As students shopped at the Mizzou Store to buy books and course materials for the fall semester, some may not have realized that the store is in its second year of a major reorganization.
About two years ago, the store overhauled its system for arranging textbooks in an effort to make the shopping experience simpler. Instead of arranging books by departments and course numbers,, the textbooks are grouped by the last name of the author. The change was made at a time when many other campuses had already made the switch, according to Dale Sanders, senior associate director for campus retail. Sanders said in this respect, the University of Missouri had been stuck in the past for quite some time.
The switch has made the book finding process easier for students, as well as the management of textbooks for the store.
“Sometimes we had books that were cross-listed for different courses, and that became kind of an inventory nightmare,” said Michelle Froese, assistant director for strategic communications.
With the old system, the same book would be in multiple places within the store. Keeping the book stocked evenly in different places was difficult, especially when it came to used books.
“We’re really aggressive in trying to source used copies for our students,” Sanders said.
With the same book in multiple locations, students were unsure if they had the option of a used book. Luckily, the change eliminated this issue.
In an effort to make purchasing books even easier for students, the Mizzou Store created a new way to check out the books students ordered through their Early Bird Textbook program. In previous years, students picked up their books downstairs in the store, then were sent upstairs to wait in long lines to purchase the books.
“Back to school rush, with the volume of students we have, is a lot about hurry up and wait,” Froese said.
Starting this year, the store offered “expedited checkout.” This allows students to purchase their books while picking them up at the initial Early Bird Textbook pick up location downstairs in the store.
If students choose to use expedited checkout, they must student charge their books and other course materials.
Buying books at the beginning of the semester can be a stressful time for all of the students and staff, but the Mizzou Store is working to make the process for buying textbooks a more pleasant experience for everyone involved. Store management hopes the implementation of expedited checkout in the textbook section, and sorting by author’s last name, will make those hectic first weeks back at school a little less stressful for students and faculty.