University Store receives award

Award for Excellence in Course Materials Management

The BYU-Idaho University Store is a member of the Independent College Bookstore Association and was recently awarded for the range of services and materials that are available for students.

The University Store has been a member of the Independent College Bookstore Association for 19 years, which has allowed it to obtain many awards, including overall store performance and student supply management. This year they received an award in excellence in course material management.

This award is based on a five-year report system that shows their performance during that time. There is a unique list of the services the store provides.

According to the Independent College Bookstore Association’s website, the BYU-I University Store “increased book sales over five years, decreased expenses by $300,000 over two years (and had a) corresponding net income increase of $900,000.”

This award shows the positive progress in the work and resources of the University Store.

“We decided to help employees with the benefit of cell phones, so they can get them and use the corporate plans,” said Brent Ashcraft, the University Store director. “And now we have a cellular store which has about seven thousand lines. The same system working for students is currently growing.”

Another valuable resource provided by the University Store is their sets of kits for specific classes.

“We reached out to the faculty who have unique situations, like a lab that needs different supplies,” Ashcraft said. “They were trying to purchase stuff from different sources on their own and then sell it for students. So we proposed that we can get all the materials and put them in a kit for students.”

Having pre-made kits for special classes is more convenient for students and teachers because it saves money and time. No one needs to spend additional time finding each necessary tool for their classes. It is easier to come to the store and pick up the kit with the right supplies.

Another important service that the University Store has is the Student Express. A lot of university stores have different reservation systems but only allow the reservation of one book at a time.

A lot of additionals materials are hidden in the storage of the University Store
A lot of additionals materials are hidden in the storage of the University Store Photo credit: Elizabeth Oveshkova

The Student Express allows students to get all their course materials at the same time with a variety of options such as renting or purchasing new or used books. Students have a chance to come and pick up their orders instead of standing in line. Additionally, the store has a large range of used books.

“We rent the books while a lot of universities across the nation are going away from renting textbooks,” said Linda Munns, the academic materials manager. “We have discovered that it is a very low-cost option, so we allow our students to rent the books.”

Renting used books can be a good option for college students who are trying to save money.

“We have contracts with publishers that allow us to keep the price lower for our auto access e-books,” Munns said. “And part of this award was keeping the cost lower and serving the students the best that we can.”

One of the advantages of this award is trust and respect in the industry. At the annual meetings of ICBA, other stores are interested in gaining experience from the BYU-I University Store. Hence, the University Store has regular presentations where they can share experience with others and motivate them to improve their working systems.

The top priority of the University Store is satisfying students’ needs.

“We are all about serving the students and making their experience good here,” Ashcraft said. “There are two ways to this. One is to save their time, and two is to save their money.”

It is important for the students to see the variety of services that can make college life easier.

“Serving the students is the top priority of the store,” Munns said. “We are willing to do anything to help them feel more comfortable with the textbooks and with the knowledge of the textbooks that they need. The best thing that we keep in mind is definitely to keep the cost lower.”

The University Store welcomes all students with a variety of services and a friendly atmosphere.