A new University Web site, sponsored by Student Council, allows students to exchange books directly with each other. The site, called HooHock.com, was posted at the beginning of the semester.
Council ran a manual book exchange for the last 10 years, but creating the Web site is an idea its members have worked on for about a year.
Engineering School Rep. Ben Hallen said the idea to do an online book exchange stemmed from a group he belonged to in the Engineering School which had a similar Web site.
"I wanted to contribute in a way that took advantage of my background as a computer engineer and a member of Student Council. The online book exchange seemed to be the perfect opportunity," Hallen said.
He said the Web site was a "team effort" involving several groups. Three students designed the site, then had computer science majors write the book exchange program.
At the site students can search for books by the title, author or by the name of the class.
Students also can post books they want to sell on the site.
Text on the HooHock.com Web site claims that it is a place where students can buy and sell books for fair price:
"Don't get ripped off by the Bookstore!"
University Bookstore Director Jon Kates said he does not believe the Bookstore takes advantage of students and that it uses fair business practices.
"Any student who sells back a book at the bookstore gets 50 percent of the new cover cost of the book if we have an order from faculty," Kates said.
"If there is no order, the value of the book is determined by national demand. We always encourage the faculty to get their orders in early so we can give [students] the best possible price on used books," he said.
Kates added he has not seen any effect on sales at the Bookstore from the Web site.
"We believe that students will still find us a desirable place to shop," Kates said.
The HooHock.com creators plan to expand the Web site in the future, making it a forum to exchange other merchandise such as bikes, furniture and subleases on apartments.
Brock T. Jolly, Council vice president for administration, said he is pleased Council is taking steps to involve itself in the growing world of Internet business.