Hammermill Library partners with Better World Books

Ashley Barletta, News editor

Mercyhurst’s Hammermill Library has just announced a partnership with Better World Books, an organization that recycles and resells books on the internet.

Many books at the library are underutilized and taking up space. Instead of allowing these books to collect dust, Better World Books takes them and remarkets them online. This way, there will be more space for books which could potentially be in use by Mercyhurst students, faculty and staff.

Better World Books is also helping Mercyhurst in its mission to be globally responsible.

In choosing to recycle the underused books, the Hammermill Library has saved 25 trees from being thrown into a landfill, two cubic yards of landfill space from being used, 3,377 pounds of greenhouse gases from escaping into the atmosphere and 12,447 grams of water. The total number of books that have been recycled with Better World Books so far is 1,593. This amounts to 2,179 pounds of books and counting.

Using the money from the books that were resold on the Internet, Better World Books was able to provide a donation to a literacy fund of Hammermill Library’s choosing. The Literacy Grant Fund was the chosen program.

Better World Books had its be- ginnings in 2003 in South Bend, Indiana. According to the Better World Books website, College friends at Notre Dame, Xavier and Kreece, couldn’t figure out what to do after graduation. At first, they decided to tutor the football team on calculus and computer programming. This did not provide much of a living for either, and their apartment was cluttered with old textbooks.

Since campus bookstores don’t pay much for used books, Kreece decided to put his books up for sale on the internet. This was risky since it was 2003 and selling books on the internet had not yet been normalized. However, the books had sold quite well, so Xavier decided to sell his books too.

Xavier and Kreece decided to collect as many unwanted books as possible from Notre Dame students. They ended up with 2,000 books and made $10,000 from selling them.

Jeff, a friend of Xavier and Kreece who knew about investment banking, joined the cause to help come up with a business plan. This plan was submitted to a Notre Dame university business plan competition and won “Best Social Venture” as well as $7,000.

With the help of one of the competition judges, David Murphy, Book Drives for Better Lives was born. Murphy later became the CEO of Better World Books.

Soon after, Xavier realized that many libraries throw out underutilized titles in order to make space for new additions. He de- cided that the business should not only sell books, but also partner with libraries to save books from the landfills while also making money for the libraries and literacy programs.

Now renamed “Better World Books,” the organization is still positively impacting the environment and encouraging social change.

Per the Better World Books website, each time you purchase a book from Better World Books, another book is donated to someone in need.

The Hammermill Library’s partnership with Better World Books is not only helping students by cleaning out space for more useful books, but the partnership is also helping out those who need the books that we do not use.

To learn more about the partnership between the Hammermill Library and Better World Books, check out the Hammermill Library Newsletter.

For more information on Better World Books,visit their website at https://about.betterworldbooks.com/history/.