By Steph Hulse


For two days the Algonquin Reads volunteered their time by running a Used Book Sale to fund literary activities at Algonquin. Helena Merriam, Library and Information Technology Professor, has been running the sale for the past five years. After attending The Big Read conference, hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts, Merriam was inspired to make a literary impact on Algonquin College.

“We’re not a club so much as an initiative that wants to reach out across faculties, programs and students,” said Merriam.

The used book sale was located in the J-N link, the Student Commons and in the rotunda on Wednesday Oct. 8 and Thursday Oct. 9.  The book sale is the main fundraiser which, aside from funding small workshops, funds the annual student contest and author visits. Volunteers not only get first pick at books but also get an extra credit for being a member of Algonquin Reads.

“Names you know go first,” said volunteer Lindsay Crouse, a first year library and info tech student. The donated books available ranged from children’s books, textbooks, fiction, non-fiction, mystery, erotica and romance.

 “People are shy about buying erotica and romantic novels, especially as romance [novels] are seen as girly,” said Crouse.

Volunteer Cailin Whitelock, also a first year library and info tech student said “people are looking for what they already like.”

DVD’s and CD’s were also available this year. “There was more interest in the books, because books are timeless. And some people don’t even have DVD players anymore” said volunteer Jocelyn Chan, another first year library and info tech student.

While the book sale this year only raised $400, $200 short of their goal, Merriam believes it’s still enough to fund the activities they plan to hold this year. However Merriam encourages students and staff to share any suggestions or activities they’d like to see Algonquin Reads take on and asks that if anyone has books to donate, to bring them to her office in room C212a.