New Bookshop to Replace Co-op in Kambri

The Co-op and a Harry Hartog store

By Eliza Croft

A Harry Hartog bookshop will be opening in Kambri next year. The Co-op bookshop, which is in the Pop-Up and had been in the former Union Court, will not have a place in Kambri.

The new Harry Hartog bookshop will span two levels of the Culture and Events building in Kambri. General Manager James Redden said the shop would host “book launches, author events, book clubs, workshops, salons and trivia nights” throughout the year.

An ANU spokesperson confirmed that “Harry Hartog will be the only bookstore trading within Kambri”, and so the Co-op will not have a place in Kambri. The Co-op did not respond to questions about whether it would set up a shop elsewhere on or near campus. The University spokesperson said that Harry Hartog was chosen as it is “best suited to meet [student and staff] needs”.

The Co-op is a non-profit organisation founded by University of Sydney students in 1958, and has over 50 branches around Australia. The organisation boasts more than 2 million members, but in recent years have faced allegations of alienation of student members.

Last year, the ANUSA SRC passed a motion calling on the Co-op Board to step down amid claims that the company had actively excluded student members from taking part in its AGM. During the SRC, then-General Representative Harry Needham called the Co-op Board a “bunch of shady bastards”. Needham, now Education Officer, stood by and reiterated the statement last month.

Harry Hartog currently has a shop each in Woden, Newcastle, and Maitland, and a number of shops in Sydney. On its website, the company says it aims to “supply and promote products and services that meet ethical, sustainable and environmental trade practices”. Redden, who currently manages Harry Hartog’s Woden store, described the retailer as “fiercely independent”.

The retailer has begun ordering textbooks for next year, according to ANU’s announcement. This year, a number of courses encountered difficulties due to the Co-op not having enough copies of the required textbooks for the cohort. Despite the shop’s independence and relatively small size, the University spokesperson said that “Harry Hartog is best placed for the timely provision of text books [sic] and resources”. They added that the retailer is “working directly with campus academics and textbook suppliers with a view to improving the textbook experience for students”.

At time of publication, the Co-op has not responded to Observer’s request for comment.

Co-op photograph by Sandra Tong; Harry Hartog picture obtained from ANU.

 

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