By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, October 16 2020—
The University of Calgary’s bookstore recently announced that they were resuming in-person activities at their MacEwan Student Centre location. The announcement was made months after transferring all of its operations online.
“We made the decision to not physically open our store until after the busy back-to-school period,” said John Campbell, Associate Director of the bookstore in a conversation with the Gauntlet. He noted that during this time of the year, the volume of orders is significantly high.
He proceeded by stressing that the decision to reopen the bookstore was based on taking into account the safety of its customers first.
“We felt that we could not properly keep all of our customers and staff safe, and run efficiently,” he said.
Campbell expressed that the biggest challenge during the last few months was the adjustment of running a full-online operation, especially “handling all of the shipping and on-site pick-ups.” While the store is open to the public from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, it continues to process online orders.
Following COVID-19 protocols for social distancing, the bookstore currently has set a maximum number of people allowed in the sales floor at 35, including staff. When asked about the number of staff that the bookstore currently has, Campbell mentioned that staffing levels are not as high as they were back in early March.
“Many of our staff are working from home and only come in when it is their selected day to be on-site,” he said.
The bookstore continues to monitor any recommendations issued by Alberta Health Services and the university.
“We have COVID protocols signage, physical distancing stickers, one-way aisle and directional arrows, hand sanitizer stations and new sanitizing procedures,” Campbell concluded.
According to the bookstore website it advises that students, faculty members and other customers check the Alberta Health Self-Assessment tool before visiting any campus facility.
“If we work together, we can keep each other safe and healthy,” notes the website.