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New Bookstore layout irks students

By Fabian Mayer, September 3 2015 —

Students looking to buy their textbooks from the University of Calgary Bookstore are now greeted by a new store layout.

Textbooks were previously organized into academic sections. Each major had a different area of the store and books for each class were grouped together. Textbooks are now shelved by author last name.

Third-year political science student Jesse Stillwell isn’t happy with the change.

“It’s awful and it doesn’t make sense at all,” Stillwell said. “Why is this better than the way it was before?”

Stillwell said she is having a harder time finding the textbooks she needs for classes.

“It was so much easier when I could just go to my faculty, find my prof, get the books and go,” Stillwell said.

According to store manager Brent Beatty, university bookstores in Canada and the United States are adopting the new system. He claims the change is motivated by a desire to improve customer service.

Beatty said the old layout made things more difficult for staff and students because the same books were in multiple locations around the store.

“We’re following the industry trend and it allows us to make sure that all the new and all the used books are now in one location,” Beatty said

He hopes it will ease congestion as students will be more spread out around the store. Beatty said it will also allow staff to get returned books back onto shelves more quickly as they won’t have to look up the textbook’s location.

Beatty said reaction from customers has been mixed so far.

“Off the top when people just look at it they don’t understand why we’re doing it,” Beatty said. “When it’s explained to them they understand why we’ve done it.”

While he admitted there may be some confusion at first, Beatty doesn’t think it will last long.

“We expect that after a semester or so, once the new students understand the process, the old students understand the process, we don’t expect any issues,” Beatty said.

Second-year biology student Dominique Maucieri thinks the new layout could be helpful if students knew about the changes.

“If you knew what your textbooks were before, it helps,”   Maucieri said. “But I didn’t know who wrote my textbooks so I had to do a little research.”

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