About the TBP Bookswap
TBP has been running the Bookswap since 1982, and after a brief hiatus, continuously since 1996. We are operated entirely by volunteers, all members of Tau Beta Pi. None of us are earning money off of your used textbook sales. This allows us to provide you a wonderful service while still giving more money back to you.
Ohio Alpha first launched the Bookswap in 1982, under the leadership of Vance Van Doren. Van Doren invisioned the Bookswap as filling a void in student life, by providing CWRU students the ability to buy and sell textbooks from one another instead of through the bookstore.
Ohio Alpha almost disappeared in the early 1990s, and with it went the Bookswap. By 1994, the chapterís finances had dried up, and Ohio Alpha was in dire straits. Thanks to the leadership of teams of dedicated officers, Ohio Alpha was brought back to life. The Bookswap was reinstated in 1996. In the first semester after its rebirth, the Bookswap only had 53 books!
In its early days, Tau Beta Pi used a Microsoft Access database to store our inventory, which became cumbersome as the Bookswap expanded: In Fall 1999, the Bookswap collected more than 500 books for the first time. As the Bookswap grew in size and scope, Ohio Alpha developed our current online inventory system. The online system is always being improved, making the Bookswap a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.
In Fall 2003, Tau Beta Pi hosted a Fire Sale, at which much of our old inventory was sold off at discount prices. In 2005, The Bookswap grew too large for its old home in Bingham, and Bookswap Chair Josh Gabet arranged for the Bookswap to be relocated to its current home in Nord 310. Thanks to generous help of the Case Alumni Association, textbooks are conveniently displayed on our new shelving.
Ohio Alpha is always looking for ways to expand the Bookswap's appeal, and several innovations have occured in recent years. In Spring 2007, students were allowed to purchase books using CaseCash, and in Fall 2007 Ohio Alpha resumed dorm collections. Both events were a great success. During 2008 and 2009, the Bookswap plans to return or donate old textbooks to keep our inventory fresh. Perhaps another Fire Sale is in the works...