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Pilot alternative purchasing options that provide materials to all enrolled students on or before the first day of class with automated billing to student bursar accounts. Engage students in multiple ways to improve their course material selection and purchasing habits.
Reengineering faculty habits and student behavior may be the most interesting part of the challenge.
In the middle of every semester, UNM bookstore administrators ask faculty members what books they will be using for courses the following semester. It takes time to do the research for 4,700 book titles, and if a faculty members turn in his book orders in January, just before the beginning of the semester, the bookstore contacts the publisher and orders the hardback version or electronic version, without the time to explore alternatives or negotiate a cheaper deal.
Few faculty members are using the free textbook option at the moment, but Mitchell and Burd think it needs to be part of the conversation. The UNM bookstore is an enterprise activity, which means it does not receive state support.
It appears that the bookstore will continue to take the lead on the issue of trying to control textbook costs. The basic problem on controlling the cost of textbooks isn’t about to go away, but current UNM students are getting a small reprieve.
If you have any questions regarding textbooks or other course materials, please contact our friendly customer service team. Used books range in quality from a pristine book owned only once before by a student who treated it with care, to a book that has been owned by several students and is comfortably worn with creased pages and highlighting.
Books that come to MBS in such condition are rejected from MBS Service Company's buyback program and either discarded or sent back to the last owner.


Books that have missing, torn, or loose covers along with excessive corner wear are not acceptable. Created for education professionals, the Direct Network is your way to stay up-to-date with monthly insights, special features, trending topics, and the latest news in education. If you are seeing this message, it is because you are viewing this site on a browser with limited support. The subcommittee was given the job of examining the problem and making recommendation and submitted a report last fall. If the same book will be used for a course next semester, the bookstore will buy it back for up to half price from students. As it exists now faculty members and to some extent department chairs make the selection decisions. Last summer, the coordinator for the program went to the bookstore and asked for only digital versions of the textbook.
Textbook publishers now raise their rates twice a year on books, and Mitchell says sometimes they make minor revisions in the material within the book and call it a new edition, forcing faculty members to stop and figure out whether there really is anything new that student need to know. In fact, Burd thinks there is a good business opportunity for someone to find a way to help faculty members compare the different books and different options to help them make better decisions on textbooks – something like an online shopping site that includes both traditional and free textbooks, covers all available purchase options, and provides complete information on pricing, availability and quality. Longer range solutions, such as finding a software solution to help faculty members compare costs seem to be taking a back seat to other problems university administrators must confront.. Mitchell said the average price of course materials at UNM for fall 2015 was down seven percent from fall 2014 and down 11 percent from fall 2012. Students can sell used books in some courses back to the bookstore, or rent texbooks for a semester.


Please upgrade your browser to the latest version in order to comfortably browse this site and enjoy its many features. UNM Bookstore Director Carrie Mitchell says faculty have a hard time understanding why the bookstore needs to know in October about textbooks that won’t be used for another three months. Faculty members must choose the book or books they will use, and send the information to the UNM Bookstore. If buying a $120 textbook just isn’t in their budget, they may try to get by without the book, just going to class and participating. Mitchell went to the publisher, negotiated a price for digital only books, took some off the bookstore’s own profit and the students got access codes to online books for a lower price.
Everyone needed instant access to the codes for the books at the same time and Mitchell said the bookstore staff had to scramble to make it all work. Mitchell went to the publishers for a digital only version of the book and negotiated a 47 percent savings from the hardback version of the book. If we could do it all digital and get a big price break for the class as they rent it for a semester, that would be great,” said Mitchell. Volume discounts, buybacks, used books, those types of things tend to be off the table or much less available options than they are two weeks before the semester starts," said Burd.



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