STAFF EDITORIAL: Death and textbooks

ed cartoon 9.7

THE ISSUE: The WKU Store has set new procedures for getting textbooks that restrict students from finding books on their own.

OUR STANCE: The service may initially frustrate some students, but with a little time, explanation and keeping self-service as an option, it should make the book-buying process a little less painful.

During the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters, the WKU Store is usually bustling with students scouring shelves for textbooks and other supplies.

Now, instead of strapping students with a piece of paper listing their classes and sending them on the hunt for a matching textbook, WKU Store clerks do the work.

The Herald sees the pros and cons of the new service and has a few suggestions for improvements.

In a society that craves immediacy, having a clerk get books for you is a good thing. But part of the college experience is having to struggle through the crowded aisles in complete confusion, matching the tiny course numbers on the shelves and book titles to a schedule.

Operations Director Jim Sears said the WKU Store wanted a more accurate and efficient way to serve the student body, especially for freshmen who weren’t familiar with the process.

Under the new policy, at least for the first few weeks, students give store associates a list of their classes, and the associates act as personal shoppers.

The relatively faster front checkout times are good, but as with all transitions, there is room for improvement, which Sears said he acknowledges.

There will be mistakes either way, so we suggest the WKU Store tears down the walls and allows self-service to remain an option. After all, the new retrieval service is redundant of textbook reservations, minus the fancy box.

The service limits students’ ability to choose the condition of their books, since associates choose for them. And cashiers have processed several returns because associates supplied the wrong books.

Long lines and pricey textbooks are inevitable. But the Herald appreciates the changes the WKU Store is trying in order to make the process smoother.

The store has added the option to rent books, which is a cheaper alternative. And if you waited in line to buy books during the first week, you might have gotten a WKU hat or T-shirt by playing the “Know Your Willie” trivia game. So, hey, they’re trying.

Perhaps by next semester, the planned TVs hanging from the ceiling will distract you from the looming wait, and you can catch a laugh or two as you inch closer to the front of the line.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member editorial board.