Chaminade University of Honolulu senior Angela Leilani Salas was tired of being ripped off at the bookstore. The 21-year-old business major had to dish out almost $850 on books for introduction to business, introduction to communications, comp and application software, college algebra and expository writing.
Her most horrific experience occurred during the book buy back at the school’s bookstore. She paid $160 for a new yellow algebra textbook and got $10 for it.
“There is no reason to buy $700 worth of books,” Salas said in an interview in January. “People are tired of paying so much and getting so little.”
After her first year of college, Salas wanted to create a common place where students could exchange books. She meant to create this place on the Internet earlier but didn’t know how to start.
But her idea came together on Dec. 8 during a management of information resources class. The example in class was to create a website to sell books. She linked her problem with the class example and created the CUH Black Market
for Books Facebook group that day.
This group is an open network to find information on books before classes begin for the semester. When the group first started on Dec. 8, she added 218 of her Facebook classmates. As of Jan. 27, there were 372 members. Salas mentioned that people request to join the group every day, and she believes that the group grows by word of mouth.
Students looking for books for certain classes post on the group’s Facebook wall. An example post will usually look something like: Looking for BU224 Elementary Statistics (Steelquist), COM310 Communications Between Cultures (Washburn) and HI201 The American People (Yamasaki).
If someone has the book that the student is looking for, the two will usually privately message each other and find a time and place to complete the transaction.
Salas has gone above and beyond to create documents within the group that serve as a page for specific majors. It’s not perfect. She said she wishes that there were an easier way to view these documents.
“The group is not as organized as I wanted it to be,” Salas said.
She envisions the Black Market having its own website with a home page familiar to the iTunes album view. In the future website, icons would represent each major and when clicked on the icon, would open up classes for each major. When the class is clicked on, it would open conversations students are having about books for classes.
“We’re just planting seeds,” Salas said. “Maybe someone will water and tend to it and it will grow into something more.”