Textbook delays and shortages experienced by students this year were caused by an update in the systems of textbook publisher Pearson, officials at the company said.
Scott Overland, director of media relations and corporate affairs for Pearson, said the company recognized the glitch and worked with campuses, including the Campus Store, to fix the delays.
“Our goal is to ensure that students have the materials they need,” Overland said. “We apologize for this inconvenience and have been working around the clock to correct this. Our sales teams have been working with instructors and the bookstore to keep them updated on the status of orders and assist them in obtaining digital versions of the materials.”
Over the summer, Barnes and Noble officially took ownership of the Campus Store, and, said store manager Scott Harsh, being under the ownership of Barnes and Noble gave the store more leverage when figuring out solutions with Pearson to work through textbook shortages.
“As a corporate group, we can say, ‘Hey, guys. Start looking back at your orders; see what you are missing. We will get that list together and go to Pearson and tell them where they are slacking,'” Harsh said.
The bookstore is now tied to a chain of additional regional stores from Louisiana to New Mexico, and Harsh said the ability to have meetings with other stores helps improve store operations and be more prepared for incidents of book delays.
“A lot of times we feel like we have unique situations, but when you talk to a group of 15 stores, somebody usually has had that experience, so you can gain from their wisdom,” Harsh said. “Hopefully, we can continue to get better. There are reports we can look at and determine how we did. Did we order enough, or did we run out?”
In addition to changes to store operations, Barnes and Noble sent an architect to the campus to work with Harsh’s team to update the layout of the store, resulting in the new look of the store.
“The first thing we did last year was move buy-back and online orders downstairs,” Harsh said. “Opening up the store the way we have, traffic flows better. I really love having Apple and tech where they are, because we can service customers better. Those two changes have helped alleviate traffic upstairs.”
Harsh said to avoid not receiving textbooks on time, students should order their textbooks over the summer and can return them for a full refund within in the first week of classes, or students should explore ebook options offered by publishers.