ISA and Community Engagement launches Book Swap


Joe Talerico, Staff writer

The International Student Association (ISA) has successfully distributed books from the beginning of this semester’s Book Swap. The ISA started the project a few years ago and this year has partnered with the Hammermill Library and Community Engagement to formalize and expand the program.

Originally just focused on international students, this semester the project grew to open up the opportunity for donating or receiving books to the entire student body.

The International Student Association collects textbooks that are used for classes towards the end of the academic term. The books are then distributed to students that need them at the beginning of the term. Students do not have to be an international student to partake in the book swap. Business and Competitive Intelligence major and senior Marina Boyle is president of the International Student Association and an international student from Ireland.

Boyle said that the organization was “very pleased with how it went this year.” The book swap only received 35 books for this term, causing it to be smaller in size than previous years. Despite the smaller scale this year, Boyle continued“we were happy to get all those donations and it was a great way for people to get involved in service at a time when it’s difficult to serve others in person. We estimated that the book swap saved students about $192 this year.”

Students receive the textbooks for free, but they are asked to donate a textbook in return. Alternatively, if they do not have a book to give, they are encouraged to donate $1 to the Emergency Book Fund that Mercyhurst University manages for students who need financial aid for buying books. The book swap will open for book donations for the next semester around April. Students who wish to donate a textbook will fill out a form that asks what class and professor the book was used for. They will also have to provide a photo of the book and state the condition it is in.

The ISA can then use that information to match the books with those in need. The donation form will be posted on the Book Swap’s HUB page, which can be found under the Mercy Market area. Students who donate books will drop off the book at the Hammer-mill Library, which has offered to facilitate the swap, and from there another student receives it. Books are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

A list of donated books will be posted when the collection ends, but donors will get an early look at the list. However, all students will be able to access the list at the beginning of the semester. In the past, the Book Swap has received many textbooks for history, political science, religion, and intelligence studies courses. In the future, they hope to receive more psychology, science, and business textbooks. Boyle said that they would also like books for any REACH classes in general. Of course, they accept books for any classes. Be sure to check the HUB page in April to participate in the swap. This is a great opportunity for students to help their fellow Lakers out.