Library free book giveaway aims to improve community literacy

Trove of free books offer education, entertainment

By Jessica Suico, Advocate Staff

In an attempt to boost the reading rates of members of the campus community, the Library has been giving away free books.

The literary gifts are located right when you walk into the Library on mobile book carts.

With only two mobile shelves remaining in the entryway, it’s clear that students and staff are taking advantage of the giveaway.

Distance Education Coordinator Judy Flum said, “The reason we do the free book giveaway every semester is because we withdraw from our collection of books that haven’t been used in a really long time and distribute them, and update with newer books.”

There are also books found with bar codes so those also get put out for free.

Music major Esmeralda Ochoa said, “I have looked through the carts of books once, and I found one book I was interested in. It was a book about a girl who was a writer.”

Ochoa said she has read most of the book but hasn’t finished it yet.

According to, through the Library, students have access to 44 databases, 2,790 videos, 51,285 print book, 51,941 ebooks and 286,000 streaming films.

Hours for the Library are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The Library is closed on holidays and over scheduled school breaks.

Contra Costa College student Kennith James has not decided on a major yet but does have an opinion about giving away free books.

“They should keep the books because it’s basically like giving away culture.”

James looks through the books almost every day and says he took an encyclopedia from the cart the last time he visited the Library.

James said he would recommend students look at the books if they have a burning curiosity, are open minded, observant and plan to move forward in society with knowledge.

Flum said the book giveaway is a way to benefit students by getting them reading. It also provides a districtwide opportunity to expand their knowledge and interests.

“The books will be here until they’re all gone,” she said.

Most of the books haven’t been looked at in 10-plus years and have no bar codes on them, Flum said.

Ochoa said, “I think it’s really cool that the Library gives away free books because students can choose whatever they want and they don’t have to pay for the book, which is nice.”

Ochoa thinks it benefits students by giving  them more of a chance to gain knowledge and opportunities to read more without harming their pocketbooks or budgets.

Flum said, at least 20 boxes of books were filled to give away. There are presently about six boxes out on the carts for students to take home.

“There are always students and other people browsing the free books,” Flum said.