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CSA Senate plans to launch free textbook exchange

CSA Senate will unveil a free textbook library for students at the beginning of spring term.

Currently, many courses have textbooks on closed reserves at the Libe, but the College does not offer scholarships for students to purchase their own textbooks.
TRIO, a federally funded set of service programs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, has a lending library that is available for TRIO students.

Because TRIO only accepts about 30 participants each year, there are students who qualify for TRIO, but are not a part of the program.

“We wanted to figure out a way to make something like the TRIO library for all students,” said Vanessa Martinez ’18, the CSA TRIO liaison. “We want to relieve the financial burden of buying textbooks and to find a purpose for students’ textbooks at the end of each term.”

To start the textbook library, CSA Senators placed collection boxes in Sayles, LDC and in some dorms at the end of fall term. Thus far, they have collected about 99 textbooks, according to CSA President Tiffany Thet ’17.

Now, Martinez said she and other senators are working to organize the textbooks, to find an optimal location for the library and to figure out an equitable way to lend them to students.

“We are giving priority to DACA and non-eligible TRIO students, but because the names of these students are not public, we are trying to figure out the best way to alert these students to the new CSA textbook exchange,” Martinez said. “Eventually, when the library is up and running and we have enough textbooks, we will open the library to all students.”

One issue that Martinez said the textbook library has run into is that the books and editions classes use change occasionally. To solve this problem, Martinez said she is working to open communication between the textbook library and departments, so the library can have the editions that students need. When classes stop using a given book, the CSA textbook library will sell those books.

Thet said that, “With the funds from these books, we hope to create a fund for non-eligible TRIO students and DACA students to buy textbooks.”

The Committee for Student Projects, which uses money from CSA budget surpluses to fund student-proposed projects, may pay for some of the CSA textbook library, pending a referendum later this term, according to Thet.

“I don’t want to sound cliché, but it’s true that Carls help Carls,” Martinez said.

“This is just another way to foster a strong community and to raise awareness for the fact that students here do need support.”

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