Photo also by Ashley Golden
What’s almost as good as a bank with money? A bank with books, of course. And that’s exactly the concept behind the new organization, Book Bank, which will allow student access to free textbooks.
The Student Initiated Recruitment and Retention Committee, an Associated Students group, started a student run library, which currently houses hundreds of books with multiple subjects. Students can check out textbooks free of cost, and are encouraged to contribute their old books to the cause.
“The purpose of the Book Bank is to help students with financial issues get books,” said second-year psychology major and SIRRC member Genesis Herrera. “Students donate books and other students can check them out.”
While some students question the motivation behind donating a textbook, rather than selling it back, Herrera emphasizes the importance of the “by students, for students” system. Although students may lose resale money, they will be save in the future when there is a plethora of free books available at their disposal next quarter. This is especially significant as buy-back rates are often low.
“I think the Book Bank is a fantastic idea,” said third-year global studies major Brandon Tobey. “I really like the idea of students working together to try and save money because with rising tuition and living expenses we need all of the help we can get. I think in most cases the sell back money is so minute that I would not sell my book back on principle.”
The check-out process has yet to be completely determined, but organizers aim to have a similar procedure to that of a library. Barcodes that line books will be scanned upon checkout and log student information in the computer system. The duration of book check out is being finalized in the Book Bank official proposal.
Despite its existence as a helpful student resource, the Book Bank has had a difficult and slow start. Although it began in Fall 2011, it suffered from lack of donations and exposure. Now, however, the organization has a substantial number of books and student awareness of the project has increased, and will be hopefully starting full operation soon.
“I think the Book Bank sounds like a great idea,” said third-year computer science major Christian Arevir. “I just hope engineers will part with their books for me.”
Books can be donated in Room 141-D in the Annex to Book Bank members, or left at the front door with a SIRRC Book Bank indication note. Donation boxes are also available around campus at the end of each quarter for students interested in leaving their textbooks. For those interested in more than simply a book contribution, students can attend SIRRC meetings on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. in the Annex.
Not only do donations have a positive impact on the campus community, but the greater amount of books donated equates a greater number of options available for free. Students who have been offered a mere fraction of the price of a $100-plus textbook, only for the buyer to resell it again for close to original price, should reassess their options this winter quarter.