Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman bookstore adopts new online purchasing methods, works with ASWC towards rental program

Prices of books in the bookstore should decrease as new buying methods are considered. Bryan Hoppe is the new textbook buyer this year, and one of his primary goals for the bookstore is to reduce the prices of books for students.   Hoppe, who is younger than previous textbook buyers have been, is planning to use the Internet as a resource.   He is working to buy more from online vendors and is taking advantage of the used book market. One text that is normally sold used for $30 is being sold for $6.50 this year.

ASWC is working with the bookstore to adopt a textbook rental program.   Through the program, students may save as much as one-third of the cost for a textbook. However, students can’t sell back books at the end of a semester, so the actual savings may not be as high as they may initially seem.

The textbook rental program also requires a professor to make a three-semester commitment to the textbook.   Because many classes are only taught one semester a year, a three-semester commitment may mean a six-year commitment.

“The rental program is a good idea, but in reality it’s unlikely to happen.   It must make sense for everyone involved, and right now it doesn’t,” said Bookstore Director Douglas Carlsen.

Carlsen sent out e-mails to the student listserv, inviting students and community members to a “Dialogue With Douglas.” Carlsen started the dialogue years ago to invite students to discuss the bookstore in a friendly setting.

“It’s to put a more human face on the bookstore,” said Carlsen.   He invited students to ask questions and make suggestions and emphasized that the dialogue was meant to be open-ended.   He used to go to the residence halls and give presentations, or just talk about whatever students wanted to discuss.

“I wanted to begin the dialogues again to open up the lines of communication,” said Carlsen.

Only one student attended the dialogue, but Carlsen hopes to keep people interested in the issues surrounding the bookstore.

“While it might not seem like it with the prices of textbooks, we are committed to meeting the needs of students,” said Carlsen. “One of my goals is to see an increase in communication and understanding between students and the bookstore.”

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