Rod Library sells books for a bargain



Rod Library sold books per stacked inch, allowing many teachers to stock up on titles for their classroom libraries for a low price. Others took advantage of the sale to buy holiday gifts for family members or to donate books to charities.

TREVOR MEYERS, Photographer

Book and media sale provides low-price books for teachers and community members

During Friday and Saturday of last week, Rod Library found new homes for over 8,000 books, music scores and LPs. Melinda Beland, who works for Rod Library, said that the main purpose of the sale would be to further enrich the Teacher Education and Collaboration Hub (TEACH) project by saying, “The TEACH project aims to elevate support for teacher education at UNI by developing a revitalized hub for teacher education and classroom experimentation in the Schindler Education Building. One College of Education student appreciated the explanation of the deduplication project and the possibility of re-envisioning IRTS [Instructional Resources and Technological Services] and anticipated the convenience of checking out youth items at the renovated location to help further support teacher education here at the University of Northern Iowa.”

Because one of the goals is to help future teachers that have been getting their education here at UNI, there was an educator pre-sale on Friday, then the main public sale was held on Saturday afternoon. One of the reasons for the pre-sale on Friday was so students who were studying to become teachers were able to find excellent materials for their future classroom bookshelves or classroom library. 

Local teachers and school librarians were ecstatic about the sale because of reduced funding they have had in the last several years for new book purchases. This way, they were able to fill some of the holes that were starting to show in their collections. 

Instead of selling individual books, they were selling books per inch, which gave a lot of people, especially elementary education majors and elementary teachers, really good deals on the number of books they were able to buy for such a cheap price. 

During the public sale on Saturday, there were several students from the School of Music who were excited to be able to find new scores for sale for their personal music collection at home. 

Many people bought books that they remember reading as a child, and it brought with them a sense of nostalgia and many wonderful memories of reading it when they were a child. Also, many people who are record lovers found great LPs for their personal collection. Lots of people saw the sale as a possibility to find some Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers for family members.

Other people bought some of these books so they could donate them to the free libraries or other charitable organizations during the holiday season. One of the positive stories heard this weekend was that of a UNI student who came to purchase books for the local Boys and Girls Club kids. They even returned a second time to buy more books, so the older children were not left out.

One individual who was able to attend the sale was UNI senior Sam Parr, a social science teaching major, who hopes to teach middle school children once she graduates. After talking to her about the sale, I asked her what she thought of the sale as a whole.

“It was a complete game changer. I was able to get books that normally would be $12 individually, but I was able to get over a foot stack of books for $12. They also had a lot of nonfiction books that I would be able to use in my class for fun reading materials that are still relevant to what I’ll be teaching.”

Another student who attended the sale was Ravyn Kennedy, who is a senior majoring in elementary education, who will be student teaching this coming spring. When it came to ask her what she thought of the sale she responded with, “This was a great opportunity to start to build my classroom library as books can cost a lot of money, especially for first year or new teachers. This way I don’t have to wait multiple years to keep growing my library. I can start out my first year with already a decent sized library for my future students to read from.”

Rod Library is very excited about this project’s future and of course would like to give the College of Education a big thank you for their collaboration and for all the support they receive from the local community. For more information about the TEACH project you can go to or email Rod Library with further questions.