A Library Secret

Barnes and Noble, It's Not. But It Is a Bookworm's Delight

by Fran Marsh

It's hard enough finding your way around the Doe-Moffitt Library complex these days, with the new underground stacks adding to the labyrinth.

But for those willing to make the effort, a treasure may await.

The library bookstore is located on a nondescript corridor off the ground level Doe entrance in room 125. Only a small sign on a stand announces its existence.

The decor definitely isn't upscale. A battered oak school teacher's desk sits at the doorway; high yellow metal shelves around the room are stacked with well-used books.

Inside the store, you can browse for a poetry book or a book on science, mathematics, the humanities or social studies from among the stock of 5,000 volumes on scholarly and general interest topics.

Some of the bookstore's regular clientele are so enthusiastic on days when new books are placed on shelves, "we have had to take them aside and ask them to tone it down," said Frank Carothers, head of the library's gift division, which oversees the store.

The bookstore carries two categories of books: inexpensively priced items are set out on wheeled carts each Monday; higher priced books are added to a special area of shelves on Mondays and Thursdays.

The bookstore is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Though it has been in operation for over a decade, the store remains largely unknown and unvisited by most faculty, staff and students. "Even some library staff aren't aware of it," says Chris Haight of the gifts division.

Books appear in the store from all areas of the library, and some come from parts of gift collections which duplicate books the library already has.

"We may have for sale older editions of a book, duplicates or a gift may duplicate something already in our collections," said Carothers.

All books are carefully checked before being added to the bookstore's stock to make sure they are truly surplus.

The money the bookstore earns goes to buy new books the library needs and to repair and conserve other, irreplaceable volumes.


Copyright 1995, The Regents of the University of California.
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