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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Textbooks arrive late

The delay of textbook shipments at the student store have caused students to have a late start in learning. Outside competition and late textbook requests have caused some books to be unavailable during the first weeks of the semester.

Until last week, some students were having issues with their textbooks not being available for purchase.

Holly Hagan, a book buyer at the Pierce College bookstore, said sometimes instructors do not submit textbook requisition forms by the deadline, which causes books to be unavailable when students need them.

Another cause for books not being in stock is a decline in purchases from the student store.

“Why as a taxpayer would you want me to bring in 45 books for a class that, maybe historically, I only sell three books,” said Hagan. “Now all of a sudden there’s this urgency, because Amazon doesn’t have the book anymore, but I only brought in three books. So, we’re on a limited budget, because sales aren’t as they used to be.”

Due to the increased amount of online purchases of textbooks, the student store recuperates from the loss of sales by ordering less of certain texts that didn’t sell in previous years.

However, this hurts students who shop at the bookstore because they don’t want to wait for books to ship after an online order to gain a copy.

“I have not been able to find two of my books for three weeks now,” said Pierce student Anthony Piazza. “My professors are really disliking me in class not having them, but I’m trying to buy it from the Pierce bookstore so Pierce gets the money, and so I don’t have to wait weeks for it to get ordered.”

Despite trends of online shopping, this mentality is why some students still try to purchase their books at the student store.

Candy Van, the assistant manager at the bookstore, said she wants to help students. Special orders are available for students who cannot find their books.
Van says she even opens the bookstore on weekends for students to pick up their textbooks, and save money by picking up the books at Pierce rather than having them shipped to their house.

While students remain divided on whether online shopping or buying from the student store is more effective, there can be another way.

Communications Studies professor, Jennifer Rosenberg, had issues with a textbook being unavailable for her intercultural communication class.

While this was a publisher issue, Rosenberg brings up a new way to access required texts for a course.

“I’m actually considering in the future, so we don’t have these kinds of problems, to use an OER,” Rosenberg said.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely licensed digital teaching materials such as texts.

“Books are so darn expensive and in some cases it just seems ridiculous. You have to think as a professor‒ you’re not just taking my class, you might be taking five other classes,” Rosenberg said.

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