Steal This Book (for Three Hours)

Robert Morris University students launch a book 'rental' program to fight against soaring textbook costs.

Photo by Nate Bolt on Flickr

Student research at RMU reaps savings

What started as part of a class project in a Business and Professional Communications class at Robert Morris University last spring lead to a new program that helps students save cash. After classmates discovered that the average college student pays approximately $1,000 on textbooks annually, things came together for a textbook-reserve program that launched in the fall.

The program makes available copies of university-purchased textbooks for RMU's general-education courses through a reserve process at the library, enabling students to access the books for three hours at a time. The RMU retention committee — composed of faculty and staff who analyze why students leave the university in order to yield solutions that help students finish their degrees — launched the initiative with help from sophomore students in a Business and Professional Communications honors course. School records show that more than 850 students used the new library-reserve program last semester, saving each an estimated $300.
—Emily Marmion, PM Editorial Intern

Chatham opens MFA summer residency to the public
Public writer workshops and forums may soon become the norm in Pittsburgh cafés and coffee shops. But if you had the opportunity to participate in a public writing workshop presented by a renowned regional writing program, would you?

If so, take advantage of Chatham University's Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing 10-day summer residency offering. From July 31 through Aug. 10, be part of craft lectures, workshops and readings from esteemed poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction writers — not to mention a 45-minute manuscript consultation. Since the MFA summer residency is usually offered to just Chatham students, you'll want to claim a spot soon. Call 412/365-1685 or email for more information.
—Krystal Hare, PM Fact-Checker

Trio of upcoming events at area colleges

Here are a few must-attend happenings taking place in the near future at local colleges:

Washington & Jefferson College
March 6, 8 p.m.
Cheer on W&J faculty, staff and students as they shoot against the Pittsburgh Steelers Footballers in a rousing basketball game to benefit the Tim McNerney Scholarship, Washington County Special Olympics and NFL Play 60. Purchase tickets in advance for $7 by calling 724/229-5120 or pay $10 at the door.

Grove City College
March 7-9, 7:30 p.m.
William Shakespeare’s problem comedy Measure for Measure comes to life at GCC under the direction of Department of English chair Dr. James Dixon. Call 724/458-3331 or email to reserve your free tickets.

Saint Vincent College
March 11, 7:30 p.m.
As part of the school’s Threshold Series, SVC welcomes official Vatican astronomer and meteorite curator Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J. This one-of-a-kind free event features both a lecture and an open house. Reservations are required — so RSVP to

Categories: Great Minds