Arts & Culture / Mosaic / March 4, 2020

New student library opens in share shop

Senior Shayan Nadeem sits in the newly organized share shop library. (Courtesy of Shayen Nadeem)

Oftentimes when visiting the Share Shop, you’re not looking for a specific item but rather stumble upon a good find. Books in particular have always been cluttered and unorganized in their section of the shop, but now they can be found much more easily with the newly created book library.

An avid reader of books, senior Shayan Nadeem was disheartened at the sight of all the books in the Share Shop that weren’t being utilized. He didn’t want the free books to continue collecting dust, so he came up with a plan to bring more attention to it by transforming the mess of books to a more accessible system.

“I call it the sustainable library,” Nadeem said.

The idea came to him last summer while finishing up his junior year. Working in sustainability, he approachedDeborah Steinberg, Director of Campus Sustainability, and pitched the idea of forming a library out of all the books in the Share Shop. Steinberg gave him the green light to proceed whenever he had the time to do it.

“Those books were being underutilized and people didn’t even know the Share Shop had books, so I just made a service out of something that was already there,” Nadeem said.

After student teaching fall term, Nadeem began working on it at the beginning of winter term. He cleaned, organized and arranged about 1,500 books into alphabetical order and subject. The effort took about five weeks, and it just finished last Thursday, Feb. 27. All the books were put into the old bike shop, where several shelves had been specially installed for the project.

The level of organization goes beyond just sorting the books. Nadeem also took the time to make a spreadsheet that corresponds with its location. This makes it easier to document the inventory. Nadeen coordinated everything by himself over the course of time out of wanting others to save money on books that they could have gotten for free.

“The reason I wanted to do this is because myself and other students pay a lot of money for books throughout the year.” Nadeen said.

Nadeem acknowledges that while students may know that the Share Shop carries books, often times they don’t want to take the time to sort through them, just to come up empty handed. This can prove to be a more successful effort with far less effort.

The library is open during Share Shop hours, which is Thursday-Saturday, 4:30-6:30p.m. and is accessed through whoever is attending the shop at the time. Due to the system, students cannot access the library itself but will ask the attendant for what they are looking for.

Nadeem is satisfied with the result and hopes that students make use of the new library. Books have always been in the Share Shop and often went unused, but now many students can save their money and find valuable textbooks for free.

Alicia Olejniczak, Associate Mosaic Editor

Tags:  books campus community library Share Shop sustainability

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