Friends of MTU Library book sale back | News, Sports, Jobs

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette James Langsford, a senior mechanical engineer from Michigan Technological University, and Paul Langsford, a master’s student of chemical engineering, look at books at the annual MTU Friends of the Library book sale Friday. It was the first time the spring sale was held since 2019.

HOUGHTON — Computer books, novels, and mining histories were all up for grabs Friday as the Friends of the MTU Library held their first spring book sale since 2019.

The sale, held Thursday and Friday at the Memorial Union Building, was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

“We had our winter carnival sale before, but this is our biggie,” said Susan Martin, vice chair of the Friends board. “Hopefully we hope this will provide enough money to support our projects in the library.”

The board, which consists of two representatives of the student council, makes requests to see what students would like, such as new technology. Funds from book sales also help sponsor an archival librarian graduate to do an internship at the MTU archive.

They have also helped provide artwork by local artists to brighten up the hallways, or contributed to the library’s informal reading collection for students.

Give money to the library if they want to buy individual reading collections for students.

“If they make requests, we try to fulfill them”, said Martin. “That is our mission. Spend our money on them.”

The amount earned from the sale varies, but runs into the thousands of dollars, Martin said.

Books for sale come from two main sources. Thursday night’s presale, open to Friends of the Library members, included the first group: donations from people in the community. Many retiring faculty members — including Martin, emerita professor of social sciences — gave books as they cleaned up their offices.

The main sale on Friday will also include books discarded from the Tech Library’s collection.

“It’s a way to find interesting bargains at all levels, from fiction to science books, to physics books if that’s your thing, many different types of media,” said Martin.

After three years of absence, the group had built up a large collection. To help with the clean up, all the fiction books were half price.

Some of the most popular items tend to be fiction, local history or textbooks, Martin said.

Three retired chemical engineering professors had donated books from their collection. James Langsford, a senior mechanical engineer, came to the sale and tipped off Paul Langsford, a master’s student in chemical engineering.

Due to lack of space and money, Paul had only picked up a book about the physical properties of rocks and minerals. James, who had heard about the books Paul got in the 2019 sale, had amassed quite a pile.

“It may be a bit outdated, but especially with engineering it doesn’t change that much, because you can’t really change physics,” he said.

Ian Fleury, a mechanical engineering transfer student, had picked up a book by Carl Sagan.

“It’s quite a welcome surprise,” he said. “I was going to run downstairs and grab a book because I had finished mine. But this was here today, so I’m getting a new book.’

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