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Saints Bookstore prepares for return of students PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 January 2018 15:16


• Leader & Times

Like other pupils, students at Seward County Community College recently returned to campus for spring classes, and activity at the Saints Bookstore has likewise picked up.
Madelyn Sander, who does marketing for the bookstore, talked about what the new semester is bringing to the store, as well as some of the unique things about the campus store.

Q: The new semester has just kicked off, with students starting. What does that look like in the bookstore?
A: The heart of the bookstore happens during Rush Week. It’s a lot busier. We’re excited. We get the fun of students coming on in.
A lot of the students will come in. Some of them will pay for it out of pocket. Others we have coming in with foundation scholarships or using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), pulling their textbooks out. A lot of them will come that first week or going into their classes first seeing if they need books. We definitely have a lot more activity in the bookstore during that time.

Q; A lot of universities have franchise bookstores operated by Barnes & Noble or Follet publishing. What makes the Saints Bookstore unique?
A: What’s exciting about it is we are attached to the college. We are an independent bookstore. What that means is we’re not as tied down with the corporations. We’re here to help the students. They’re our top priority.
We look at it as a service. We keep our book prices as low as we possibly can for them. We have the ability to choose which suppliers we bring in for logo items, and we aren’t tied to just having Nike or just having a certain brand. We’re able to bring in things like CI Sports and things to keep the cost low for students. We look at it as we have a greater ability to be able to serve our students.
Keep it local. All of the money, since we’re an auxiliary unit, stays in the school. Anything that comes through the store is coming back to the students.

Q: How have digital publishing and Internet buying affected small independent booksellers?
A: When you look at it, I think most of it’s just stigma. Students think they can get books cheaper online through places like Amazon. The truth is one thing that we do offer for our students, we have the ability to have any book that we have on our shelves as a digital book.
Our unique community college, most of them are the type who like to have that hard copy. In some ways, with the type of students we have, we’ve been able to survive that.
Our books won’t change price. Through the semester, we have a set price, and you’re guaranteed that price whether you come in the first week of school or a couple weeks later. Places like Amazon, those prices fluctuate.
At times, we may lose a sale or two because of that, but we have that ability to guarantee it for our students. It kind of changes the tactic so to speak of how we market to them. Hopefully, they can see the benefit of coming here.

Q: For the students who attend SCCC, money is often tight. How can a student economize when gathering the necessary materials for a class?
A: One of the great things we have here, we have the ability to rent. Students can come in with a much lower up-front cost. As long as they keep those books in good condition, they can drop them off at the end of the semester. No more fees and bring them back in. That is a good option that we have that can save them money.
As far as economizing, besides textbooks, we do offer different sales, but if they have financial aid, without having to wait for that check to come in the mail, we can authorize charging out to their FAFSA. As long as we have the authorization from the business office, we can charge it out there, and they can go and talk to them or even loan out that money. They talk to the cashier, and we can charge it out, which is something unique to a bookstore on campus.

Q: At the Saints Bookstore, you obviously provide textbooks and other class materials for students. What other items do you sell to help students have a successful experience at SCCC?
A: We also have things called bar charts. They’re laminated note sets, a shortened version of giving them the best option to be able to have notes that they may be able to use supplementally to what they’re taking in class.
We sell lanyards. We sell keychains to be able to help those students out. We also have the ability to charge out if they want to buy computers with us. You can come to us, and we only have a 10 percent markup on it. They can choose to buy laptops and different things like that through the bookstore at what could be a discounted price for them and flash drives, all that kind of thing.

Q: There is a whole section of Saints logo wear, and some Redskins items, too. What has been most popular?
A: For the winter, we’ve done rather well with a certain beanie cap that we have. It’s nice knitted type. We have it in iron gray, forest green and pink, and it has “Saints” across the top with a nice little pom pom. That one’s done really well for people who are coming in. Perhaps they’re getting it for a friend, and they don’t have to know the size.
We just got it in some new sweatshirts and sweaters with our new logo, which we’re excited about showcasing as well.

Q: What is something new and unusual you are selling?

A: Something pretty unique to our bookstore, we are a Lampe Berger provider. The closest Lampe Berger seller to us is in Guymon, Okla. It started out in the medical field actually.

The idea is it is an air freshener that also sterilizes the air, so especially in cold and flu season, it’s a nice thing to have. You can burn off this oil. It starts off with a flame, and you blow it out. It disperses scents throughout the air while also disinfecting it.
It’s pretty unique here to be able to order out those computers. Not a lot places you can go to for having that option.

Q: During the semester, when students already have their basic set-up for their classes, what is happening at the bookstore?
A: Once classes have kind of died down, we have a lot with the apparel section. We have different deals with that.
We have something called Free Coffee Tuesdays at the bookstore. Every single Tuesday, you can come and get a capacitor. We have hot chocolate. We even have green teas that they can get and black coffee as well for the hard core caffeine addicts.
Every single Tuesday, it’s completely free, and any other day of the week, it’s only a dollar. We also sell snacks here. As a different option to the vending machines, they can come down here, have a place to eat their snacks if they want to in the bookstore. We do have competitive pricing with the vending machine to be able to give them the opportunity to keep their prices low while still getting that face to face communication.

Q: Can you tell us about some specials that are currently running?
A: This month, January’s special is 20 percent off all our logo items. If you got “Saints,” “Seward County,” anything with our new Louie logo, we can get you 20 percent off of it for the duration of January. Next month, we’ll have a different special.

Q: Will you offer anything special with SCCC Homecoming rapidly approaching at the end of this month?
A: With homecoming, we usually partner up with Student Life. I haven’t heard any word from them yet on what we’re doing. In the past, they’ve had spirit week where they’ll have at least one event that comes in here.
With past events, I know we’ve had things like walking tacos in the bookstores. I haven’t heard any word yet from Student Life, but I know that’s coming up and fast approaching. We should be hearing word from them soon.




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