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Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Balancing the Books on Opportunity

From early childhood, Casey Frame’s (Accounting, ‘12) mother told her that she would have to pay for college someday. Frame estimates that by the time she was ready to start school at Kent State University, she had saved roughly $10,000.

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University Libraries Partners With Nonprofit Organization to Recycle Books

Posted April 30, 2012 | Alexandria Rhodes

Kent State students recycle books they no longer need to benefit people who need them around the world.

Better World Books and Kent State University are making strides in staying green by recycling unwanted books and donating them to those in need.

Better World Books, a nonprofit organization, accepts books that people or companies no longer have use for and donates books and funds to a variety of literary programs such as Books for Africa, which is supported by Kent State.

Kent State University Libraries donates books, mostly those gifted to the university and those with multiple copies, which are in turn sold on Better World Books’ website.

“Kent State feels good about giving books to people who need them and who will use them,” says Melissa Spohn, head, Acquisitions and Serials, and assistant professor, University Libraries. “It’s a win-win situation.”

Better World Books gives 15 percent of the money that is earned through the selling of Kent State donated books to University Libraries; 5 percent goes to the literacy effort Books for Africa; while the rest goes to Better World Books.

Better World Books accepts monographs, books, CDs and DVDs, but does not take Reader’s Digest, encyclopedias or older textbooks that are longer circulated. Better World Books pays for the shipping and packaging.

“We are always trying to find a home for books we no longer have a use for,” Spohn states. “With Better World Books, millions of people are benefiting.”

To date, Better World Books has donated 6,145,658 books and raised $11,048,561 in funds for literary programs and libraries. According to its website, Better World Books has sent 1.9 million books to 23 African countries.

“We simply could never have done this without the support of Better World Books and their ongoing support of our warehouse operations and infrastructure” says Pat Plosnki, executive director of Books for Africa, in a testimonial on the site.

For more information about Better World Books, visit For more information about Kent State University Libraries, visit