Stop 'n' Swap provides incentive to give help to students in need

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: AMY SCOTT
Fanshawe Library and Media Services has innovated a charitable way to reduce their physical collection.

In an increasingly digital world, Fanshawe Library and Media Services is scaling back its physical collection, one food donation at a time.

In collaboration with the Sharing Shop, the Fanshawe Student Union’s (FSU) on-campus food support service, Fanshawe Library has created the Stop ‘n’ Swap program. The goal of the program is to give all library patrons the opportunity to exchange a non-perishable food item or cleaning supply to permanently keep a piece of the library’s collection, which includes books and DVDs. The book shelves and donation bin will be located within the library until the spring of 2020.

The upcoming Innovation Village space, a multi-million dollar renovation, focuses on remodelling the F and L Buildings, as well as the Student Union Building (SUB), into a large learning commons. The library, located in F Building, is included in the first phase of construction beginning in February 2020. Library and Media Services is aiming to scale back their physical collection to make room for new student resources such as new study spaces, a makerspace and learning labs. All three phases of the renovations are scheduled to be complete in 2023.

Currently the library has about 35,000 pieces in its physical collection, said Jessica Bugorski, the director of Library and Media Services at Fanshawe. With the goal of moving a large part of the collection online, Bugorski says she believes that giving these resources back to students is the best place for them to go.

“Our collection was largely paid for by student fees. We want students to recognize that we are giving it back to them,” said Bugorski.

For a student to claim a piece of library material, they must donate a non-perishable food item or cleaning supply to the Sharing Shop, which will be given to a Fanshawe student in need.

Students are encouraged to “swap” often, as new materials are regularly added to the shelf.

Bugorski said that while the goal is to give back to students, the Stop ‘n’ Swap program is very flexible.

“We don’t police it at all. People are welcome to take a few pieces, just drop off food, or pick up a book and drop off food another day,” said Bugorski. “We have been really flexible with it.”

Bugorski says that they are using this program as a way to encourage students to help other students in need.

“I think the most important thing we wanted students to recognize is that it’s great to help other students,” said Bugorski. “If you’re getting something for free, it’s nice to help someone in return.”