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Take books, leave others behind at Odum Library

The “Take-One-Leave-One” bookcase, located in Odum Library, has revamped this semester.

Previously a cart that read “free books”, the Odum staff decided it was time for a change. The cart has been replaced with a bookshelf located near the reference desk, on the second floor of the library.

The redesign of the once cart, has opened up a larger world of literature students on campus can enjoy without any cost.

According to Maureen Puffer- Rothenberg, MLIS member, a change was in fact requested.

“ Recently reference librarian Ginger Williams mentioned to me that it would nice to have more, and newer, books to give away,” she said. “ I asked librarian Alan Bernstein if we could upgrade the “free book” truck into something more attractive and more permanent, and change it from “Free Books” to “Take One, Leave One,” involving any students who would like to give away books they’ve enjoyed reading (or decided not to read).”

Many may not know that the University System of Georgia prohibits libraries within the universities from giving books away that the school has purchased. Because of the clause, there was a lack of books being circulated on the “free book” cart.

“Although Librarians and MLIS faculty occasionally put books on the cart, we didn’t often have books to give away,” Puffer- Rothenberg said.

The library staff figured out a way to provide VSU students with the free literature that they have been wanting to for years.

The concept of the bookshelf is all in relation to VSU’s students. Students are able to take a book from the bookshelf without charge or having to check it out through the library system. In return, they are encouraged to leave a book. The bookcase supports VSU’s curriculum and often contains textbooks as well as other class related books.

Puffer-Rothenberg described the significant amount of use from the bookshelf.

“We’ve given away more than 400 books since placing the ‘Take-one-leave-one’ bookshelf,” she said.

“We also know that it’s being used because several times we’ve seen students walking into each other when someone stops to see what’s on the shelf.”

Because VSU takes part of the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program, the Odum staff receives many books from the national library.

“In the past we didn’t offer many LC donations as give-aways, but we’re making an effort to do so now,” Puffer-Rothenberg said.

According to Puffer-Rothenberg, there are future plans set in place for the bookcase.

” We will soon relocate the shelf from its present spot near the Reference desk, but haven’t decided where yet.”

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