Online Used Bookstore delayed

By Lawrence Bailey

Efforts to bring the Used Bookstore into the twenty-first century have hit a snag. A proposed $40,000 dollar upgrade in the area of point of sale systems, database creation and e-commerce is being temporarily put on hold by Students’ Union Vice-President Operations and Finance Gavin Preston.

Preston is wary of the price tag currently attached to the proposed upgrades and is taking the next couple of weeks to examine the issue more closely with the help of his commissioners. He tabled the first reading of the resolution to purchase the POS system at the Students’ Legislative Council on Tue., June 3, citing incomplete information.

“I’m not currently convinced a POS system and web upgrading should cost $40,000” stated Preston. “Maybe I will be in two weeks.”

While he is reexamining the price, he is not reexamining the project. Preston acknowledges the need for an upgrade and touts the impending combination of the Used Bookstore with the Copy Centre as a reorganization that could save upwards of $500 per week in labour costs. He also stresses the legal responsibilities of the SU in dealing with the upgrade.

“The Used Bookstore is stuck in an archaic system, it’s all paper,” he explained. “As members of SLC, we have the fiduciary responsibility to know where students’ money is going.”

Once renovations are complete in the MacEwan Students’ Centre retail corridor, the Used Bookstore and the SU Copy Centre will be amalgamated into one retail outlet, a step Preston actively endorses.

“This is a great opportunity to improve service. This is a also a great opportunity to save money,” he said.

The idea for putting the Used Bookstore online came from the a student who suggested it in the 2003 President’s Challenge, according to Preston. He also cited the need for the Used Bookstore to remain competitive with existing online textbook sites such as the one offered by the university bookstore, among others.

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