UMass Textbook Information


Deadline to enter texts for Winter 2018 (first day of Winter 2018 registration)
Deadline to enter texts for Spring 2018 (one day before first day of Spring 2018 registration)

Deadline to enter texts for Spring 2018 CPE courses

Deadline to enter texts for Summer 2018 (first day of Summer 2018 registration)
Compliance deadline for Fall 2018 (one day before first day of Fall 2018 registration)

Deadline to enter texts for Fall 2018 CPE courses

In order to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 and to allow students to maximize their savings when ordering textbooks, faculty should enter their course materials information into the Course Materials tool no later than the day before the first day of registration for a given term. Please note that even if a course does not have a textbook or associated course materials, faculty must check off the “no textbook needed” option within the course materials tool to be in compliance with HEOA.

Using your UMass login and password, navigate to the Course Materials Tool by going to (or via the link on the SPIRE homepage - lower right) and begin inputting your course material needs for each class/section. 

The Course Materials tool now allows you choose materials from a previous term.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • When you log into the tool, be sure to select the appropriate semester for which you are adopting course materials.
  • iClickers: If you wish to adopt a clicker for usage by the students in your course, please select the “Add alternative options/resources” button and then add "iClicker2 and REEF” to the Title of the notes box. Then paste in the following into the description box: "For this course you will need to purchase an iClicker2 student remote & REEF. We have negotiated a reduced rate with the publisher. You can purchase this for $46.99 through the publisher website:"
  • Custom Coursepacks:  If you wish to obtain a printed coursepack or request digital supplemental reading through the UMass Library’s Digital Reserve Services, go here for more details . If you are in the Course Materials Tool, click the “Add alternative options/resources” button and then click on the “Learn More Here” link.
  • The Add alternative options/resources button: Enter any additional information that you would like students to have in this box and it will be visible in SPIRE within 24 hours. If you have a text or materials that are not available through Amazon or Amazon is unable to procure them, you should leave a note here so that this information is provided to students through SPIRE. You can also use this area to list open educational resources that you would like students to access. 
  • The “Notes” area: Once you have selected a text in the Course Materials tool, you will see the option to post a note about that text. You can indicate the acceptability of alternate edition(s) of the text, provide instructions to purchase texts locally, list copies on reserve, etc.

For further support, you can find a comprehensive introductory video link on the SPIRE homepage (lower right).  You can also click on the Help link within the Tool for a video, user guide, and FAQs.  If you have any questions regarding login authorization or Tool permissions, please contact the IT help desk.  For further questions regarding the Amazon Course Materials Tool or to speak directly with an Amazon representative, please feel free to call the Amazon@UMass location on campus at 577-2665 or email

Thank you, on behalf of our students, for your assistance in providing your course material information in a timely manner.


In May of 2014, the campus began the process of exploring a virtual model for the delivery of text books and course materials to our students. The move to a virtual bookstore was driven by the desire to reduce student costs for textbooks and course materials and maintain a high degree of customer service. The University released a request for proposal which included providing textbooks and course materials, an adoption tool, and other types of support. Six responses were received. 

A selection committee representing a broad range of campus constituents including faculty senate, SGA, Provost, and Admin and Finance reviewed the proposals. After review and discussion, the committee selected Amazon and the University entered into an agreement with them to provide textbooks and other course materials beginning with the summer 2015 semester. 

presentation to the faculty senate on 4/10/15 provides more detail on why the University chose to request proposals for a virtual textbook model and specific aspects of the agreement with Amazon.

Initial Results

A presentation to Faculty Senate on 12/10/15 provided an update on first semester results.

After one full semester, faculty and students were surveyed to assess how to improve adoption and textbook services. See the summary faculty survey and student survey.

This was a major transition in how textbooks were adopted and purchased in the past. Since Fall 2015 we have seen a more streamlined process and greater satisfaction with the Course Materials tool with fewer issues as Amazon works to improve both adoptions and service delivery.