Two Penn State Economics professors have assembled a collection of very interesting reads — with zero budget and at zero cost. Jadrian Wooten and James Tierney created a library for students with a desire to learn more.
The Department of Economics Library is currently three shelves of books covering topics like microeconomics, macroeconomics, “pop” economics, finance, and more. You can find it right outside of Kern 320.
Wooten came up with the idea after thinking about how he could make something of a book club for students on campus. He asked around at other universities for inspiration and suggestions.
“We realized that we had all of these books on our shelves that no one was reading,” Wooten said. “We want to give students the opportunity to read a book they might not otherwise read.”
Tierney explained most of the books were donated by Penn State faculty members, but he and Wooten also reached out to publishers like WW Norton & Company and Macmillan Publishers. Both were gracious enough to donate some free copies of their books. Within just two days, an entire bookshelf was filled.
“I don’t hear a lot of kids say ‘I’m going to go check out Freakonomics at the library,'” Tierney said. In these professors’ eyes, students primarily use the library as a study spot, noting that the sheer volume of books can be overwhelming for many.
Tierney said the idea of idle capital relates to his library. Companies like Air BnB use idle capital to put unused commodities to use in a way that will benefit someone. Wooten and Tierney believed that the unread books sitting on their shelves were idle capital — luckily for Penn State students, now these books are even more readily available for reading — at no cost whatsoever.
The library is open to students of any major. Tierney and Wooten just hope to augment the knowledge and interest of anyone who wants to read. Here’s a complete list of the available books.