Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Bookstore aims to update outdated inventory system

This year, Whitman’s bookstore has undergone a number of changes in an effort to remain independent. Some of these improvements have been made to decrease the likelihood of theft occurring in the store.

Bookstore Service and Operations Specialist Zoey Smith acknowledges that theft can be an issue.

“Fortunately, theft is not a problem at Whitman the way that it can be at some large, commuter campuses,” Smith said in an email. “While there have been occasional instances of theft, we at the bookstore are proud to be part of a community made up of honest individuals who are sincerely committed to improving the world in which they live.”

According to senior Wing Lam, a bookstore employee, if theft does happen at the bookstore, the instances are few and far between.

“I’ve worked here since my freshman year, and I’ve never seen any theft,” Lam said.

The bookstore is not able to keep track of how much money is lost in stolen pens, candy or textbooks because it does not use a “Point Of Sale” system. It hopes to acquire one in the future  to better track money flowing in and out of the bookstore.

Though employees count the inventory, there is no record of what items are actually sold and which items just go missing.

“The [method of taking] inventory at the bookstore is antiquated. Taking inventory was actually just us hand counting all of our stock,” said sophomore Rose Haag, a previous bookstore employee.

The bookstore has taken some measures in order to better protect itself against the possibility of theft.

Director of Security Terry Thompson advised the bookstore on what could be done and what to look out for in regards to theft. After the bookstore was rearranged, Thompson suggested that the bookstore place some domed security mirrors to aid visibility of some areas. They were installed at the beginning of fall semester.

Many students seem to think that the bag check that goes on during the beginning of each semester is an effort to prevent theft, but Smith said that is not its express intent.

“We began the check not because we doubt the integrity of Whitman students, but because it has proven a helpful way to ensure that periods of increased business run smoothly,” said Smith.

Sophomore Ben Menzies, who has worked as a bag checker, addressed students’ impatience with the bag check system.

“I think the bag check is much less annoying than people seem to think it is,” Menzies said. “It’s a simple show of good faith on the customer’s part at a time when the bookstore does have to deal with a greater threat of theft, and as long as the employee is doing her job, it’s at most a 30-second process.”

The bookstore makes a point to take students’ input and suggestions in regards to what is sold, creating a community environment.

“This is your bookstore, and we welcome your suggestions, feedback and involvement,” said Smith. “In being there for the campus, [we try to] carry things that students are looking for.”

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