The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Spring book fair gathers community

There is only one day left to take advantage of the spring book fair that is being hosted on campus at the Activities Center.

The book fair began Tuesday and will end today at 7 p.m.

Ed Martinez, public access librarian, has been organizing the fair for the last 20 years with the help of other groups.

“It was one of my first responsibilities when I was hired,” Martinez said. “There is always a great response to the fair.”

Alpha Gamma Sigma and Friends of the Library, which support the library, have been involved with the book fair since its beginning which has become somewhat of a tradition, Martinez said.

Books sold at the fair are usually donated to the library by staff and faculty.

“I get calls from faculty and staff asking me when the book fair is going to begin or how to donate books, which I go and pick up myself,” Martinez said.

There are even book dealers and vendors who bring their own items and help with the fair, he said.

“Sometimes our bookstore will donate books as well,” Martinez said.

The fair generates an average of $1,500 to $2,000 each year.

The profits are then divided three ways. One third of the money goes to Alpha Gamma Sigma, an honors society club on campus, another part goes to the textbook collection and the last part goes to Friends of the Library, Martinez said.

The fair offers students the opportunity to purchase books at lower prices. Paperbacks cost 25 cents, soft covers cost 75 cents and hard copies cost $2.

The book fair includes textbooks, encyclopedias and sometimes even records, Martinez said.

Members of the community also participate in the fair, whether it is by donating or buying books, Martinez said.

“Students benefit by getting textbooks at cheaper prices. Providing resources for students is our job,” Martinez said. “We try to make college a little more affordable.”

“It (the book fair) is good for someone who is interested in books because they can save some money,” Crystal Albor, automotive major, said. “It is a good way to offer more of a selection.”

Despite the availability of the fair, not all students are able to attend, Jae Park, computer information major, said.

“It is good to have a book fair, but I won’t be able to go,” Park said. “I would go if I had time.”

Although the book fair is being hosted at a college, it offers reading materials for all age groups, Martinez said.

“Children’s books are always the number one requested book,” he said.

However, books aren’t the only interesting things that may be found at the fair.

“Somebody once bought a copy of Alex Haley’s book ‘Roots;’ inside was a handwritten note by Haley to someone who had previously owned the book,” Martinez said.

“That just goes to show how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” he added.

“It is one of the few nonacademic events that people look forward to,” Martinez said.

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