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Textbooks Tool and UBook


Using the Textbook Tool
Using UBook -- The Basic Steps
Using UBook -- The Steps in Detail
How to get the best results from UBook



Textbooks Tool

The Textbooks tool allows instructors to post required reading lists on CTools. Instructors enter the reading lists in MPathways and students can see lists in their CTools My Workspace.

Note that not all instructors will list their books in the Textbooks tool. In addition, if an instructor makes a change to the required textbooks, it will not appear in the Textbooks tool until the instructor updates the information in MPathways.

Instructors -- For information about using the Textbook tool, please visit:


UBook, which is part of the Textbooks Tool, is a used book exchange. Students can list books they would like to sell and search for books they want to purchase. Note that financial transactions do not take place in CTools; rather students complete transactions via person-to-person emails.


For information on how to add the Textbooks and UBook tools or any other tool after you have created your site, click here (opens in a new browser window) or click Edit Tools on the Site Info tool under "Site Management" in the help table of contents.

Using the Textbook Tool

Students -- Click Textbooks Tool in the left-hand menubar. Pull down the menu to choose the desired term. You will see your courses and their required reading lists if books have been entered by your instructors.

Faculty -- The Textbooks Tool appears automatically in all students' My Workspaces.

For information about submitting reading lists in MPathways so they will appear in the Textbook tool, please visit:


Using UBook — The Basic Steps

1. The Seller posts a book, supplying a description of the condition of the book, its contents, and an asking price.

2. The Buyer searches for a particular book, compares the listings and prices of any matches.

3. Using the email link provided, the Buyer contacts one or more of the sellers to express interest in buying a listed book.

4. The Buyer and Seller negotiate the details of the transaction including final price, and location and time of the exchange.

5. Once the transaction is complete, the Seller removes the listing from UBook to prevent other Buyers from finding it in their searches

Note: Aside from providing an interface for posting and searching, UBook does not support financial transactions between parties nor does it vet the accuracy or quality of individual postings. Please use common sense when arranging to buy and sell from fellow UBook users, applying the same standards of disclosure that you would use in any open online forum.

Using UBook — The Steps in Detail

To sell a book:

1. Open the Textbooks/UBook link in the left-hand menu.

2. Click UBook along the top of the main window.

3. Enter the ISBN number of the book you want to sell.

4. Click Search.

5. Find the book that you are selling in the search results list. If more than one version appears, find the correct one.

6. Click Offer in UBook under the book.

7. Type a price for the book. (See suggested ways to set a price under "How to Get the Best Results from UBook," below.)

8. Add notes about the book's condition, when it will be available, etc.

Your book will appear in a list of your UBook offerings.

9. If someone is interested in buying one of your posted books, he or she will contact you via email to work out the details.

Important Note: If you sell a book, remove its listing from this list. Otherwise, you may still be contacted by others who want to buy the book after you have sold it.

Another Important Note: Your offer will automatically be removed from the list after 28 days if you don't remove it sooner.

To buy a book:

1. Open the Textbooks/UBook link in the left-hand menu.

2. Click UBook along the top of the main window.

3. Enter either the title of the book you want to purchase or its ISBN number.

4. Click Search.

5. If you see that the book is being offered and you are interested, click its title.

6. Your default email client will open and you will be able to to send a message to the seller of the book. The seller's email and some suggested message text will appear in the email.

7. Send the email and wait for a response from the seller.

How to Get the Best Results from UBook

Setting a price:

Here are a few pointers for setting a price for your offered books:

Do a search for your book in UBook before creating a posting. This will give you a sense of what other UBook users are asking for the same book.

Compare new and used offerings for the same book at different booksellers (e.g. Amazon or local booksellers).

Provide a detailed and honest description of the condition of the book. This applies to the cover and contents of the book, including any missing or marked up pages.

Indicate the extent to which you are willing negotiate on the asking price.

Realize that the person with whom you are negotiating is probably a student just like yourself and bargain accordingly.

Be Safe:

Although UBook use is limited to the academic community, you should apply the same standards of disclosure that you would use in any online forum. We recommend that you not include cell phone numbers, addresses or other personal information in your postings. When a buyer finds your book in UBook he will be presented with your email address which should be adequate for making the initial contact. Arrange for the exchange in a well-lit, public place.

Remove sold books:

Once you have sold a book, remove it from your UBooks listings. Doing so will prevent other buyers from emailing you with requests to buy a book you've already sold.

Listings expire:

Realize that UBook listings expire after a predetermined number of days (usually 28) and renew your listings as necessary.


Confirm that the edition you are considering buying is the one that is being used in the course: This is most easily done by following the "Find in UBook" link from the textbook list associated with the class in question instead of doing a free text search in the UBook interface. Because students can list any item with an ISBN number in UBook, you cannot assume that every listing in UBook will be reused in a future course.

Audience response system (e.g., Qwizdom "clickers"):

Clickers must be purchased through the U-M Computer Showcase; they will not appear in UBook.

If your book is not found when searching by ISBN number::

Try to find the book on the web (,, and are good places to search, among others).

If you find the book online, send the web reference (the URL) via email to

Someone from CTools Support will respond to your inquiry and add the book to our local database. Within a couple of days you should be able to search for, and find, your book to post in UBook.

Are you finding what you're looking for? Please send feedback about this online help guide to Thanks! (For questions about using CTools, please click this link: CTools Consultants )