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ISSUE 118 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/6/2005

Bookstore pleases

By Emelie Heltsley
News Editor

Friday, May 6, 2005

The St. Olaf Bookstore recently released statistics from a 2004 survey completed by over 1,000 students. While the survey shows that students and faculty are pleased with the current bookstore, the results also pointed out areas of improvement, which will be addressed in the future.

In the survey, students noted the pleasant shopping atmosphere, availability of new and used textbooks, selection of supplies and the speed of service. On a scale from one to five, with one being low and five being high, students gave the bookstore a mean satisfaction rating of 3.74. Faculty gave the bookstore a higher satisfaction rating, averaging at 4.29.

"We are obviously very pleased with the results of this customer satisfaction survey," David Schlosser, bookstore manager, said. "The priority now is to focus our energies on those areas identified that need improvement."

Areas that the survey indicated need improvement include competitive prices and availability of textbooks and other supplies, better buy–back prices and clearer communication when submitting textbook orders.

"We look forward to conducting a similar survey next year to monitor our progress," Schlosser said.

The bookstore has recently joined the bandwagon in the campus–wide efforts to be environmentally conscious, and plans to become more ecologically–friendly.

Dan Hudson, supplies manager of the bookstore, said that the bookstore is currently investigating options for purchasing recycled products. He pointed out the notebooks and binders that are made of post-consumer recycled paper and plastic as examples.

New paper products made from banana fiber debuted just a few weeks ago, an idea inspired by a contemporary of Hudson's at Carleton. She mentioned the products and said that students seemed to enjoy them. "They are doing fairly well," Hudson said regarding banana fiber product sales in the St. Olaf Bookstore.

Hudson is currently in the process of developing a "green labeling" program to label products that are more Earth-friendly. Although this project is still in its planning stages, Hudson hopes to establish a set of environmental requirements with which to label “green” products.

As an added incentive to shop at the bookstore, Hudson reminded students that the bookstore is a non-chain company which puts its profits back into the St. Olaf general fund. "It keeps the money in the college,” Hudson said.

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