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Ordering your textbooks online this year

By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, September 9 2020 —

The ongoing pandemic lockdowns in several cities around the world, have made most — if not all — professional, academic and home activities transition to online versions in some way. However, that doesn’t mean that the transition to the online environment has been seamless, or that people aren’t struggling with how to go about things, particularly necessary things like buying your textbooks and materials as your University of Calgary journey begins.

The University of Calgary Bookstore offers a way to get what you need for the upcoming fall term without taking major energy and time, as Shannon Blackadder, Textbook and Trade Manager stated in an email to the Gauntlet

“The bookstore is open online, with hundreds of new digital titles added and plenty of physical books and supplies,” she said.

The first thing that you have to do is open your preferred web-browser — such as Google, Firefox, Safari or any other that’d you like — on a computer and search ‘University of Calgary Bookstore’ or type www.calgarybookstore.ca to get to the official site. The Bookstore does not accept phone orders.

Once on the site, on the upper-left corner — right below the University of Calgary official logo — you’ll find the Textbooks section. Click on it and several sub-sections will pop-up for you to choose to navigate in. The first option that appears is Find your textbooks. By selecting it, you’ll be redirected to the page where you can find the list of the required or suggested book materials needed for the upcoming term for each of your enrolled courses.

There, you will have to fill in the gaps according to your own needs. Start by selecting Ucalgary – Fall 2020 as your term. Follow by choosing a particular department (i.e department of Economics) and subsequently choosing the specific course for which you’re looking for textbooks. (i.e 201). There might be several courses available for the term in the department you selected and these will also be displayed, so make sure you select the correct one. 

The last section to fill out is  the name of the professor that will be instructing your chosen course — multiple professors may teach the same course, so again, make sure you select the correct one.  The required textbooks might be different depending on the instructor. You can check both — the name of your professor/instructor and the number assigned for your course — at the MyUcalgary website using your IT account to log in. 

Once you have entered all the information, click Add course to list. You can repeat the same process multiple times until you add all your courses that you’ll be taking during the upcoming term. Finally, select Get your books so one list can be displayed. The list will give the information of which courses require or not a textbook as well as seeing if there’s a digital copy of the textbook if that’s what better suits your learning style. 

Before finalizing your purchase, keep in mind that shipping fees — in some instances — are applicable. The University of Calgary Bookstore website establishes that “On orders over $75, get free shipping anywhere in Canada, or $10 off shipping to the U.S. or internationally.” The flat rate for shoppers from the U.S. is $25 for orders below $75. There’s also the option for an in-store pickup through a booked appointment and following the COVID-19 protective measures. Make sure that you use the Alberta Health self-assessment tool here before you go to pick your order, just to be safe.

“We charge the actual shipping cost to the student. We get everything in the order together and packaged and calculate the actual shipping rate we pay,” explained Blackadder when asked about shipping outside of Canada. “We then check with the student to ensure they are ok with the cost before any part of their order is charged to their credit card.” 

That means when your order gets placed, the total amount is not charged directly to your credit card  until your order gets shipped. 

To complete the process, check your list first, making sure you’ve included all your courses — so you don’t have to repeat it again. Then to proceed to click Purchase. Once the page appears, view the items you’re about to purchase, giving a second look to make sure that you haven’t missed something or unintentionally added something you don’t wish to buy, along with the quantity of each of your products. 

Click Checkout and you’ll have two different ways of proceeding with your purchase, either by creating an account or continuing as a guest.

Finally, fill out the shipping information plus your payment information. If a new copy of your chosen book isn’t available, you have the option to accept a used book so make sure to either check the box that says you agree or disagree to do so. At the end you’ll receive a confirmation email with the details surrounding your purchase. You’ll receive a second one when you order gets shipped.

Blackadder advises students to order their textbooks at the earliest possible date. 

“COVID-19 has led to shipping delays worldwide,” she said. “Ordering early will help students to beat the rush and ensure they have what they need in time for class.” 

For more information, check the website FAQ or this video that furthers on buying digital books.


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