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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 21, 2023

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Bookstore to triple number of rentable books


Students can use these kiosks in the bookstore or the Union multipurpose room to rent books for spring semester from Campus Book Rentals with a credit card.

Students who rent their books from the University bookstore will now have almost three times as many books available to rent.

Starting spring semester, more than 80 percent of book titles will be available to rent, while only 30 percent are available now.

“Students always want to know, ‘is it available for rental?’” said Jeff Nelson, director of the University Bookstore. “We can read the disappointment [on their face when we say it isn’t], the more rental books we can provide the better it is for students.”

Renting a book can save students 50 percent or more on average than buying a new or used book, Nelson said.

“You never know when selling back if you’re going to get a good deal or not,” he said. “A lot of students don’t want to take risks.”

Junior Jake Sanchez almost always takes the risk.

“It’s because of the sell back,” he said. “I feel like you get more money back.”

But students like freshman Amber Steiner prefer to rent books because of the money she saves.

“Some books [are] cheaper to rent instead of paying the full price and then trying to sell them,” she said.

Steiner said she thinks the new options will save students a lot of money.

The amount of students renting increases every semester, he said. This semester, 3,800 students rented textbooks and about 6,000 books were rented, Nelson said.

The bookstore is able to offer more titles through a partnership with a new company, Campus Book Rentals.

The company is newer and based in Utah. It offers Sidewalk, a service which uses kiosks to rent books, Nelson said.

Nelson learned about the company a while ago, but before, the company hadn’t worked out how students could pay with different methods through the bookstore.

Now, the company has worked it out and the bookstore has two new kiosks. There will soon be a third in the Union multipurpose room.

Students have a few options when renting books. They can order them online and have them shipped to their house, or just go to the bookstore and buy them. Though there is no order-then-pickup option with this company right now, Nelson said there will be one soon.

When students pick up a book, there will be a kiosk tag and the student can then take the book to the kiosk and scan it, Nelson said. They can pay for it there with a credit card or pay at a register with another form of payment, though a credit card is required to secure the rental.

When the student is done with the book, they can return it to the bookstore, even if it was shipped to them to begin with, Nelson said.

Sophomore Eric Lane likes the idea of this option.

“I rented my books this year from a website and I’ll have to send those back,” he said. “It’s definitely a good thing.”

Students will also be able to buy books at the end of the rental period, before that could only happen if the book was damaged. Nelson said other schools have used the program. At Bloomsberg University in Pennsylvania, rentals tripled the first time this program was offered, Nelson said.

The program could be ready and in place as early as next week, Nelson said.

“It will definitely be in time for the start of spring semester,” he said. “From one semester to the next, and to be able to offer three times as many rental options, that’s huge and it has the potential to impact almost every student.”

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