ve had to revaluate our return policy for physical textbooks. An update on our modified return policy will be coming soon.

How much does it cost to have my print course materials delivered? How long does that take?

Shipping costs vary based on several factors, including the weight of textbooks ordered, where they are being shipped to – locally, nationally or internationally – and through what courier (Canada Post, Purolator, FedEx, etc.).  You can save money by ordering digital versions of textbooks. The Dal Bookstore has made a commitment to offering digital versions of textbooks whenever possible. They can be purchased through the Dal Bookstore’s website, where available, using the standard Textbooks Search tool.

What textbooks formats are available?
Some textbooks are available in multiple formats:  

Not every textbook is available in all these formats – often it depends on the publisher – but as much as possible we try to give a variety of options and prices to choose from.  

The New or “Buy New” option refers to a hard copy of the textbook and is typically the highest priced option. Many students still prefer this as they can mark it up and even sell it back as part of our Book Buyback program.

Digital textbooks are growing in popularity among both faculty and their students, and in response we’re always looking to carry more of these wherever possible. They are typically less expensive than a new, hard copy textbook. However, you’re not able to purchase digital textbooks using your DalCard.

Loose leaf is a printout of the entire textbook, pre-punched with holes to fit into a standard three-ring binder. Note, the binder is not included but we carry a good selection of them under Stationery.