Textbook Initiative at Wellesley

DSC_0362 Textbook DonationsIn the chaos of move-out, many Wellesley students end up throwing away their textbooks.  In the past, sustainable move-out, sponsored by The Office of Sustainability, collected these textbooks in bins and brought them to the Wellesley Recycling Center. This past year, however, the Office of Sustainability collected these books in the hopes of creating a textbook lending library.

When our group learned about this plan, we knew that it was the perfect project to take on. We had been discussing the high cost of textbooks and the classist ramifications of that high price. We considered how some students actually pick their classes based on if they can afford the textbooks or not, and how others are left hoping that the textbook for their class will not have been lost in the library as they struggle to study for an exam. It makes no sense to throw away textbooks that different students will purchase anew the next semester. It is a waste of paper and a waste of money.

We decided to work towards finding a space on campus to start a textbook lending library where students could donate the textbooks that they no longer wanted. In the end, we discovered that even the Office of Sustainability had not been able to find a space, as of yet. However, we reconsidered our goals and realized that student momentum and support of this project would help the Office of Sustainability prove that this is a space worth creating.

We sent out a pledge where students agreed to donate over 60 textbooks and countless others wrote to us to share their support. Near the end of the semester we threw a S’mores Donation event along with the Office of Sustainability and CG. Over 60 textbooks were donated during the event. For now, these textbooks will be kept by the Office of Sustainability as they work to further develop this library.

An important feature of creating this library is how the library will function. We studied Connecticut College’s already existing Lending Library for inspiration. Ultimately we came up with a system that the Office of Sustainability could use to start the Textbook Lending Library.  We also created job descriptions so that a student worker can be hired to continue pushing this project forth.

Wellesley News article about the program: http://thewellesleynews.com/2016/04/29/free-textbook-sharing-service-promotes-economic-and-sustainable-practices.

PowerPoint about Library operation & job descriptions: https://docs.google.com/a/wellesley.edu/presentation/d/1u0Qydkz8ros4dLkQCM0aGyxd33xEBLZkRckg7x4yhOQ/edit?usp=sharing