First-Generation Book Drive

The First-Generation Book Drive aims to reduce the financial stress that many first-generation students face when purchasing their textbooks. As a program of the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion, the book drive seeks to address some of the challenges that many first-generation students face when navigating college. In addition to providing books for various courses, there are also school supplies that students may take to support them in their classes.

For many first generation students, buying textbooks can be a huge financial burden. First-generation student Emmanuel Rodriguez ’15 discovered this problem while studying at Willamette. Navigating college and its cost can be a challenge for anyone, but first-generation students — often from low-income families — face additional pressures. In Spring 2015, Rodriguez posted a message on his personal Facebook page asking for book donations for first-generation students. That year, he collected about 200 from Willamette students. Since then, the drive has accumulated over 900 books.

First-generation students apply each year to receive at least one free donated textbook on a first-come, first-served basis. Demand for books has continued to increase, and the drive reaches about 80 students per semester. The free books have saved some students more than $200.

How to Receive Textbooks

Every semester The First-Generation Book Drive collects donations for used textbooks and make those books available for first-generation students to use for their classes, free of charge. In order to make sure everything runs smoothly there are guidelines listed below according to whether you have a Librarika account, or not. If you are a first-year student, or have never signed up with Librarika please follow the first set of instructions before continuing to the second set of instructions. If you have accessed the Librarika system previously and/or have requested textbooks please follow the second set of instructions. 

If you do not have a Librarika account please follow these steps before continuing on to the second set of instructions:

  1. Follow this link to fill out a form with a few simple questions.*
  2. Once we receive this form we will set up your Librarika account; please allow 1-2 days for this to happen. We will review these requests starting on August 1st, 2024.
  3. You will receive an invitation to finish setting up your account. This invitation will come from Librarika, you must sign up with your Willamette email.
  4. After set up the account, you will be able to see our inventory and search for books.
  5. Continue to the second set of instructions 

* Please note you must be signed in to your Willamette email in order to access any of these forms: if the link is not working please verify that you are signed into your WU email.

If you have a Librarika account, follow these steps to request your textbooks for the semester: 

  1. Log in to Librarika and search for your textbooks to see if they are in our inventory.
  2. Fill out this link to request your textbooks. This form opens on August 1st, 2024.
  3. The last day to submit a book purchase request is August 23rd, 2024. Please note that limited funds are available, and there is no guarantee that a purchase will be made.
  4. We will notify students by August 24th, 2024 which books they are receiving.
  5. The last day to request a book in the lending library is September 9th, 2024.
  6. Textbooks and/or school supplies will initially be distributed as scheduled below from the SOAR Center, located on the 3rd floor of the University Center.
    • August 25th, 2024: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • August 26th, 2024: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • All other distributions, including those requested after the above dates, will be by appointment. Please email if you need to schedule an appointment.

If you have any further questions or would like help signing up for Librarika do not hesitate to reach out to either Leslie Garfias at

How to Look for Your Required Textbooks

  1. Go to the Willamette bookstore webpage and click on "Find Course Materials" under the "Course Materials & Textbooks" dropdown menu at the top of the page.
  2. Select the term (e.g., Spring 2022).
  3. Select the department (e.g., BIOL, POLI, ANTH, MATH, etc.), course number, and course section (which can be found on SAGE under the "Academics" sections)
  4. Click on the "Retrieve Materials" button.


The SOAR Center accepts donations during business hours. If you need assistance carrying donations, please contact and we can pick them up from you or help you bring them to the SOAR Center.

Willamette University

SOAR Center

Putnam University Center (UC), 3rd floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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