Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Barnes & Noble wins PSU bookstore contract

Officials at Pittsburg State University have announced that the university has reached an agreement with Barnes & Noble for the operation of the campus bookstore. The transition is scheduled to take place after the close of the spring semester in May.

"It is an honor to have been selected to operate the bookstore at Pittsburg State University," said Max J. Roberts, president of Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, Inc. "We look forward to providing outstanding customer service to the faculty, staff and students. We will dedicate all of our resources to ensure a quick, orderly and professional transition, meeting student textbook needs, and establishing faculty relations and campus outreach as quickly as possible."

Steve Erwin, PSU associate vice president for campus life and auxiliary services, said Barnes & Noble won the contract following an exhaustive six-month competitive bidding process. PSU representatives visited nearly 30 bookstores operated by the three bidders, Erwin said. Bidders included Folletts, which has operated the bookstore at PSU for the past 27 years, Nebraska Bookstore, and Barnes & Noble.

"This was a difficult decision to make," Erwin said. "We appreciate the many years of service that Folletts has given to PSU. In the final analysis, however, it seemed that Barnes & Noble was going to be the best partner for Pittsburg State."

One of the company's strong points, Erwin said, was its array of Web-based services.

According to Barnes & Noble, the company offers students services that include online access to course and book information, the ability to have textbooks delivered to a student’s location of choice or to have those same books prepared for in-store pick-up.

Another aspect of the agreement, according to Barnes & Noble, will be the availability of a larger number of less expensive used textbooks, which will be provided by Barnes & Noble's affiliate company, MBS Textbook Exchange, Inc., the nation’s largest used textbook wholesale company. Barnes & Noble will also install the latest version of Text-Aid, a textbook management system.

"Students on campus are the single greatest source of used books for the next term and Barnes & Noble makes them aware of buyback on campus in a variety of ways," said Cynthia Bader, Barnes & Noble regional manager.

Under the agreement, Barnes & Noble has made a financial commitment to completely renovate and update the bookstore.

"The store's layout will be choreographed to allow visitors an intuitive understanding of the store’s offerings upon entering," said Robert Lucero, architect for Barnes & Noble.

Founded in 1873, Barnes & Noble is one of the nation's largest booksellers. The company operates more than 500 campus bookstores for many of the nation's top schools, including Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University of Chicago, Yale University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, and Saint Louis University. In Kansas, Barnes & Noble manages the campus bookstores at Fort Hays State University and Emporia State University.

---Pitt State---