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Western textbook exchange now online

By Stephanie Lane | Freelancer
On January 31, 2012

Every term, students pay hundreds of dollars to purchase textbooks for classes and go through the struggle of finding the cheapest book, having the right edition and making sure that they have them as soon as possible.


Most students resort to buying them from the campus bookstore or websites such as or, but there is another option that some students at Western do not know about or have never fully utilized: The ASWOU Book Exchange. After the remodel of the Werner University Center (WUC), the book exchange is now located right outside of ASWOU on the first floor of WUC.


The Book Exchange is a resource for students to not only find books, but also to sell old books that the bookstore will not buy back from students.


This term, the Book Exchange introduced a new online feature to ease the use for students. Book Exchange Director Natalee Dagan states that the goal is to eventually have the book exchange open every day by appointment and open the first two weeks of the term from 10-4.  


Dagan has been working on moving the book exchange to the web since summer 2011 and finally introduced it to the students, winter 2012. All summer, Dagan organized books and logged everything into an excel program to make the program work.


Escarlett Trujillo, Dagan's intern, has had her own part in this process by learning about the system and helps teach others how it works.


Dagan explains how easy the new online process is to find your books:

1.    Log in to WOU Portal.

2.    Under My Programs, click Book Exchange-Online.

3.    There you can browse, sell and buy books on the site.


Once a student has found a book, click reserve. From that point in time they have 24 business hours to come and claim the book or to click cancel reservation. The process is basically the same to sell a book. Once you have input your book into the system you have 24 hours to bring your book to the book exchange, fill out a contract and drop off your book. The book will be numbered and put on the shelf until it is sold or until it is time for it to be picked up (365 days after being put into the system). After a year, the book will become property of ASWOU.


"Some of the pros I find in the new Book Exchange system is that students can look up books anywhere through their WOU Portal. This system allows students to compare and contrast prices from the bookstore and they can easily sell and buy books at cheaper prices. Some of the cons are that sometimes the book covers online are not the same as the books we have in the book exchange," states Trujillo.


Dagan has plenty more goals for the book exchange, including making it larger and to get more students to take advantage of the exchange. After getting feedback from the first term using the new online system Dagan explains how they will be looking into adding an additional piece to the student tab to make it easier to find the correct book.

If you have any questions about the Book Exchange, contact ASWOU Book Exchange Director Natalee Dagan or her intern Escarlett Trujillo by going to the ASWOU office or emailing

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