Bookstore is now shelving textbooks by Author

Beginning Fall 2015 Term, the MacEwan University Bookstore (mstore) started shelving textbooks alphabetically by author. This FAQ is intended to answer questions on why this change was made.

If you're a student — Print your booklist or have it available on your smart phone before you come into the bookstore. click here to learn how

Why are textbooks alphabetical by author?

The mstore is owned and operated by MacEwan University. Its primary mandate and mission is to get course materials into the hands of students quickly and efficiently. We are passionate about this mission because of the critical support it offers to the academic mission of the University. Course material problems create problems for the teaching and learning environment. We believe this shelving change will help us get the right books into the right student hands more consistently than ever.

How will this make finding textbooks better for students?

Increased chance of finding a book on the shelf — When shelving according to course and section number, textbooks and coursepacks used in multiple courses end up in multiple locations—sometimes 2 or more. With shelving by author, each book is in only 1 location on the text floor.

Increased chance of finding the “right” book — If a student is looking for Psychology Concepts by Abel, it will be easier to know they’ve got the right book if it is next to Calculus by Acer than if it were next to Psychology Conceptions by Smith. Since making the change, most students have spent less time reading shelf-tags trying to ascertain they have the correct material.

Increased speed in finding books — Each student has a customized booklist that lists the textbooks for their required courses in alphabetical order by author. Because the list is ordered in this fashion, students are likely to start with “A,” and proceed in an orderly and quick way to “Z,” picking up the course materials they need along the way.

Reading the shelf tags is also much easier simply because students are now only matching one piece of data, the author, instead of three, dept-course-sec, at each location. This three-to-one change accounts for much of the increase in the speed in finding course materials. There was a time this system could not have worked for us since we didn’t have customized booklists. Now that we can provide each student with a custom booklist sorted by author, the tech barriers are gone.

Better traffic flow/less congested aisles — Books in high volume course areas, such as Psychology, will be distributed throughout the floor rather than accumulated in one area.

How will this change help the operational efficiency of the Bookstore?

Increased operational efficiency at the Bookstore directly helps the student by increasing the chance we have the right book on the shelf and indirectly helps the student by helping the Bookstore keep costs, and therefore, prices, down. Decreased costs are also a direct benefit to the University since all potential Bookstore profits belong to the University. Some of these efficiencies include:

Ease of Shelving and Re-shelving — The former shelving process required each employee to have a scanner, scan each book, and then decide on which of the possible multiple locations to shelve it. Now they can simply look at a book by Baker, and shelve it on the “B” aisle, which is intuitive, requires no special equipment and is faster. Faster re-shelving of returned books means books spend less time on a return cart and more time on the shelves, resulting in fewer out-of-stock special orders.

For the same reasons the new system increases re-shelving efficiency, the new system also increases efficiency with the initial shelving of books, including shelving after events such as Book BuyBack. This is significant due to the scarcity of time between the purchase of a used book from one student and the desire of another student to purchase the same title used. BuyBack books will not need to be scanned and can go directly to the shelves.

Space — The new system will require an estimated 5-10% less space, primarily because the same books are not in multiple locations. This will help free up space for other services and/or products of interest to students.

What if I really don’t like this change?

We’ll find all of your books for you! Just order online at macewanbookstore.com, and we’ll pull all of your books off the textbook floor, bag them, and have them ready and waiting for you to pick up on Campus.