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New Book Nook in Davies Center
to Offer Venue for Exchange of Books

RELEASED: March 9, 2007

Student Dana Thompson in Book Nook
UW-Eau Claire junior Dana Thompson reads a book in the Book Nook, a new student-run book exchange in UW-Eau Claire's Davies Center. Thompson helped write a grant that partly paid for the nook's bookcase and starter books. (UW-Eau Claire photo by Bill Hoepner)

EAU CLAIRE — Students interested in sharing their reading experiences, or others looking to pick up a free book to read, can now visit the Book Nook, a new student-run book exchange located in Davies Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

A new and innovative venue for the exchange of novels and adult nonfiction, the Book Nook is located on the western wall of the Blugold Room, in a "nook" near the side entrance to The Cabin. A couch and a lamp that have occupied the corner in recent years will stay, mimicking the setting of a cozy living room.

The UW-Eau Claire Progressive Student Association, in cooperation with two AmeriCorps*VISTA members working out of the Center for Service-Learning, have been working since December to establish the Book Nook. PSA president Dana Thompson worked with the Center for Service-Learning to write a successful $100 grant from the Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education, a national literacy organization. Thompson said PSA combined organization funds with the grant to purchase a quality bookcase and some used books to get the shelf started.

"We are excited to see how the students and the university community take advantage of a free book exchange," said Thompson, a junior from Eau Claire majoring in English Literature.

Until the end of April, the Book Nook also will be the main campus distribution point for free copies of Ray Bradbury's novel "Fahrenheit 451," which is being read on a communitywide basis as part of the Eau Claire Big Read initiative. Students also will be able to pick up free reader's guides for the book and Big Read events calendars. In addition, the Center for Service-Learning soon will provide a brochure that will highlight volunteer and service-learning opportunities that allow students to get involved with literacy education on campus and in the community.

AmeriCorps*VISTA members Jeremy Gragert and Davin Haukebo-Bol, who were instrumental in bringing the Big Read to Eau Claire, said they think the Book Nook will be a great avenue for enticing students into literacy-related activities like the Big Read and increasing recreational reading among college students.

"Students can get pretty tied up with textbooks and academic journals during the semester, but those that do manage time for literary reading usually say they are very glad they did," said Gragert, a 2005 history graduate.

Haukebo-Bol, also a 2005 history graduate, said a Book Nook stamp will be available in the nook.

"We encourage everyone to stamp their donated books, so as they pass from hand to hand, people will know they were shared through the Book Nook," Haukebo-Bol said.

Organizers said they will work with the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate and University Centers to make sure the future of the Book Nook is in student hands for decades to come.

"I think the book exchange is a great thing," said Charles Farrell, director of University Centers. "It's a great idea and another good service for the building."

For more information, or to inquire about donating larger quantities of books, contact Haukebo-Bol at 715-836-5283 or



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