BU Book Pantry created
Junior gives back to fellow students
School is expensive; after paying tuition, fees, housing, and choosing a meal plan, students finally get to attend their classes just to discover they still have one more important thing to buy: their textbooks. Bloomsburg University junior Cameron O’Neill offers a solution for students struggling with this expense.
The BU Book Pantry officially opened for student use for the Fall 2021 semester. It has already built up a collection of nearly 250 books and has lent out nine , saving BU students a total of about $900 in textbook costs.
O’Neill came up with the idea for the book pantry during the last academic year. For her various philosophy classes, O’Neill needed 16 books and was soon lending her books to classmates who could not afford them. “By the end of the semester, they still hadn’t purchased the book and they didn’t end up doing that well in class because they didn’t have the materials to succeed,” O’Neill said.
After classes ended for the spring semester, O’Neill was unsure of what to do with her books that she no longer needed. “I decided to find someone who was taking the same classes and just give them my books,” said O’Neill. "In addition, I also reached out to other classmates who had bought textbooks to see if there was a possibility of passing more books onto students taking the same class after them, and the foundation of the BU Book Pantry was built.”
Starting the book pantry was challenging, but countless staff and faculty helped the project along the way. “Everyone was helping me however they could which shows how much they want this to just happen,” O’Neill said. “I wouldn’t have gotten here if it wasn’t for them.”
The book pantry is still a work in progress. Right now, O'Neill is working on putting together an official website, and hopes to be able to set up a work study student, and designate faculty and staff to help run it.
Using the BU book pantry is simple. If students would like to donate books, they can drop them off at the circulation desk in the Harvey A. Andruss Library. Students interested in borrowing from the book pantry should contact O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
O’Neill said that her ultimate goal is to let students have the books they need. “Something as simple as giving someone a book is going to change their whole education.”