COD to debut book exchange
Hope Whitten worked hard to keep next semester's textbook costs down at the College of DuPage. She surfed ads, bid on books through eBay and bought only what she needed.
Going through traditional means -- as in bookstores -- would "have been astronomical" in terms of cost, she said. Still, she's looking at between $550 and $600 for five classes.
Other students, though, should have an easier time trimming textbook expenses thanks to the work of Whitten, the student trustee, and others on the college's textbook committee. An online site is setting up a page just for COD students to exchange and sell books, and the group's established a place on campus where people can post offers to buy and sell needed books.
They're planning to have it all up and running next month, meaning students next spring could reap the rewards.
"It's cutting out the middle man," Whitten told the COD board of trustees Monday night.
In addition to the cost of new books, students often don't need everything that might come together as a package, she explained.
One chemistry class, for example, required a book that came with several other components -- but the teacher only required the book. Because the stores don't break the packages into individual pieces, students get socked with the whole cost, she said.
That's one of the reasons students wanted to deal directly with other students.
Once they get the book list for a class, and see exactly what they need, they can purchase just that item from others who had it the semester before. And where they would need to pay shipping if purchased through an auction site like eBay, students could work out other arrangements on campus to just hand-off the item.
The site the group is working with, www.tbxn.com, created a page for COD and is running it through tests now to get all the bugs worked out before opening it to students. Whitten said they're hoping that's completed by mid-December.
By the end of this week, though, students should be able to stop by the new board on the second floor of the Berg Instructional Center, across from the Independent Learning Center, to check out book offers.