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Student Services: Hornbook Exchange

What is a hornbook?


1. A primer; a book explaining the basics, fundamentals, or rudiments of any science or branch of knowledge. 

2. A colloquial reference to a series of textbooks that review various fields of law in summary, narrative form, 

as opposed to casebooks, which are designed as primary teaching tools and include many reprints of 

court opinions.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Hornbook Exchange

What Is It?

The Hornbook Exchange is a library-assisted program allowing students to borrow and/or donate "hornbooks," "primers," or any other law-related educational study aids. The books are NOT the property of the law library and do not need to be checked out - instead, we simply provide a space for students to freely trade study aids back and forth when they no longer need them. The shelf for the Hornbook Exchange is located in the Basement, next to the Bright Reading Room.  

How Does It Work?

Students may borrow or donate study aides/guides/flashcards, etc. at any time. At certain points in the semester, there may be many books on the shelf, and at others it could be empty, depending on the number of students participating. The Exchange is run on an honor system with a goal to assist as many students as possible, and students are asked to adhere to the following rules:

  • Borrow no more than three items at once;
  • Return items that you are no longer using;
  • If you make use of the Exchange for borrowing, please consider donating your own old items if you are able

*Note that because most items in the Hornbook Exchange are used, many are not the most recently published editions. For the newest editions of a variety of study guides, students may check out books from the Academic Success collection on the first floor.

Questions about the Hornbook Exchange may be addressed to Library Director Tammy Oltz at