Students report on-campus bookstore troubles

Students are frustrated when they come across an empty shelf rather than the books they need. The red 'special order' containers were added to direct students to go to the front desk or buy online. Photo credit: Christina Arrechavala

Students are frustrated when they come across an empty shelf rather than the books they need. The red ‘special order’ containers were added to direct students to go to the front desk or buy online. Photo by: Christina Arrechavala

CHRISTINA ARRECHAVALA
Reporter

The NSU campus bookstore is a prime location for students to buy their books for the new semester. While the location is convenient for students, some customers said that they have experienced problems when shopping at the store.

An employee at the bookstore, who has asked to remain anonymous, said that they love their job for the ability to interact with students, but the position has its downfalls.

“There is always a problem with the right number of books not being available to students,” the employee said. “They order based on estimated sales, so if there are like 100 students in the class, the store estimates the sales to be about 30-40, which never works.”

NSU Bookstore manager Cynthia Hebert said that book sales are estimated based on past sales for the same class.

“Once book lists get entered into our system, we look back at our records and see how many books we sold previously and how many people were in the class and order accordingly,” Hebert said. “We also listen to the professor if they are just adamant about the demand of a book.”

Junior biology major Ekaterina Bordelon said that her books were not always available when she attempted to pick them up for the semester.

“They don’t always have my books in stock, which doesn’t bother me that much,” Bordelon said, noting that it does bother her professors.

Bordelon said that professors plan their class schedules before the semester begins, and delaying class time because of a textbook issue can lead to falling behind with the syllabus.

Out of the five books required for SENG 3860, three of them are unavailable. Red 'special order' containers were added to direct students to the front desk or to buy online. Photo by: Christina Arrechavala

Out of the five books required for SENG 3860, three of them are unavailable. Red ‘special order’ containers were added to direct students to the front desk or to buy online. Photo by: Christina Arrechavala

If students find that a book is not on their booklists ahead of classes or not on the shelf, Hebert said most of that depends on when the books are reported to them.

“When one thing is backed up, everything gets backed up,” Hebert said. “If the university releases classes late or professors do not tell [the bookstore] what books they plan to use until right before classes, it is nearly impossible to get the books on the shelf in time for rush.”

Students with financial aid overages are awarded a book voucher for up to $1000; the voucher is only redeemable at the NSU Bookstore and Neebo, which leaves students who rely on financial aid two bookstore options.

“I’ve learned over the three years that I’ve attended this university that it is best to avoid the bookstore unless your only source of income for purchasing textbooks is a book voucher,” Bordelon said.

The bookstore offers to price check books with Amazon, bn.com and Neebo, but third party and membership prices are not eligible for the check. Students can either bring in the printed book listing or sales associates can price match in the store.

Book vouchers are applicable until Jan. 25. The bookstore is open seven days a week, and any issues with books can be directed to (318) 357-4473 or to the NSU Bookstore Manager Cynthia Hebert at sm638@bncollege.com.

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