New Online Service Fails to Reduce Long Bookstore Lines

Jennifer Bernardo

Only about 300 out of nearly 15,000 students have taken advantage of Glendale College’s new online service for ordering books through the bookstore.

Despite the offer of a more convenient and faster way to buy textbooks, there was the usual endless lines in front of the store during the first two weeks of the semester. The campus bookstore has been online for two semesters, but the orders have increased by only 100 over last semester.

The low turnout may be attributed to a lack of student and staff awareness, even though bookmarks and flyers were handed out to students as they purchased their merchandise. However, last semester, promotion of the new online bookstore was at a minimum. There were no postings seen around the campus, nor promotional items handed to students and staff awareness, even though bookmarks and flyers were handed out to students as they purchased their merchandise.

Gail Cloutier, the bookstore’s supply buyer, maintains the Web site along with a few members of the bookstore staff. Cloutier said that promotion of the online service in the fall was interrupted by the delayed move into the new site. Also, a vendor that had promised promotional items didn’t come through.

The number of textbook reservations and mail orders are almost equal, Cloutier said. Mail orders are usually shipped within 24 hours of the order, while textbook reservations may be picked up at the buy-back window of the bookstore. Students are then required to show their identification as they pick up their textbooks.

A confirmation is sent to students via e-mail, however, students need to be aware that they need to give their credit card number to process the order completely.

Cloutier added that students may not be aware that they can reserve their textbooks online because the “purchase” box automatically appears on the order screen. Once the arrow next to the box appears, the reserve option is prompted. Cloutier also suggests students click on the “Do Not Ship” button at the end of the order because it is used as a second flag to reserve.

Changes in orders cannot be made online. For example, students are not able to go back in to an old order to change amounts, or add a new textbook to their order. They would have to start a new order to do so. As with any transaction, shoppers should pay attention to every step they make when they purchase online. Students must also keep in mind that their credit card will be charged as soon as the textbooks are pulled off the shelves.

Cloutier said the bookstore plans to update the Web site by featuring gift items and school merchandise online.

The bookstore is located at, and is linked to the Glendale College Web site.