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CSUN community attends Oviatt Library’s used book sale


Joe Russo, Sherman of the gift book area sells books to Abraham Odabachian, 19, phylosophy major sophomore at the book sale event at the Oviatt Library on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Natalia Bereznyuk / Staff Photographer

Oviatt Library volunteers sold a wide variety of titles Tuesday for $1 or less during one of their regular used book sales.

Joe Russo, 83, retired chemist and volunteer chairman of the Gift Book Collection, has seen thousands of books filter through the library in his 11 years of service to CSUN. He said he started volunteering after he donated some of his old books to the Oviatt.

“When books are donated to the library they come to me…and we sort through them and have the librarians review them by subject. I supply the bookstore, the one in the back,” Russo said.

All the books the librarians do not need are sold in the library bookstore, located on the first floor, or at book sales, Russo said.

“Whatever we sell, the money goes back to the library,” he said.

The library bookstore is open every day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The books were laid across long tables in the busy lobby and attracted many browsers. Publications entitled “Using Microsoft Word 97” and “Practical English” (copyright 1961) were mixed with hardcover Robert Ludlum novels like “The Icarus Agenda” and “The Lazarus Agenda.”

A “1998 World Almanac” was also available, as well as a 1963 children’s book titled “The How and Why Wonder Book of Time,” which describes the history of how mankind decided to keep track of days and nights.

Svitlana Kovalenko, a 23-year-old student from Ukraine, dropped by to look for books to help her improve her language skills.

“I love books. I’m a book worm,” said Kovalenko, a nutrition and food science major working on her master’s degree. “I’m an international student, so I’m looking for books in English on the topics I studied already, like chemistry and nutrition.”

Vicky Campbell, CSUN Gift Book assistant, said only about one-third of the books the library wants to sell were on display.

She added that library volunteers have not yet explored the option of selling used books online.

Campbell said there has been discussion about it, but that selling online is a whole different thing.

Karoline Steavenson

I have a life story that probably could be made into a book but since I value my privacy I'm not going to write it. However, as I was living my own unique life story I began to get interested in the stories of others, and that's part of what led me to journalism. In a past life I was a stay-at-home mom caring for my former spouse and our three children. Then I became a single parent and did that for 14 years while earning a BA from CSU Fullerton and a Multiple Subject teaching credential from CSULA. My oldest daughter is in grad school studying Library Science. My second daughter is a college grad and is a manager for Target, Inc. My youngest, my son, is a 2nd year student at a local community college. He also plays a mean guitar in a band and writes concert reviews occasionally for a local blog.

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