Groundwork Books is San Diego's cooperatively managed book shop and volunteer workers collective that maintains books and resources to develop a theory and practice to provide the skills, both intellectual and practical, necessary for a nonhierarchical and non-authoritarian system of social organization.


Founded by Marxists in 1973 and established as a UCSD student group, we are a community resource for students, faculty, and activists as well as good natured book geeks.


The collective is currently staffed by volunteers from the campus and greater San Diego community. Our collective management style serves as a model for a democratically controlled economy, in opposition to private profit at the expense of community.


Groundwork Books offers books on a variety of subjects from social justice causes including workers, women, lgbtq, black, latino/a, indigenous, to a critical study of history of the americas, europe, africa and asia. In addition to books, we also offer underground publications, indie magazines, zines, documentaries, spoken word albums, comics, and crafts.


Groundwork Books serves as meeting space, social space and infoshop for San Diego's progressive, radical and socialist community. Outside the book shop, we provide books at community events, political rallies and punk rock shows.


Groundwork Books is run by a group of dedicated volunteers. Any help you can provide is invaluable.


Cashier/Store Operations

The basic foundation of Groundwork Books is having volunteers run the shop. We need people to run the register, help customers, answer phones, assist with the upkeep of the store, and really to keep the doors open as many hours as possible. Regular shifts, short-term, temporary, and sporadic volunteers are all welcome.


Our accountants are responsible for our finances. This includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing departments, pay rent & utilities, post sales and book keeping. This will give you excellent work experience in future accounting and business careers!


General Stock

Our general stock members are in charge of ordering new books, merchandise, periodicals and special orders. They also are responsible for keeping all books on check and other merchandise. Here you will also communicate with publishers. This is a very fun position to add your taste and style to the bookstore!



We’re looking for people interested in helping with community outreach, increasing book sales, developing the organization's presence in the community, and spreading the word about all the important work being done at Groundwork Books.


Outreach overlooks internal and external responsibilities and events such as: Coop Meetings, Books for Prisoners Liaison, Student Center Meetings, UCAB liaison, Student Org Liaison, Tabling Opportunities, Groundwork mailing list. Outreach also deals with publicity and social networking. This is definitely a rewarding position that will teach you new skills on outreaching and towards becoming a leader. 


Groundwork Books tries to keep a community presence by tabling for visiting scholars and activists, at conferences, and at other community events. Volunteers can help to identify upcoming events that Groundwork Books could sell books for and/or table at the event to sell books and promote the work that Groundwork does.


Volunteers needed to help maintain our website and our presence on social media. This kind of work is perfect for people who want to contribute but aren't able to physically at the store. 



Our textbooks persons are those who are in charge of ordering textbooks for student classes at UCSD. You will be soliciting orders, which includes outreaching to professors, reading and sending inter campus mail. You will also have to communicate with publishers. This position is one of the most important to our cooperative and one of the most flexible ones!


Books for Prisoners

Groundwork Books helps the UCSD student group Books to Prisoners project which are always in need of volunteers to respond to prisoners, verify contact information, match requests, package books, organize book and fund drives.


**Which ever position you become interested in, you will be trained by a current Groundwork member, and be given time and flexibility to adjust to the routine.

***Benefits include not only work experience and volunteer work, but also discounts to all student coops (Groundwork Books, Food Coop, General Store)