Student-run Web site crimsonreading.org is raising a furor over Harvard Coop's refusal to hand over a list of books that Harvard College students need to purchase for their classes. Crimsonreading.org aims to provide cheaper alternative sources for obtaining the textbooks. The college bookstore's refusal to release the booklist has many students feeling indignant over what is perceived as an unjust monopoly of student purchasing dollars.
The Harvard Coop insists they are only protecting proprietary information that takes considerable manpower and time to compile.
“The issue is, why should we give it out to anybody, particularly the competitors?” said Coop president Jeremiah Murphy.
While the battle continues with the staff of crimsonreading.org passing out flyers in front of the Coop, some Harvard students will have to pick classes based on the price of the required textbooks, or not buy the textbooks at all.
CampusBooks.com is currently working on solving the problem of obtaining textbook lists from college bookstores nationwide. Some bookstores, such as the UCLA store, have been very cooperative about sending in their lists. Other stores have refused. At Campusbooks.com, we are currently working on a campaign to ensure that we obtain as many book lists as possible, in order to aid students in keeping down the already astronomical cost of attending college. If you would like us to work on acquiring your college's booklist, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wertheimer, Linda K.. “In Harvard Square, a war over words.” The Boston Globe 26 SEP 2007 29 SEP 2007 <http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2007/09/26/in_harvard_square_a_war_over_words/>.