Pilot Project Offers Supplies for Students

By Molly Hurley


When it comes to basic classroom necessities, students at BSU have no reason not to be prepared. School Supplies 4 U offers classroom supplies to students on an as-needed basis.

An abundance of supplies for students located in Maxwell Library. Photo by Cynthia Svoboda.


Cynthia Svoboda, an associate librarian at Maxwell Library, made the proposal last semester. Svoboda began School Supplies 4 U as a pilot project, inspired by the campus food bank, Food Bank 4 U. Svoboda began to research other institutions who engaged in similar projects on college campuses. Reusable Office Supply Exchange (R.O.S.E) was discovered in a couple of institutions, where extra supplies could be donated for student use. Svoboda submitted her proposal for School Supplies 4 U to the Director of Library Services in September.

Once approved, Svoboda became hopeful to see her project succeed. The shelf that holds the supplies was built by Svoboda’s husband, Frank Svoboda.

As coordinator of the project, the librarian purchases items seeks donations and manages the distribution of the supplies. The library can provide up to $100.00 of supplies for the shelf while continuing to accept supplies from others on campus. However, Svoboda says this isn’t all that she does.

“I also maintain a spreadsheet of all donations and try to write brief email thank you notes to all BSU community members who I know have made donations.”

If you’re familiar with services provided at the library, you would know that the library supplies staples, a three-hold punch, and scissors for students to use. This wasn’t enough; student requests to borrow other supplies seemed to be on the increase.

“The greatest demand has been for spiral bound notebooks, index cards, highlighters, tissues, envelopes, and 3-ring binders. Pens, pencils, erasers, paper clips, colored pencils, glue sticks, construction paper and the like are all appreciated,” said Svoboda.

Ed Brush, Faculty Coordinator in the Department of Science and Math, reached out to Svoboda in December.

“He proposed that the chemistry club, chemistry department, and Project GreenLab become partners with School Supplies 4 U,” said Svoboda.

A second station is being set up near the student lounge in the Mohler-Faria Science and Mathematics Center.

Students, faculty, and administration who are interested in donating can leave supplies in Svoboda’s office, Library 109. If she is not available, supplies can be left with any library staff member at the Reference Desk. She asks that you provide a note saying that whatever is being dropped off is for School Supplies 4 U.

As the project continues, and donations are provided, Svoboda is willing to oversee the shelf. Feedback is encouraged; you can leave a comment in the library’s comment box or contact Cynthia Svoboda at csvoboda@bridgew.edu

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