Because of Oly Traffic, U Orders Books Early

Although Fall Semester may seem as if it is barely underway and Spring Semester lies in the distant future, University Bookstore is planning for it already, and making sure that the professors do as well.

Because of the changes made to the academic calendar due to the Olympics and the transportation problems that hosting the Olympic Games will cause, University Bookstore is asking faculty to make textbook requests two weeks early.

“We’re trying to get them in by Oct. 1,” said Shane Girton, textbook sales manager. “We like to try to get a jump on it as soon as we can.”

The official deadline for textbook orders from the faculty is Oct. 15. Girton expects to have 80 percent of the orders in by the official deadline. About 40 percent of the orders are in already, Girton told The Daily Utah Chronicle last week.

For Fall Semester, only 50 percent of the orders were in by July 31, well after the April 15 official deadline, according to Chuck Davies, University Bookstore assistant manager.

According to Girton, the increased communication between the faculty and the bookstore buying staff is the reason University Bookstore has been able to get textbook orders in earlier this year. Each of the four textbook buyers meet with three professors every week to discuss the textbooks and make buying decisions.

“That’s been the key as to why we get [orders] on time,” Girton said.

The main reason the University Bookstore is making an effort to order textbooks early is traffic problems that the Olympics will create. South Campus Drive between the Fieldhouse and Rice-Eccles Stadium will be closed beginning Nov. 12. The road will be closed to add 6,000 seats to the stadium.

According to Girton, University Bookstore has “well over 5,000 cartons of books” shipped in every semester, all of which are brought in by trucks. Girton anticipates an increased flow of goods into the campus in preparation for the Olympics, which will congest traffic at about the same time that students are beginning class and looking for textbooks.

The Health Science Bookstore, located within the parameters of the future Olympic village, will also have to make changes to accommodate the Olympics. The Health Science Bookstore will be closed on Jan. 8 to allow SLOC to start setting up the Olympic Village.

“Obviously we can’t do business as normal,” said Melanie Hall, manager of the Health Science Bookstore. A satellite bookstore will be set up in University Hospital so students can still get the textbooks they need, and they will still be able to make special orders.

University Bookstore has been ordering books for three weeks already. Because students have not registered for classes yet, University Bookstore is ordering books based on what books they think they will need.

“We do a lot of ordering based on speculation and history,” Girton said. He said that they look at the history of the courses that they are ordering for, how many students usually take the class and how many actually buy the textbooks. They also must consider enrollment trends and how many students they think will register during the semester.

“Sometimes we order short, sometimes we order too much,” Girton said.

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