Books taken to dumpster to make room for tutoring, study spaces - WNEM TV 5

Books taken to dumpster to make room for tutoring, study spaces

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Image provided by Katlyn Christenberry Image provided by Katlyn Christenberry
SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A dumpster of books sits outside the Zahnow Library at Saginaw Valley State University.

“I would expect the library to be full of books not the dumpster outside to be,” said Katlyn Christenberry.

As pages of a book turn in the wind, getting covered in snow, SVSU senior Christenberry wonders what they're doing in there.

“Sad inside, it just hurts my heart a little bit,” Christenberry said.

SVSU is renovating their library, and to passersby, it would appear they're just throwing books away to make room.

A university spokesperson answered our tough questions about why the books are in the trash, and not on a shelf.

“Many of these are books that have simply not been used since 1997, some have a new edition available to replace the older volume,” Boehm said.

Boehm said the university donates a lot of their books to the organization Better World Books.

“However, these books that organization and other groups simply didn't have a use for them,” Boehm said.

The university did try to donate the books, but many students and staff wonder if enough was done to keep them out of the trash.

Caroline Sawatzki is a tutor in the writing center.

“I mean there are so many alternate ways the books could be used,” Sawatzki said.

She said under no circumstance should books ever belong in a trash can.

“Especially since they're such old books, a lot of them haven't been digitized, so when the school loses that resource, not only do they lose it for now, but for the future as well,” Sawatzki said.

Christenberry said, “Just because they're old books, they're 'outdated,' doesn't mean they aren't worth something.”

Boehm said for every thrown out book SVSU makes sure a copy is available at another school.

He said SVSU students will have access to those copies, which can be mailed out.

But Christenberry, a history major, said that's not enough.

“Even if they're not checked out a lot, when that research project comes up, they're very useful,” Christenberry said.

In a statement, Boehm said the renovations are clearing space for students who want more study space and tutoring resources.

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